Experimental Study on Splice Strength of Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Reinforcing Bars in Normal and Self-Consolidating Concrete


This study investigated the effect of several parameters on the bond behavior of spliced glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcing bars in self-consolidating concrete (SCC) and normal concrete (NC). A total of 21 full-scale reinforced concrete (RC) beams were tested under four-point bending up to failure. Six influential design Code parameters were investigated, specifically concrete type, casting position, casting height, splice length, beam height, and longitudinal reinforcement type. The experimental results and observations reveal that the SCC and NC beams behaved similarly in terms of failure load, crack pattern, failure mode, and load-deflection response. The bond strength of the spliced bars in the SCC beams was slightly lower than that of the NC. The SCC beams exhibited lower reductions in bond strength than the NC beams due to the casting-position effect. In addition, the experimental findings confirm that the top-bar factor of 1.3, recommended in current design codes, can provide adequate safety margins for GFRP-reinforced NC and SCC beams with a splice length of 40db. Furthermore, the threshold depth of 305 mm (12 in.) provided in current design codes and guidelines appears to be reasonably safe.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the NSERC Research Chair in Innovative FRP Reinforcement for Concrete Structures, the Fonds de la recherche du Quebec en nature et technologies (FRQ-NT), and the Quebec Ministry of Transportation.

Keywords and Phrases

Bond strength; Casting position effect; Glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcing bar; Lap splicing; Self-consolidating concrete (SCC); Top-bar factor

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 American Concrete Institute (ACI), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2019