Flexural Behavior of RC Beams Strengthened with Steel-FRCM Composite


This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of the flexural response of reinforced concrete (RC) beams strengthened using externally bonded steel fiber reinforced cementitious matrix (steel-FRCM) composite. Steel-FRCM composite strips were bonded to the tension face of four RC beams, which were tested in four-point bending. Parameters varied were the presence/absence of the external (coating) layer of the matrix, presence/absence of U-wrap anchorages, and loading rate. Results are compared with those from single-lap direct-shear tests conducted on the same composite. The direct-shear tests showed that debonding of steel-FRCM joints is characterized by fiber slippage and fracture of the matrix layer at the internal matrix layer-fiber interface. In the beam tests, the strengthening system increased the yield load by 15–21% relative to the unstrengthened beam. The ratio of the load at which debonding occurred to the load at yielding ranged from 1.11 to 1.19 for each strengthened beam. The load rates employed and the presence of the external matrix layer did not appear to significantly affect the failure mode or the load and midspan displacement at debonding. The presence of the U-wraps helped restrain the peel-off of the composite observed in strengthened beams without the U-wrap, however, they did not restrain the fiber slippage at the ends of the composite, which inhibited composite action. Average values of the maximum fiber strain at composite debonding determined using strain profiles from strain gages, an approximate method, and moment-curvature analysis were 0.54%, 0.73%, and 0.83%, respectively.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bonding; Columns (structural); Concrete beams and girders; Debonding; Fibers; Reinforced concrete; Strengthening (metal); Direct shear test; Experimental investigations; Fiber strain; Flexural strengthening; Mid-span displacements; Moment curvature analysis; Reinforced concrete beams; Strengthening systems; Steel fibers; Composite; Concrete Structure; Flexure; Reinforced concrete; Shear test; Steel structure; Strain; Structural component; Bond; Direct-shear test; Steel-FRCM composite

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Article - Journal

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© 2016 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2016