Punching shear behaviour of FRP-reinforced concrete interior slab-column connections
Flat slab-column connections are common elements in reinforced concrete (RC) structures such as parking garages. In cold weather regions, these structures are exposed to de-icing salts and aggressive environments. Using fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) bars instead of steel in such structures will overcome the corrosion problems associated with steel reinforcement. However, the available literature shows few studies to evaluate the behaviour of FRP-RC interior slab-column connections tested mainly under concentric loads, which seldom occurs in a real building. The main objectives of this research are to deal with this gap by investigating the behaviour of full-scale glass (G) FRP-RC interior slab-column connections subjected to eccentric load and to provide design recommendations for such type of connections. This study consisted of two phases, experimental and analytical. The experimental phase included the construction and testing of ten full-scale interior slab-column connections. The parameters investigated in the experimental phase were flexural reinforcement ratio, concrete compressive strength, type of the reinforcement, moment-to-shear ratio and the spacing between the shear stud reinforcement. Test results revealed that increasing the GFRP reinforcement ratio or the concrete strength increased the connection capacity. Moreover, compared to the control steel-RC specimen, the GFRP-RC connection with similar reinforcement rigidity showed comparable capacity and deflection at failure. Also, increasing the moment-to-shear ratio resulted in a reduction in the vertical load capacity, while using the shear stud reinforcement enhanced the strength up to 23%. In the analytical phase, a 3-D finite element model (FEM) was constructed using specialized software. The constructed FEM was able to predict the experimental results within a reasonable accuracy. The verified FEM was then used to conduct a parametric study to evaluate the effects of perimeter-to-depth ratio, column aspect ratio, slab thickness and a wide range of flexural reinforcement ratio. The numerical results showed that increasing the reinforcement ratio increased the connection capacity. In addition, increasing the perimeter-to-depth ratio and slab thickness reduced the punching shear stresses at failure, while, the effect of the column rectangularity diminished for a ratio greater than three. Moreover, the results showed prominent agreement with the experimental results from literature.