Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil Engineering


William Davids

Second Committee Member

Roberto Lopez-Anido

Third Committee Member

Eric Landis


The use of reinforced concrete is very common in the construction of a wide variety of structures. In buildings it is used for floors, beams, columns, and walls. It can also be used in infrastructure as parts of bridges, dams, pavements, etc. Typically, concrete is reinforced with steel, primarily rebar, to carry tensile stresses.

Like every other industry, construction is always looking at ways to advance its technology. The work outlined in this thesis looks to assist in that goal, primarily by looking at options for using a different material than the traditional steel reinforcements to create a reinforced concrete system. Steel-reinforced concrete is susceptible to corrosion from being exposed to the elements and chemicals, like salts. Which reinforced concrete structures frequently experience, and in turn jeopardizes the strength and safety of the structure. Ideal reinforcing materials and methods would give a more durable structure without sacrificing any strength. The material determined to best meet these requirements was a continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP), the material selected was a polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETg) thermoplastic reinforced with E-Glass fibers. The work primarily revolved around ways to enhance the reinforcement of concrete bridge decking. This work could easily be adapted for building floors and slabs. In this thesis, the load requirements adopted were for reinforced concrete bridge decking with a stay-in-place formwork, as provided by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.

This thesis outlines the work done towards building a prototype thermoplastic plate that could be used for stay-in-place concrete and contribute towards the tensile reinforcement of the structure. There were three main stages of work that went into this; the first was the creation of a prototype beam that was a hybrid section of concrete, thermoplastic formed as a closed-corrugation section, and rebar. The second stage looked into the secondary processes of bonding already consolidated thermoplastic plates, as well as ways to manipulate the surface. And the final stage was creating a spliced plate of closed-corrugations, resembling a prototype of a stay-in-place formwork for a reinforced concrete bridge deck.