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Innovative Design Concepts and Technologies

In spite of the fact that most of the research carried out by ISIS Canada is considered to be in the public domain with limited opportunities for patents and commercialization, significant achievements have been made. ISIS researchers have registered five patents and created two spin-off companies.  Another 10 potential patents have been identified in the ongoing research.   IDERS Inc. recently developed a unique readout instrument to satisfy the needs of ISIS research, which has worldwide application and is destined for export.  The Brillouin sensing system currently being developed is also destined for commercialization. 

Steel Free Bridge Deck
FRP Bridge Deck
Hybrid FRP/Concrete Structural System
FRP Transmission Poles
Anchorage for Post-Tensioned Structures
FRP Dowels
Innovative Ground Anchors
Smart Reinforcements

 

Steel Free Bridge Deck

The steel free bridge deck is an innovative, economical, corrosion-free structural system for new construction and the replacement of old reinforced concrete structures. The steel-free concrete deck slab and FRP cellular deck are integrated with FRP/concrete hybrid beams and columns to develop a total corrosion-free structural system. Experimental tests are being conducted to test the inter-connection of various components of the structural system under dead and live loads. The objective is to show that the corrosion-free system proposed is economically justifiable.

The patented steel-free deck system is one of the most important developments in the bridge engineering field in the past 50 years. Due to corrosion of reinforcement, bridge decks cost millions of dollars each year to maintain.  By eliminating the internal reinforcement, the steel-free deck eliminates major bridge maintenance problems and will result in millions of dollars of savings for the bridge agencies that employ it.  This corrosion free deck system was chosen as the deck system for the Manitoba Floodway project.

Contact: Dr. Aftab Mufti, University of Manitoba

 

FRP Bridge Deck

This composite deck, patented by Wardrop Engineering Inc./Faroex Ltd., consists of a series of equilateral triangular section tubes produced by the filament winding process. Glass fibres are wound at varying angles, including fibres in the longitudinal direction, to achieve the target transverse and longitudinal strengths. The bridge deck consists of modules that are formed when several of the uncured, wound, triangular elements are placed between two pultruded plates and are subsequently cured into a single module of bridge decking. These modules are then delivered to the site and within hours they are installed.

Contact: Dr. Aftab Mufti, University of Manitoba

 

Hybrid FRP/Concrete Structural System

An innovative, economical, corrosion-free structural system for new construction and the replacement of old reinforced concrete structures is being developed.

A hybrid FRP/concrete system for structural members consists of FRPs of varying thickness and closed structural shapes, such as tubular, rectangular or square, with different cross-sectional areas, and placed one inside the other. The gap between the two shells is filled with concrete or grout. This system provides the advantage of saving the cost of formwork and, at the same time, the outer and inner FRP shell act as reinforcement. The system will also introduce a significant passive confinement effect on the concrete under the effect of applied loads. This innovative structural system is relatively elastic, very light, and could be maintenance-free. The members could be used as supporting elements for structures and girders for bridges.

Contact: Dr. Aftab Mufti, University of Manitoba

 

FRP Transmission Poles

Typically, transmission line poles are made of wood, steel and concrete, but because wood deteriorates continuously, steel corrodes, and concrete is too heavy to transport and erect in remote areas, hydro utilities are forced to seek alternate methods of constructing poles. 

Since 1993, Dr. Dimos Polyzois has been leading a team of researchers in an extensive theoretical and experimental program to develop new innovative technologies for the fabrication of utility poles using composite materials. To accomplish this task he developed the ISIS-Faroex Filament Winding Research Facility in Gimli, Manitoba, which was used extensively to train industry and university personnel and to fabricate full scale composite poles for testing.

Contact: Dr. Dimos Polyzois, University of Manitoba

 

Anchorage for Post-Tensioned Structures

A corrosion-free anchorage system has been developed and patented for FRP strands and bars. This economical system develops the full strength of carbon FRP strands and can be used to apply prestressing forces in a two-step procedure for masonry structures.

Contact: Dr. Nigel Shrive, University of Calgary

 

FRP Dowels

Epoxy-covered steel dowel bars that are affected by corrosion are commonly used to transfer loads between concrete slabs across a construction joint in road pavement. ISIS Canada is conducting comprehensive tests on glass FRP dowel bars for this application. The Bishop Grandin Boulevard extension in Winnipeg is the site of the first Canadian field application of FRP dowels in concrete pavements.

Contact: Dr. Aftab Mufti, University of Manitoba

 

Innovative Ground Anchors

FRP tendons have been introduced in the market for ground anchorages as a viable alternative to steel tendons. Extensive performance tests are underway in support of the design recommendations that will assist this innovative product in gaining widespread acceptance and use in civil engineering structures.

Contact: Dr. Brahim Benmokrane, Université de Sherbrooke

 

Smart Reinforcements

A major advance occurred in the development of smart FRP reinforcements when it was demonstrated that pultrusion technology could be modified to incorporate fibre optic sensors. Instead of using FRP reinforcements with external sensors, the necessary components can now arrive at the work site with fibre optic sensors already embedded as an integral part of the reinforcement bars. Such was the case with Joffre Bridge in Québec. This ongoing research will lead to complete product specifications and manufacturing guidelines.

ISIS Canada Contact: Dr. Alex Kalamkarov, Dalhousie University