FRP composites for prefabricated construction of floating and building structures

Land shortage is a significant challenge facing many coastal cities such as Hong Kong. An attractive solution to address this challenge is to seek help from the sea through the construction of very large floating structures (VLFS). For traditional floating structures, conventional steel-reinforced concrete (RC) structures, constructed of normal concrete and steel have been commonly used. However, steel or RC floating structures may suffer from steel corrosion in the marine environment and should be avoided if possible. Thus, research on the construction of floating structures with emerging high-performance materials is of great importance to enable coastal cities to benefit effectively from the space and resources offered by oceans.


FRP composites, due to its high strength to weight ratio, immunity to corrosion and good designability, have excellent potential in use for VLFS. Our group is now exploring the combined use of FRP composites and new types of cementitious composites (e.g., ultra-high performance concrete) for sustainable prefabricated construction of VLFS. In addition, experimental and analytical studies are also being conducted on sea-sand filled FRP tubular sea wall systems, use of FRP cables with suction anchors for the mooring system of VLFS, and use of FRP sheet piles for retaining walls (Fig.4.1), to take advantages of the high strength and non-corrosive properties of FRP materials. Another important dimension of using FRP composites for new construction in our group is prefabricated sandwich wall panel with FRP (e.g., basalt FRP) as structural reinforcements and shear connectors, to improve the structural and thermal efficiency of building concrete walls. Through the innovative use of FRP-enabled structural forms, it is expected that more cost-effective and sustainable building construction can be achieved (Fig.4.2).

Fig.4.1 Use of FRP composites in VLFS
Fig.4.2 Use of FRP composites in prefabricated building construction

 Selected Publications

  1. Zheng, J.J., Chen, S.P., Peng, K.D. and Dai, J.G.* (2022), Novel FRP micro-bar reinforced UHPC permanent formwork for circular columns: Concept and compressive behavior, Composite Structures, 285, 115368(DOI)

  2. Huang, B.T., Zhu, J.X., Weng, K.F., Huang, J.Q.* and Dai, J.G.* (2022), Prefabricated UHPC-Concrete-ECC Underground Utility Tunnel Reinforced by Perforated Steel Plate: Experimental and Numerical Investigations, Case Studies in Construction Materials, 16, e00856,  (DOI)

  3. Kumar, S., Chen, B., Xu, Y. and Dai, J.G.* (2022), Axial-flexural behavior of FRP grid-reinforced geopolymer concrete sandwich wall panels enabled with FRP connectors, Journal of Building Engineering, 47, 103907. (DOI)

  4. Huang, J.Q., S., Xu, Y., Huang, H. and Dai, J.G.* (2022), Structural behavior of FRP connector enabled precast geopolymer concrete sandwich panels subjected to one-side fire exposure, Fire Safety Journal, 128, 103524. (DOI)

  5. Wei, P., Liu, Y., Dai, J.G., Li Z., Xu Y. (2021), Structural Design for Modular Integrated Construction with Parameterized Level Set-Based Topology Optimization Method, Structures, 31: 1265-1277. (DOI)

  6. Kumar, S., Chen, B.Q., Xu, Y.Y. and Dai, J.G.* (2021), Structural Behavior of FRP Grid-Reinforced Geopolymer Concrete Sandwich Wall Panels Subjected to Concentric Axial Loading, Composite Structures, 114117 (DOI)

  7. Huang, B.T., Dai, J.G.*, Weng, K.F., Zhu, J.X. and Shah, Surendra P. (2021), Flexural Performance of UHPC-Concrete-ECC Composite Member Reinforced with Perforated Steel Plates, ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 147(6),  (DOI)

  8. Huang, J.-Q., Dai, J.G.* (2020). Flexural Performance of Precast Geopolymer Concrete Sandwich Panel Enabled by FRP Connector. Composite Structures. 248, 112563. (DOI)

  9. Huang, J.Q. and Dai, J.G.* (2019), Direct Shear Tests of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Connectors for Use in Precast Concrete Sandwich Panels, Composites Structures, 207: 136-147. (DOI)

  10. Long, Y.L., Li, W.T., Dai, J.G.* and Gardner, L.* (2018), Experimental Study of Concrete-Filled CHS Stub Columns with Inner FRP Tubes, Thin-Wall Structures, 122: 606-621. (DOI)

Selected Projects:

  • RGC Research Impact Fund 2018/2019 Round, Co-PI, Study of Super-fast Large-area Economical Marine Reclamations for Housing and Infrastructural Developments in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, HK$9,876,160, Project code: R5037-18, PI: Prof JH Yin (PolyU).

  • RGC GRF 2017/2018 Round, PI, Prefabricated Ultra-high-performance Concrete Sandwich Walls with Tubular FRP Connectors, HK$582,000, Project Code: 15214517.

  • CIC Fund 2014 Round, PI, Development of Precast BFRP Grid-Reinforced Geopolymer Sandwich Wall Panels for Green Building Construction, HK$1,265,000, Project code: K-ZJK2, Co-I: Prof. K.F. Chung (PolyU).

  • RISUD Strategy Focus Area Project, High-Performance Materials and Structural Elements for Sustainable Floating Structures, 05/2018~05/2021, HK$2500,000, Co-PIs: Prof JG Teng, Prof CS Poon, Prof YQ Ni and Dr ZY Yin (PolyU). 

Dai Group on Sustainable
           Concrete Infrastructure
                         -Emerging Materials and Structural Systems