Behaviour of GFRP prestressed concrete straps
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Steel straps are being used for confinement purposes of steel-free bridge deck slab. The objective of this study was to use GFRP prestressed concrete straps as an alternative to steel straps, and assess the effect of the alkaline concrete environment on the long-term performance of GFRP. Each strap was 160 x100 mm2 in cross section, 2000 mm in length and pre-tensioned with two 16 mm diameter GFRP strands. The experimental study included testing three sets of concrete straps, pre-stressed at 35%, 45%, and 55% of ultimate strength of GFRP. The straps were tested in tension after being subjected to temperatures from -25oC to +40 oC in an environmental chamber. Another two sets of straps were cast and tested two and a half years later. The control and conditioned samples achieved comparable results proving that GFRP can withstand prestressing levels higher than 25% and up to 35% of their ultimate strength.