New FRP Composite Systems in Strengthening Earthquake

WVU Patented FRP Composite

West Virginia University professor Hota GangaRao and Praveen Majjigapu, a Ph.D. student in civil engineering, have developed a FRP composite system that will increase the strength and endurance of structures in earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other large blasts, helping communities prevent catastrophe. The FRP composite system is also beneficial for repairing historic or aging structures.

The three-piece FRP composite system consisting of filler modules – wedge-like parts made to certain specifications – reinforcing dowels and composite materials allows buildings and bridges to resist heavier loads, and provides a significant amount of shock absorption as well as moisture and fire resistance.

“With this system, even if a joint cracks under excessive loads it won’t immediately collapse” said GangaRao, who is the Maurice A. and Joann Wadsworth Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Constructed Facilities Center in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. “By minimizing failures of structures, we can increase the safety and security of communities, prevent costly damage and save lives.”

Additionally, outfitting a building with this FRP composite system is much more cost-effective and requires less time than traditional methods of retrofitting and yields better results.

“Rehabilitation of old buildings is expensive and labor intensive,” said GangaRao, who is also the Director of the Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure. “An affordable solution will allow more buildings to be strengthened.”

This story is reprinted from material extracted from WVU. Full article can be find here