Canarsie tunnel finishedTunnels play an essential role in our day-to-day lives due to their importance in the mass transit and utility industries. Commuters in large metropolitan areas depend on tunnels for efficient and lower cost transportation. However, many are aging, and those built with concrete and steel materials deteriorate in the damp environment. Repairing them is a difficult undertaking and can have a major impact on the lives of public users. For example, the tight spaces and harsh conditions in which they were built make repairs and reinforcement with traditional materials more expensive in terms of time and money. Fortunately, Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) is an excellent alternative to conventional tunnel construction materials. 

Why Use FRP for Tunnel Applications?

There are many advantages to using FRP as a reinforcement material for tunnels such as: 

  • Design Flexibility FRP can be custom molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. This design flexibility can be leveraged to produce reinforcement components that encase damaged tunnel sections, meaning time and money will not have to be completely spent on demolishing and rebuilding them. 
  • FireStrong™ The makeup of FRP can also be tailored to suit non-combustible applications. For tunnels, repair panels can be made with a phenolic resin that ensures the final material is non-combustible. This FireStrong quality is essential in confined spaces where the outbreak of fire and smoke could lead to catastrophic consequences.
  • Lightweight Limited access for heavy construction equipment and handling parts means that lightweight FRP parts are the right solution. In many cases, repair parts to be erected can be manually carried inside elevators or up and down flights of stairs.  
  • Non-slip Surface Non-slip surfaces can be shop-applied to parts to enhance safety for maintenance personnel and emergency evacuation of transit passengers.

How is FRP Used in Tunnels?

FRP can be used for many purposes in tunnel projects. For example: 

  • FRP Reinforcement Panels Deteriorating concrete tunnel walls results in spalling which causes concrete pieces to fall on rail tracks. FRP panels are molded to the tunnel's contours, hand carried into the tunnel, and bolted over the concrete. A great example is the repair of Canarsie Tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The FRP solution prevented a 15 month shutdown that would have had disastrous economic effects.  Learn more about the Canarsie Tunnel case study.  
  • FRP Plenum Plates Ceiling plates provide an air plenum cavity for ventilation. Lightweight FRP plates minimize construction effort and attachment structures.  
  • FRP Reinforcement Bars FRP is corrosion resistant, which makes it ideal for rebar used in tunnel structures as they are often exposed to corrosive compounds and other harsh environmental conditions.    

Contact the FRP Experts for Your Tunnel Reinforcement Needs Today

Looking to use FRP materials in your next tunnel construction project? Partner with the experts at Creative Composites Group! Equipped with extensive experience in providing engineered FRP parts and products for mass transit applications, we can help you select and source a solution that meets your exact needs. To learn more about our product and service offerings and how they can benefit you, contact us today. To discuss your project requirements with one of our representatives, request a quote.

FRP Materials from Creative Composites Group

With the right combination of resin, fiber, and additives, you can create the FRP material that's best for your application. To ensure your product performs optimally for as long as possible, it's essential to make informed choices about materials and processes.

Creative Composites Group is a team of U.S.-based composites companies dedicated to offering the best engineered solutions for our clients. With years of experience customizing FRPs for a wide range of applications, we can help you determine the best materials and manufacturing process to meet your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about our FRP solutions, or request a quote for your next project.

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