Behaviour of continuous concrete beams reinforced with FRP bars
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The non-corrodible nature of FRP bars along with their high strength, light weight and ease of installation made it attractive as reinforcement especially for structures exposed to aggressive environment. In addition, the transparency of FRP bars to magnetic and electrical fields makes them an ideal alternative to traditional steel reinforcement in applications sensitive to electromagnetic fields such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units. Continuous concrete beams are commonly-used elements in structures such as parking garages and overpasses, which might be exposed to extreme weather conditions and the application of de-icing salts. In such structures, using the non-corrodible FRP bars is a viable alternative to avoid steel-corrosion problems. However, the linear-elastic behaviour of FRP materials makes the ability of continuous beams to redistribute loads and moments questionable. The objective of this research project is to investigate the flexural behaviour of continuous concrete beams reinforced with FRP and their capability of moment redistribution. An experimental program was conducted at the University of Manitoba to realize the research objectives. Ten full-scale continuous concrete beams were constructed and tested to failure in the laboratory. The specimens had a rectangular cross-section of 200×300 mm and continuous over two spans of 2,800 mm each. The main investigated parameters were the amount and material of longitudinal reinforcement, the amount and material of transverse reinforcement and the spacing of used stirrups. The experimental results showed that moment redistribution in FRP-reinforced continuous concrete beams is possible if the reinforcement configuration is chosen properly, and is improved by increasing the amount of transverse reinforcement. A finite element investigation was conducted using ANSYS-software. A 3-D model was created to simulate the behaviour of continuous beams reinforced with FRP. The model was verified against the experimental results obtained from the present study. This verified model was used to investigate the effect of the concrete compressive strength, longitudinal reinforcement ratio, midspan-to-middle support reinforcement ratio and the amount of transverse reinforcement on the behaviour of FRP-reinforced beams. The analytical results of this parametric investigation along with the experimental results were used to propose an allowable limit for moment redistribution in FRP-reinforced continuous concrete beams.