Non-metallic reinforcement made of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) is characterized by high tensile strength and excellent resistance to corrosion. This enables to implement completely new construction strategies. Particularly in exterior applications, the concrete cover can be minimized, thus saving dead weight and costly additional protective covering measures. The IMB's research activities in this area traditionally include textile-reinforced concrete and concrete reinforced with FRP rebars. The term carbon concrete has been created in recent years to encompass both construction methods, especially when the high-tensile carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) reinforcement is used.

8 m long I-beam with CFRP reinforcement (left) and 3D-FE-model of one half of the beam in the program ABAQUS (right)

In the Collaborative Research Center/Transregio 280: Design Strategies for Material-Minimised Carbon Reinforced Concrete Structures, in which the IMB is the spokesperson for RWTH Aachen University, currently fundamental research on new construction methods is conducted. In addition to fundamental research, the IMB also realizes numerous industry projects in which the currently unregulated construction method using non-metallic reinforcement requires special approvals.

The tasks in the research area carbon reinforced concrete and non-metallic reinforcement include:

-    Acquisition of research and industry projects incl. submission of proposals
-    Experimental investigations of structural elements with non-metallic reinforcements
-    Numerical investigations using finite element software
-    Derivation of analytical models and design approaches
-    Method development for the production of innovative components, for experimental investigations and for evaluation of tests
-    Supervision of industry projects with project-related construction approvals
-    Supervision of industry projects with general construction approvals
-    Participation in technical committees and working groups
-    Presentation of results at national and international conferences and in technical journals
-    Assistance in undergraduate and graduate teaching


Rheinsteg Albbruck after rehabilitation with CFRP-reinforced concrete (left) and new bridge in Ottenhöfen with CFRP-reinforced deck slabs (right)

Selected projects in the research area carbon reinforced concrete and non-metallic reinforcement: