Test of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) anchors



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A study to investigate the behavior of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) anchors was conducted at the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory as part of a project funded by the Texas Department of Transportation, Project number 0-6873. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of GFRP anchors by comparing their performance to that of anchors made from carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). The findings of this research give insight into the advantages and disadvantages of using alternative materials in the design of FRP anchorage systems and provides a means for developing quality control procedures of GFRP anchors. Quantitative comparisons were made between results from beam tests that used GFRP anchors and the results from those that used CFRP anchors. It was found that specimens with GFRP anchors exhibited similar trends to specimens with CFRP anchors. Similarities were achieved in concrete cracking loads, strength capacities, and in some cases duration of force transfer, suggesting that GFRP anchors are equally as effective as CFRP anchors for strength development. However, material differences played a major role in the explanation of GFRP and CFRP behavior. Notable advantages in material handling was observed with the GFRP anchors since the fibers were found to be easier to bend as well as easier to install into drilled anchor holes. On the other hand, the lower tensile strength of GFRP presented a potential need for larger sized anchors to achieve the equivalent strength of a CFRP anchor. Finally, a pull-out failure mode was observed in GFRP anchors that had not been previously observed in CFRP anchors. It was suggested that the pull-out failure mode was a function of differences in deformation capacity between the two materials. However, little information regarding the cause of performance differences demonstrates the need for quality control tests for GFRP anchors. As a result, recommendations for further studies were made.