Three former Lethbridge College civil engineering technology students have received concrete proof that their project stands out from others. The team investigated whether or not the addition of polypropylene fibers to concrete can help protect it from cracking or deterioration. Lane Roggensack, Robert Beerda and Brett Porter have been named finalists of the Capstone Project of the Year Award.
Roggensack says in construction, rebar is often added to concrete to increase the strength. However, it cannot add strength to the exposed edges of concrete. As a result, cracks can form along those edges, allowing water to infiltrate the concrete and corrode the rebar reinforcement. The project was part of the team’s end-of-term project.
However, the end result didn’t go as planned. The concrete beams with fibres split in half during a pressure test, proving samples with rebar are stronger. But, Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET), CEO, Barry Cavanaugh says that didn’t take the group out of contention for becoming finalists.
The team’s project is one of seven finalists named by ASET for the Capstone Project of the Year Award. The winning project will be announced in November .