Whilst concrete structures are extremely capable of carrying the loads for which they were initially designed, enhancing or restoring the structural capacity of existing concrete structural elements is essential when certain elements may become subject to additional stresses or have incurred a reduction in structural integrity over time. This can occur for a number of reasons across reinforced structures of all types, such as increased load capacities, damage from surrounding environmental conditions or simply gradual degradation resulting from a long-standing presence.
Materials such as Carbon Fibre, Kevlar and Aramid have transformed the repair and refurbishment marketplace, providing cost effective and fast solutions to structural strengthening problems, with the added bonus of low future maintenance costs. Composite technology is used on highway structures where the speed of application and low material weight minimises traffic disruption. On buildings and car parks, the systems attributes provide vital benefits to developers and building owners wishing to increase floor and roof loadings but with minimal disruption to existing tenants.
Composite Strengthening is a versatile method for seismic strengthening and upgrading structures with increased loadings. Carbon fibre sheets are the most commonly used composite fabric, with lightweight, high strength, high-temperature resistant and corrosion and fatigue resistant properties. We typically use Composite reinforcement solutions when strengthening bridges, overpass columns and support beams.
APA Concrete Repairs Ltd provide an array of structural strengthening services including:
CFRP Plate Bonding (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer)
Carbon Fibre plates are specifically designed for use as a high strength and durable external reinforcement, bonded to a structure using high performance epoxy resin adhesives. This plate bonding system is corrosion resistant and provides a long-term, maintenance-free solution. We typically undertake CFRP plate bonding for the flexural strengthening of reinforced concrete structures, such as soffits, floor slabs and bridge decks.
Carbon Fibre Wrapping
Single or multiple layers of carbon fibre fabric are impregnated with resin adhesive and applied to structures. We typically use this technique in enhancing the structural strength of columns and beams in multi-storey carparks or highway bridge structures. Frequently used to strengthen columns and beams which are subject to persistent or increased load capacities.
Traditional Steel Reinforcement
Steel reinforcement normally refers to traditional steel mesh or reinforcement bars, placed within the designed concrete structure to increase its durability and strength. Where the embedded steel reinforcement is beyond a serviceable condition, our trained repair operatives can remove and replace the corroded reinforcing with new reinforcing bars which can be fixed to the existing steel reinforcement through welding or coupler fixings.
Steel Plate Bonding
This technique involves the strengthening of concrete structures by bonding steel plates to external faces, using epoxy adhesive. We most commonly undertake this method when increasing flexural strength or stiffness by bonding plates to the soffits or top surfaces of beams and slabs.
Aramid/Kevlar Fibre Wrapping
Aramid Fibres provide a lightweight and extremely high strength reinforcement with excellent temperature, abrasion and stretch resistance. We typically use Aramid Fibre Wrapping for reinforcement in concrete columns and beams, and for containment when strengthening bridges.
Structural Steel Repairs
Structural steel strengthening provides a quick and cost-effective structural repair solution that can be permanent or temporary when space is not of critical importance to the structure being supported. Ideally suited to basements, car parks and other structures where the headroom can accommodate the large steel sections.
Bridge Arch Strengthening
Bridge Arch Strengthening typically refers to a layer of reinforcing mesh being installed prior to an additional concrete lining, enabling weak bridges that may have had weight restrictions imposed, to be strengthened to accept full highway loadings and comply with UK regulations.