From Advanced Civil Infrastructure Materials: Science, Mechanics and Applications

H J DAGHER, University of Maine, USA

6.1 Introduction

Advanced engineered wood composites (AEWC) refer to a new class of materials resulting from the combination of wood with fiber reinforced polymers (FRP). These materials couple the advantages of wood which include high performance/cost and strength/weight ratios with the advantages of FRP which include high strength and stiffness and versatility.

FRPs are a versatile material system consisting of (i) synthetic fibers including glass, carbon, graphite and aramid in forms such as continuous rovings, chopped strands, mats, woven rovings or textiles, and (ii) a thermoset or thermoplastic polymer matrix which serves to bind the fibers together, transfer loads to the fibers, and protect them against environmental attack. The versatility of the constituent materials, the various fabrication techniques, and the ability to tailor the materials for the required application make FRP composites appealing as a reinforcement for wood.

Wood is a versatile structural material which can be modified into a variety of forms including lumber, veneers, flakes, strands or fibers. These in turn are combined with thermoset resins to form a variety of structural wood composites such as glulam beams, structural composite lumber (SCL), I-joists and a number of panel products. In North America, more wood products are used in construction than all other construction materials combined.

Combining two materials with compatible and complementary physical and mechanical properties can revolutionize construction techniques. In the mid-19th century, reinforcing concrete with steel significantly changed building and bridge construction throughout the world. The keys to the...

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Carbon Fiber and Carbon Fiber Cloth
Carbon fiber and carbon fiber cloth consist of bulk, chopped fibers, continuous strands or woven cloth forms of carbon or graphite. Carbon and graphite are used in reinforcing composites as well as other specialized electrical and thermal applications.
Synthetic Fibers and Fabrics
Synthetic fibers and synthetic fabrics consist of bulk fibers, yarns, woven cloth or other textile products manufactured from polymer-based materials such as polyamide (nylon), polyester, aramid, or other spun thermoplastics.
Aramid Fibers and Fabrics
Aramid fiber and fabrics consists of bulk, chopped fibers, continuous strands or woven cloth forms of aromatic polyamide thermoplastic for reinforcing polymer matrix composites and other applications.
Industrial Fabrics
Industrial fabrics consist of woven or non-woven cloth made from natural or synthetic materials.
Glass Fibers and Fiberglass Cloth
Glass fibers and fiberglass cloth consist of bulk, chopped fibers or continuous strands of glass. Glass fibers and fiberglass cloth is used in reinforcing plastics and composites as well as other specialized electrical and thermal applications.

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