Three editions of the international training school on ‘Reinforcing and strengthening of structures with FRP reinforcement’ took place at Ghent University (Belgium) in January 2015, 2016 and 2017 and attracted more than 100 participants from 25 different countries.
This intensive course, which is fully accredited by the University of Ghent, was jointly organised by the EU funded Marie Curie ITN endure, COST Action TU1207, fib Task Group 5.1 and Commission 9 and supported by the Belgian Concrete Society which is national member group of fib, the Engineering Society ie-net and the Institute for Post-Academic Education of Ghent University.
Participants had the opportunity to interact with experts in the field and discuss design issues, applications and future developments in the use of composite reinforcements for new construction and rehabilitation solutions. Engaging social activities took place during the week-long school in the historical city of Ghent and contributed to create a lively and stimulating atmosphere that encouraged networking and a proactive dialogue. The training followed a blended learning approach, with an online learning path combining extra digital teaching material and online self-tests with class room sessions, and allowing participants to review the fully recorded class room sessions.
Prof Stijn Matthys, scientific coordinator of the training school and chairman of fib Task Group 5.1, opened the event and examined in detail the unique material properties of composite reinforcements, their past and current uses in construction applications and engaged with the participants in an interesting discussion on future trends and exciting opportunities for innovation.
Dr Christoph Czaderski from EMPA (Switzerland), one of the pioneering research institutes in the development of FRP in construction, discussed the importance of material testing and quality control. He further examined the bond behaviour of externally bonded FRP reinforcement and addressed all of the critical design aspects.Prof Renata Kotynia from Lodz University of Technology (Poland) advocated the use of prestressed FRP reinforcing solutions in new and existing structures and discussed design issues and applications, highlighting current innovations in the field and technological challenges.
Prof Lluis Torres from the University of Girona (Spain) and Dr Maurizio Guadagnini from the University of Sheffield (UK), chairman of the MC ITN endure and COST Action TU1207, introduced the use of composite reinforcement as alternative, more durable solutions for new concrete structures. The underlying principles of using such non-conventional reinforcing solutions were discussed and the design philosophies adopted by various international committees were presented in depth and accompanied by practical design examples.
Prof Valter Carvelli from the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) gave a comprehensive overview on the superior durability offered by FRP reinforcement and examined long-term related issues, such as creep and fatigue, as well as the effect of exposure to a variety of different environments and how to design for it. Composite materials are rapidly becoming the solution of choice for strengthening and rehabilitation solutions.
Prof Matthys and Dr Czaderski introduced the fundamental aspects of design, including the initial assessment of existing structures, choice of strengthening strategies, practical issues and quality control.
Prof Joaquim Barros from the University of Minho (Portugal), examined the benefits of different shear strengthening solutions, including the use of externally bonded, near surface mounted and deep embedded reinforcement. He also discussed the use of advanced numerical methods for the analysis and design of optimal strengthening solutions.
Prof Thanasis Triantafillou from the University of Patras (Greece) concluded the session on strengthening with an in-depth discussion on confinement and seismic retrofitting and examined both technological aspects and practical design solutions.
Contributions from Industry experts and design engineers discussed advantages and possible drawbacks of using these emerging technologies in practical applications.
The training school concluded with a hands-on laboratory session, during which participants also had the opportunity to manufacture their own composite plates and apply FRP confinement to concrete cylinders. A site visit was conducted to witness the results of a large strengthening job on an underground parking structure.
This highly appreciated FRP training school will be offered again in coming years. Please go to www.frpcourse.eu for additional information.
endure Training School - January 2017