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Four lighter, stronger construction materials now in PH market

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Inset, construction engineers using GFRP material in the construction of a building 
Photo collage fromTHEPHILBIZNEWS



Four product innovations in the construction industry were introduced last Friday in the radio program “Usapang Pangkapayapaan, Usapang Pangkaunlaran (UP, UP) Pilipinas!”
Program host Col. Gerardo M. Zamudio Jr. invited four guest-engineers to discuss a structural strengthening system; a fabricated wall panel that is stronger than concrete hollow blocks; a reusable plastic panel 100 times more durable than phenolic plywood; and an environment-friendly solution to soil erosion and flood control.
Engr. Nick Policarpio of Sika Philippines introduced to “UP, UP Pilipinas!” the use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer or CFRP, a structural strengthening system used for existing buildings or structures.
One such product is called SikaWrap, which is a unidirectional carbon fiber fabric that is field laminated using Sikadur 300, Sikadur Hex 300/306 or Sikadur 330 epoxy to form around support structures like posts of bridges and suspensions.
“What it does is that SikaWrap enables load increase, deflection reduction, and even blast resistance in such events of impact like seismic activity,” said Policarpio.
“In other cases, SikaWrap can be used for rods and structural modifications in the event of errors or modifications to the design. It also serves the purpose of structural recovery or in repairing mechanical damage, explosion, impact or corrosion,” he added.
As an advantage against conventional remedies like retrofitting with steel rods or plates, the CFRP tensile strength is greater, according to Policarpio.
“CFRP has a low own weight, but its tensile strength is greater than steel plates when used as reinforcement. And it is also easier to cut and faster to install because it requires no other application tools such as drills, screws and hammers. It only requires a simple brush for installation,” he said.
Its performance has already been tested in a number of deteriorated bridges and flyovers in Metro Manila that had been retrofitted using Sikawrap, for additional load resistance, added Policarpio.
Another type of CFRP offered by Sika’ is its product Carbodur, which is used for post-construction reinforcement of buildings and civil engineering structures or elements.
“If our SikaWrap provides compression strength, Carbodur boosts deflection strength and counters shearing stress which we find the ideal for bent structure like in bridges,” Policarpio told listeners of “UP. UP Pilipinas!”
He said Carbodur can be used for beams and slabs that need support and is applied easily with the installation of steel plates.
Meanwhile, an alternative for concrete hollow blocks is fabricated Quickpanel, which can be installed just like building blocks.
Engr. Aaron Gonzales told listeners of “UP, UP Pilipinas!” that this innovation introduced in the construction industry in 2018 was initially designed for internal partitions of houses or buildings.

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