Corrosion-Resistant Rebar and Dowel used for Rotterdam Port Upgrade
The Port of Rotterdam, Europe's oldest and busiest, serves as a crucial hub for European maritime traffic. In a monumental upgrade, engineers specified corrosion-resistant rebar and dowels, ensuring enduring structural integrity whilst minimizing the need for disruptive maintenance in the future.
Glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebar and dowels are ideal for heavy-load applications, particularly in areas where corrosion risk and strength are paramount concerns. Mateenbar™ rebar and Mateendowel™ were chosen to guarantee the longest life cycle and high durability, meeting the demands of the port's heavily trafficked and load-bearing zones.
Rotterdam Port at a Glance
- Operates 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Covers a total area of 12,464 hectares.
- Manages approximately 30,000 ships and 105,000 inland water vessels annually.
- Features depths ranging from 24 to 26 meters in various areas.
- Accounts for 8.2% of the Netherlands’ gross domestic product (GDP).
Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Rebar for Concrete AGV Pathways
A critical aspect of the upgrade involved constructing concrete slabs to facilitate the movement of Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs). Several key considerations were taken into account.
Corrosion Risk Mitigation: Exposure to atmospheric moisture and saltwater, leading to chloride ingress, is typical in seawater ports worldwide. Humidity, temperature, air pollution, and exposure to liquids or chemicals also need to be considered in the port environment.
Glass fiber-reinforced polymer rebar and dowels were selected to improve concrete longevity in the highly corrosive port environment.
Vibration Management: The movement of AGVs can impose vibrations that may impact structural integrity over time. Rigorous testing ensured that the slabs could withstand the movement and loads of the AGVs.
Load Bearing Capacity: The concrete slabs were designed to manage the weight of heavy AGVs and cargo loads.
Reduced Maintenance and Increased Whole-of-life Cost Savings: Minimizing disruptions and associated costs was paramount in the upgrade process. By utilizing corrosion-resistant rebar and dowels, the long-term costs of maintenance and repairs were significantly reduced.
Advantages of Corrosion-Resistant Rebar and Dowels in a Port Environment
Corrosion-resistant GFRP rebar emerged as an optimal choice for the project, offering a range of superior advantages compared to traditional concrete materials.
Corrosion-resistance: The use of GFRP concrete reinforcement significantly extended the structural lifespan and minimized maintenance costs. Mateenbar™ provided robust protection against corrosion, ensuring the longevity of the concrete slabs.
Lightweight Properties: The GFRP rebar and dowel were easier to handle saving labor, and more economical to transport.
Electromagnetic Transparency: The non-conductive nature of GFRP rebars proved vital for electronic communication systems within the port. Unlike traditional steel rebars, GFRP rebar does not interfere with sensitive electronic equipment. The non-conductive nature of Mateenbar™ and composite dowels ensures seamless communication and operation of any sensitive electronic equipment.
Long-Term Durability: GFRP rebars exhibited low maintenance requirements, rendering them ideal for critical infrastructure in the demanding port environment.
Low Maintenance Requirements: The durable nature of GFRP rebars minimizes the need for ongoing maintenance, enhancing long-term performance.
Speed of Installation: The Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Dowel Advantage
GFRP dowels offer distinct advantages compared to any other type of dowel. They are designed to provide excellent load transfer across expansion joints between slabs.
Designed with low bond strength, they do not require greasing or other preparation methods. This makes installation faster and more efficient.
GFRP Delivers a Stronger and Safer Port
The integration of Mateenbar™ corrosion-resistant rebar and GFRP dowel has future-proofed the Port of Rotterdam. The port can operate to its full potential without disruptive maintenance or early repairs to its concrete pathways, providing peace of mind for the Port of Rotterdam and its workers.
By replacing steel rebar and dowel with glass fiber-reinforced polymer infrastructure solutions, Europe’s busiest port is well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future.