Reinforced concrete beams externally retrofitted with advanced composites
This study investigates the effect of externally bonded carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates on the ductility of reinforced concrete beams used in the repair of damaged bridge structures. Reinforced concrete structures deteriorate over time due to environmental aging, fatigue, excessive loading, chemical attack, and other factors. Strengthening and rehabilitating these concrete structures by externally bonding carbon laminates is one of many economical engineering solutions. Eight rectangular beams with varying internal steel reinforcement were retrofitted with CFRP strips on the tension faces and tested under four-point bending. The beams were instrumented to monitor strains, deflection, and curvature over the entire spectrum of loading, and determine the structural response of the beams. An existing analytical model using the discrete yield and ultimate values of the load-deflection and moment-curvature curves was modified to an energy-based model, and used to predict the ductility of the beams. Numerical results indicated an increase in strength, a decrease in ductility, and validated the analytical model. Ultimately, this study will aid in the development of design guidelines governing the use of CFRP.
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