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Rehabilitation and protection of heritage structures using low intrusive ltm fibre composites.

Development of materials and processes to use advanced
fibre composite materials for low intrusion rehabilitation
and protection of heritage structures.

The proposal is to develop the materials and processes to use advanced fibre composite materials for low intrusion rehabilitation and the protection of heritage structures. A proposal suggestion was submitted to the EUROCARE programme committee (and copied to DTI EUREKA) in October 1996. It received a positive response and subsequently six organisations from five countries have expressed interest in collaborating within the project, which resulted in integration of another closely allied proposal (CARBOTIE) into the COMREHAB where the technique for strengthening of masonry buildings are proposed to be developed, using carbon-fibre strips instead of traditionally used steel bars that will enable durable strengthening with less damage to masonry walls. The natural ageing process, accelerated by earth tremors, industrial pollution and traffic vibration has resulted in many historic buildings, monuments and civil engineering structures falling into decay. This is not simply a cultural issue, since the cost of continual maintenance and economic effects on traffic, tourism and depressing the local environment can be equally damaging. Conventional rehabilitation methods using wooden or steel buttresses, tie rods and scaffolding supports are often visually obtrusive, involve further local damage and usually do not offer a long term, durable solution. Recent developments originating from the high technology sportsgoods and aerospace sectors offer the prospect of rapid on-site restoration of structural integrity with low installation costs and extended durability. A key prospective advantage is the minimum damage low intrusion possibilities effered by these high specific performance materials. The technique, which has been tried out on a small scale in SWITZERLAND (Ref.1), in JAPAN (Ref.2), and the USA (Ref.3), involves the application of thin layers of carbon fibre prepreg materials to strengthen and stiffen stress critical areas. The materials are lighter and less intrusive than, for example, steel plate reinforcement, and have exceptional resistance to corrosion. They offer easier handling, adapt readily to shape irregularity and can be delivered to the site in rolls of 100m or more. However, the technique is not without difficulty since conventional aerospace prepreg resins require high cure temperatures and pressures which are not easily achieved on site. The development of special low energy cure prepreg resins which retain high temperature use properties, offers the prospect of overcoming these practical difficulties.
Acronym: 
COMREHAB
Project ID: 
1 939
Start date: 
01-07-1998
Project Duration: 
48months
Project costs: 
4 250 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.