Into the Lab: Polymer and Fiber

Yasser Gowayed, professor of polymer and fiber engineering, is collaborating with a team from the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Alabama-Birmingham to investigate the long term behavior of fiber reinforced polymers, an advanced material made from resin, fillers, fiber reinforcements and additives. Fiber reinforced polymers have a high strength-to-weight ratio, as well as durability and resistance to corrosion. This new material is gaining popularity as a way to build stronger concrete structures, which could prove beneficial to the state and nation’s economic health. Through an $80,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Transportation, Gowayed’s team is studying new uses and techniques to enhance the performance of fiber reinforced polymers over time. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 30 percent of U.S. bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

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