All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Fouad H Fouad

Advisory Committee Members

Robert W Peters

Talat Salama

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) School of Engineering


Steel-reinforced structural concrete has been used in civil engineering practice for many years. A primary concern with steel-reinforced structural concrete is corrosion. In marine environments, corrosion becomes an important factor and may impact the long-term durability of the conventional steel-reinforced structure. Concrete poles are commonly placed in severe marine or industrial environments that are conducive of corrosion. Traditionally, these poles are reinforced with steel material, which poses the certainty of corrosion and deterioration. Recently, various alternatives to the use of steel reinforcement have been studied. Alternative non-metallic reinforcement will increase the lifespan of the product, reduce maintenance needs, and result in a product that is more versatile and sustainable. Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcement demonstrates most of the advantages of steel reinforcement with few of the drawbacks. It is non-corrosive, non-magnetic, non-conductive, lightweight, and durable. Also, its availability and cost comparison to other steel reinforcement alternatives, such as carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) reinforcement, give it the potential economical advantage in civil engineering applications. This research work experimentally and analytically studied the flexural behavior of GFRP reinforced spun concrete poles. Four test specimens were designed and manufactured for the experimental portion of the research. During the testing of each pole, certain parameters were investigated: cracking and ultimate moment, deflection, crack width and spacing, and failure mode. The analytical portion of the study used equations found in the literature to calculate the theoretical cracking and ultimate moment capacities. The calculation of the cracking moment capacity was computed using the elastic theory. The ultimate moment capacity was predicted based on strain compatibility and the internal force equilibrium. The results and performance of these poles were compared to those of the traditional steel-reinforced prestressed spun concrete poles, and to those of the spun concrete poles reinforced with CFRP. The results were also compared to recommended practical serviceability considerations for concrete poles. Lastly, a cost comparison analysis was performed among the three reinforcing materials considered in this study.

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