Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - EN-CORE (European network for composite reinforcement)

The EN-CORE network provided the backbone for Task Group 9.3 of the International Federation for Structural Concrete (FIB) on FRP reinforcement. The network had eight joint meetings with TG9.3 and contributed most of the material and expertise for the preparation of two major bulletins: a technical report on internal FRP reinforcement and a technical report on external FRP reinforcement. These reports, each over one hundred pages, represent the work of two sub-groups of fib TG 9.3 (mirrored by the EN-CORE scientific work packages) and include contributions by all of the network participants, including ESRs, through the preparation of the EN-CORE reports, oral presentations and discussions at the TG level.

Bulletin 40, which was published at the end of 2007, mainly deals with the use of FRP bars as internal reinforcement for concrete structures. Work has already started on a new bulletin, which will address all of the important design issues following the format of Eurocode 2, already familiar to practicing engineers throughout Europe. A new bulletin on the use of FRPs as external reinforcement for the strengthening of existing structures is also underway and a complete draft has already been made available to the participants. This bulletin builds upon previous work published by fib in 2001 after a fruitful collaboration with the European funded TMR CON-FIBRE-CRETE. As new materials, systems and techniques are introduced in the construction industry, the need for devising new tests to assess their mechanical and structural performance becomes more and more important. The lack of universally accepted tests, however, makes it difficult to perform any comparative study between the different systems and can become a major obstacle to the technological development of FRP reinforcing solutions. With these issues in mind, two round robin testing programmes were organised and coordinated by EN-CORE, together with fib TG9.3, to assist the various international committees working in the field of standardisation to assess the merits of simple tests. Twelve testing laboratories and nine major composite manufacturers took part in this huge coordinated effort. The network attracted 20 researchers and delivered about 295 person months.

A wide-ranging training programme was implemented during the four years of operation. A series of research training courses on the use of FRPs in the construction industry was held yearly at the University of Sheffield with the active involvement of all of the network participants, who assisted in the organisation of the course, development of the curriculum, preparation of teaching material and delivery of lectures.

Two young researchers conferences were held during the duration of the network along with a young researchers seminar and three poster competitions. The first young researchers' conference and poster competition was organised in Cyprus in January 2006, whilst the second young researchers' conference on 'FRP reinforcement in construction' was held in January 2007 in Dubendorf, Switzerland. The conference sessions dealt with issues related to testing, design and application of FRP as reinforcement for stone, masonry and concrete structures. Several of the papers presented at the latter conference were invited for publication in a special issue of the international journal 'Mechanics of composite materials', which was published in 2008. A central aspect of the dissemination and transfer of knowledge strategy of EN-CORE was the constant engagement with material manufacturers as well as end users.

Two industry seminars were held during the four year of operation of the network. The first of the two seminars took place in Cyprus with the support of the institution of civil engineers of Cyprus and national industries, whilst the second was organised in Switzerland with the support of Empa akademie. The seminars were aimed at educating practicing engineers and establishing and maintaining a much needed dialogue between academia and industry.

Reported by

University of Sheffield
Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
United Kingdom
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