At the recently held American Concrete Institute Fall Convention in Toronto, Canada, Oct. 21-23, the ACI Committee 440 – FRP Reinforcement initiated big strides to start a difficult process to create a “FRP Code” for FRP Rebar that is similar to ACI 318.  ACI 318 is the reinforced concrete code that is used to build anything with reinforced concrete in buildings and structures.  The development of a code for FRP rebar has huge implications to the construction of buildings as the International Code Council’s – International Building Code (IBC) cites ACI 318 in the model code that is adopted by local building codes.  Citation of materials and products in the IBC allows building officials to accept those facilities made from reinforced concrete to be approved automatically.

Here is where the hard work starts.  ACI Committee 440 agreed at the main committee meeting to follow the outline of ACI 318-14 and use the existing chapters and text as it relates to the FRP Rebar Code.  By doing this, it is anticipated that public comments would be kept to a minimum.  ACI Committee 440 also agreed to only change existing code text as needed to reflect FRP.  The goal is to have the draft code in the hands of the ACI Technical Activities Committee by the fall of 2014, so that it can be vetted and introduced in 2015 which is the time that the changes to the IBC 2018 model code are reviewed.  Assuming all goes well in the process, by 2018, there will be a stand alone code for FRP rebar that is similar to ACI 318.

Regarding the work of the FRP code, the chapters that are planned are as follows:

  • Chapter 1 – General
  • Chapter 2 – Notations and Definitions
  • Chapter 3 – Referenced Standards
  • Chapter 4 – Systems
  • Chapter 5 – Concrete: Design and Durability Requirements
  • Chapter 6 – FRP Reinforcement Properties and Cover
  • Chapter 7 – Structural Analysis
  • Chapter 8 – Sectional Strength
  • Chapter 9 – Serviceability
  • Chapter 10 – One-way slabs
  • Chapter 11 – Two-way slabs
  • Chapter 12 – Beams
  • Chapter 13 – Columns (new for FRP)
  • Chapter 14 – Joints and Connections (new for FRP)
  • Chapter 15 – Diaphragms and collectors
  • Chapter 16 – Reinforcement Details
  • Chapter 17 – Construction Documents and Construction Requirements

If one were to compare to the existing ACI 318, the chapters missing include:

  • Loads (will put in with general to get loads from ASCE-7)
  • Walls
  • Foundations
  • Discontinuity Regions (i.e. deep beams)
  • Anchoring to Concrete
  • Earthquake
  • Formwork
  • Strength Evaluation
  • Plain Concrete

ACI Committee 440 has its work cut out for them because there are design code gaps in information as follows:

  • Interfacing FRP with Steel reinforced concrete
  • Deep beams/strut and tie
  • Integrity reinforcement
  • Shear friction
  • Composite action
  • Joints
  • Columns

However, the good news is that ACI Staff are behind the development of a design code for FRP rebars.  Since the first design specifications developed by ACI Committee 440 in 1999, FRP rebar has always lead the charge as an example for other FRP products used in concrete to follow.  This will have applications to prestress (tendons).