Hybrid Composite Rebars For Smart Concrete Structures


In reinforced concrete (RC) structures, steel reinforcing bars (rebars) corrode with time and thus reduce their life span. Composite rebars can be used in lieu of steel rebars to overcome this problem. The conventional composite rebars designed to take tensile force are composed of unidirectional fibers in a resin matrix, and are linearly elastic till failure; thus providing a brittle behavior. The problems of corrosion and brittle behavior can be solved by using a composite rebar which fails gradually under tension. The rebar consists of a hybrid composite system in conjunction with helical fibers. The hybrid system gives the rebar its initial stiffness and enables pseudo-yielding at lower strains. As the strain increases, the load is gradually transferred from the hybrid core to the helical fibers, which enables the rebar to undergo large elongations before failure. Embedded fiber optic sensors in the rebar can be used for health monitoring over a long period of time. The proof of concept and preliminary test results are described in the paper.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Third Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Missouri Department of Transportation, Grant None

Keywords and Phrases

Carbon fibers; Composite rebar; Corrosion; Fiber optic sensors; Helical fibers; Hybrid composite; Pseudo-ductility; Reinforced concrete

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1996-756X; 0277-786X

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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Publication Date

23 May 1997