Engineers Australia

Use of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) as an alternative material in permanent ground anchors

Matthew Sentry, Abdelmalek Bouazza, Riadh Al-Mahaidi, Darren Loidl, Chris Bluff and Len Carrigan


Steel tendon ground anchors are an integral construction technique for numerous civil engineering applications ranging from deep excavation support to resistance of structural uplift and overturning of superstructures. Failures of steel strand ground anchor systems are rare but, when they occur, corrosion and human error are the primary reason. Several methods of minimising anchor system corrosion have been adopted over time to minimise ingress of corrosive substances. However, anchors are still failing due to corrosion. Advancement in the development of corrosion resistant materials has been at the forefront of materials research. In this respect, research and development of FRP materials is enabling the progress of providing the industry with a more potentially robust anchor system aimed at eliminating current limitations encountered with steel strand ground anchors.

This paper provides an overview of current best practices for the application of permanent ground anchors and investigates the current developments in FRP materials for ground anchor applications as an alternative to conventional steel tendon ground anchors. The paper also provides insight into known areas where further research is required to assist the introduction of FRP ground anchors into standards.