Effect of FRP Anchors on the FRP Rehabilitation of Shear Critical RC Beams and Flexure Critical RC Slabs
Baggio, Daniel Frank
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The use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites as a repair and strengthening material for reinforced concrete (RC) members has increased over the past twenty years. The tendency for FRP sheets to debond at loads below their ultimate capacity has prompted researchers to investigate various approaches and designs to increase the efficiency of FRP strengthening systems. Various anchors, wrapping techniques and clamps have been explored to postpone and/or delay the debonding process which results in premature failure. FRP anchors are of particular interest because they can be selected to have the same material properties as the FRP sheets that are installed for strengthening or repair of the RC member and can be done so using the same adhesives and installation techniques. This research study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of using commercially manufactured FRP anchors to secure FRP sheets installed to strengthen and repair RC beams in shear and RC slabs in flexure. Twenty one shear critical RC beams were strengthened in shear with u-wrapped FRP sheets and FRP anchors. Eight RC one-way slabs were strengthened in flexure with FRP sheets and FRP anchors. The test variables include the type of FRP sheets (GFRP,CFRP), type of FRP anchors (CFRP, GFRP) and the strengthening configuration. The test results of the shear critical RC beams revealed that the installation of commercially manufactured FRP anchors to secure externally applied u-wrap FRP sheets improved the shear behaviour of the strengthened beam. The installation of FRP anchors to secure u-wrapped FRP sheets provided an average 15% increase in the shear strength over companion unanchored beams and improved the ductility of failure experienced with the typical shear failure in beams. The use of FRP anchors allowed the FRP sheets to develop their tensile capacity. Premature failure by FRP debonding was eradicated with the presence of FRP anchors and the failure modes of the strengthened beams with FRP anchors was altered when compared to the companion unanchored beam. Additionally, as the width of a u-wrapped FRP sheet was increased; larger increases in strength were obtained when FRP anchors were used. The test results of the flexure critical RC slabs revealed that the installation of commercially manufactured FRP anchors to secure externally applied u-wrapped FRP sheets improved the behaviour of strengthened slabs. Installation of FRP anchors to secure flexural FRP sheets provided an average 17% increase in strength over companion unanchored beams. The use of FRP anchors allowed the FRP sheets to develop their full tensile strength. Premature failure by CFRP debonding was not eliminated with the presence of FRP anchors; rather the critical failure zone was shifted from the bottom soffit of the slab to the concrete/steel rebar interface. The failure modes of slabs with FRP anchors were altered for all specimens when compared to the companion unanchored slab. The effective strain in the FRP sheet was predicted and compared with the experimental results. The efficiency of FRP anchors defined as the ratio of effective strain in the FRP sheet with and without anchors was related to the increase in strength in beams and slabs. A good correlation was established between the FRP anchor efficiency and the increase in strength. A step-by-step FRP anchor installation procedure was developed and a model to predict the number of FRP anchors required to secure a FRP sheet was proposed. This is the most comprehensive examination of beams and slabs strengthened with FRP sheets and FRP anchors conducted to date. This study provides an engineer with basic understanding of the mechanics, behaviour and failure modes of beams and slabs strengthened with FRP sheets and anchors.