Polymer Concrete: Guidelines for Structural Applications
|Publication Date:||1 January 2019|
Polymer concrete (PC) has been used in structural applications where strength, stiffness, durability, and ease in molding provide an advantage over other materials. Many types of reinforcement can be used with PC. This guide presents the structural uses of PC.
Polymer concrete is a mixture of aggregates and resins or monomers without portland cement that hardens by polymerization after it is placed. PC was first used commercially in the 1950s in the United States in the production of synthetic marble, followed by the manufacture of architectural facing panels in the late 1950s. Beginning in the 1970s, other structural products began to appear in the market, including floor drains, utility trenches, underground utility vaults and covers, high-voltage insulators, and highway median barrier shells. These products were followed by the introduction of manhole structures and machine tool bases. By the mid-1970s, PC was used as a repair material for portland-cement concrete structures, mainly on highways and bridges. In the United States in the 1980s, chemical companies developed an increasing interest in specific materials and material properties required to produce PC. As a result, many enhancements in the polymers used for PC were developed, and resins tailor-made for PC production became available. This development continues, and important material improvements are often achieved by manufacturers.
Research into the behavior of PC structural elements has been conducted at numerous research labs. Structural research has been conducted on such uses as steel-reinforced beams and panels, ballistic panels (barriers to armed assault on embassies, for instance), electric transmission poles, structural sandwich elements, building blocks, utility trenches, utility covers, and insulation panels (Fowler 1988).