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Новости/Аналитика

For the first time in the USA, bridge repair is done with hemp

08.11.2019

The KY 32 flyover pylons were the first structural elements of bridges repaired with hemp fibers in the United States . The use of CatStrong fabric has demonstrated the feasibility of using hemp fiber as a reinforcing fabric . The above technology was made possible by a project team of researchers at the University of Kentucky ( University then of Kentucky You) to strengthen the state of aging bridges, headed by Issam Harika (Issam Harik). 

Issam Harik, a professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky, is leading a project to use the physical properties of hemp fibers in bridge building, which is part of a larger project to study the use of reinforced fibers from polymer composites in the repair / construction of bridges, as well as the construction / reconstruction of buildings.

According to Mr. Harim, “Hemp is a biodegradable raw material and has a small carbon footprint. In addition, hemp fibers have a huge number of advantages as an environmentally friendly, inexpensive and extremely durable building material . Despite the huge number of advantages, the plant has several disadvantages - incompatibility with existing resins, the complexity of production processes, as well as the seasonality of obtaining raw materials. However, all the aforementioned disadvantages of hemp fiber for the construction of bridges are not critical and a significant part of them can be eliminated in the course of ongoing research or planned for the next few years . " That is why a professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky is optimistic about the potential of hemp fibers as an excellent ingredient for the CatStrong material he created.

Features of hemp fiber technology during bridge reconstruction

The special composition of the two-component resin is applied to the surface of the reinforced bridge support. CatStrong reinforced fabric is applied to the above “adhesive” component , which is subsequently coated with another layer of special paste. After completion of work, the reinforcing reinforcing layer of the bridge support gains 80% of its structural qualities over the course of 24 hours, gradually “solidifying”. In the course of this kind of simple construction operations, not only is the possibility of a significant strengthening of bridge supports, but also the use of taxpayer funds is optimized while significantly improving the infrastructure.

The KY 32 flyover pylons were the first structural elements of bridges repaired with hemp fibers in the United States . The use of CatStrong fabric has demonstrated the feasibility of using hemp fiber as a reinforcing fabric . The above technology was made possible by a project team of researchers at the University of Kentucky ( University then of Kentucky You) to strengthen the state of aging bridges, headed by Issam Harika (Issam Harik). 

Commentary of the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association

Using flexible fabrics , flexible panels, and carbon or natural fiber wrappers , CatStrong has already successfully restored more than 35 overpasses by reinforcing beams, columns, piles and walls of load-bearing structures of various bridge crossings. The use of this kind of durable elastic fabric to strengthen the elements of bridges gives impressive results due to the simplicity and effectiveness of their use.

Since 1994, Mr. Kharik has been leading a group of students exploring the possibilities of using composites reinforced with synthetic and natural fibers for repair / construction / reconstruction of bridges and various types of structures. Thanks to funding from the Department of Defense, the Federal Highway Administration, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the National Academy and the State Science and Technology Foundation, a team of talented students led by him developed innovative products called CatStrong, which have been heavily used in the construction business over the past few years , including for restoration of bridges.

CatStrong rolled panels and fabrics currently have varying strengths. As part of an experimental study, the group repaired piles on the KY 32 bridge over Blaine Creek in Lawrence County, using hemp - for the first time noting that natural fiber was used as a building material to repair the bridge crossing support.

After such a successful experiment on the use of natural fibers , it was decided that CatStrong materials can be made not based on epoxy resins, but on the basis of natural ingredients that will make it possible to produce fully plant biodegradable, flexible, light and reusable fabrics that can be most efficiently will be applied during modern construction .

In our country, there are positive examples of the construction / reconstruction / warming of buildings and structures made of hemp-based building materials . In particular, the head of Hempire Sergey Kovalenkov will tell about the experience of building and warming various buildings and structures at the round table “ Hemp raw materials - technologies for its use in construction, production of biocomposite materials and furniture ” . The event will be held as part of the " Hemp University ". The next training course will be held from December 16 to 17. During the second day of classes, students will take part in the round table " Use of cannabinoids in the treatment of severe / chronic diseases ."

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