Environmental impact of concrete structures reinforced with GFRP bars: A simplified study on columns
Federation Internationale du Beton (fib) - International Federation for Structural Concrete, 2019. Concrete has a significant influence on the global warming due to its high usage in the construction industry. There are a few different strategies to increase the sustainability potential of concrete structures. Most of these strategies involve reduction of the total clinker content. One strategy, which is often neglected due to its complexity, is to increase the durability of the concrete structure. By increasing the durability, the need for repair and maintenance is reduced and thus less resources are consumed during the service life. One of the main deterioration mechanisms in concrete structures is the corrosion of steel reinforcement. A strategy to increase the service life of concrete structures in harsh environment would therefore be to increase the durability of concrete or to use low- or non-corrosive reinforcement instead of traditional steel reinforcement. This paper focuses on the latter. Glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars are non-corrosive and have emerged as an alternative to steel bars in reinforced concrete structures in harsh environment. They have other mechanical properties than steel and opens for alternative mix designs for concrete. However, the environmental impact of concrete structures reinforced with GFRP bars has not been fully investigated and most life-cycle assessment (LCA) studies have an exchange ratio of 1:1 between GFRP and steel bars despite differences in the mechanical properties. This paper studies the climate impact of concrete columns reinforced with GFRP bars through an LCA methodology, focusing on the functional unit.