The solution: Fiber-reinforced plastics
Fiber-reinforced plastics are known for their high strength and stiffness with low inherent weight, as well as for a good damping capacity and resistance to fatigue. Other advantageous properties that qualify and predestine them for use in civil engineering are low thermal conductivity, UV stability and chemical resistance, including corrosion and freeze-thaw resistance, which in turn leads to lower maintenance and repair requirements and so to greater long-term durability. Due to the outlined characteristics, they offer an enormous application potential for the challenges in the construction sector as well as completely new innovations due to their design freedom and technological possibilities. These materials enable a reduction in weight, thus increasing span widths and building structures that are thinner and taller. Additionally, lightweight construction by means of fiber-reinforced plastics provides flexibility, maximization of usable space and rapid construction progress, for example, by allowing large components to be pre-assembled away from the construction zone and lifted afterwards into place by crane. Furthermore, in form of inlays, fiber-reinforced plastics can help to reduce large quantities of concrete, as the minimum thicknesses to be maintained to prevent moisture penetration can be significantly decreased due to the non-corrosive nature of the material class. Thereby, the fiber orientation and the laminate structure can be individually adjusted according to the specific stresses. In this way, increases in tensile, compressive and flexural strength can be supplied and, for example, structural core materials such as foams can be reinforced and enclosed against moisture for long-term durability. Other efficient applications include structural profiles, shafts, railings, covers and design elements for facades, whereby the variety of applications continues to grow.