Shear strengthening of reinforced concrete beams with bi-directional carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips and CFRP anchors



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The use of externally bounded Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) for strengthening existing RC structures has shown promising results. Although CFRP materials have high tensile strength, the ability to utilize that strength is limited by debonding of the CFRP laminates from the concrete surface. In order to prevent or delay debonding, CFRP anchors were used to provide an alternative means of transferring forces from CFRP strips to the concrete. Previous tests on prestressed I-girders strengthened with uni-directional and bi-directional CFRP strips showed that bi-directional CFRP application resulted in significant shear strength gain in comparison to a uni-directional application. The objective of this thesis is to evaluate the behavior of reinforced concrete beams strengthened in shear with bi-directional CFRP strips and CFRP anchors so that the findings from the previous work can be understood and implemented. Four 24 in. deep T-beams were fabricated at the Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin. Eight tests were conducted on these specimens to examine the effect of the bi-directional layout of CFRP on the shear strength. Specimens with 14-in. web width were selected as a part of the experimental program to allow for direct comparison with test results from the previous project. Additional beams with a web width of 8 in. were included to evaluate thinner webs similar to those in the I-girders. Test results indicate a significant increase in shear strength due to the bi-directional application of CFRP strips with CFRP anchors installed on beams with a shear span-to-depth ratio (a/d) of 3. Substantial shear strength gain up to 62% was achieved in beams with 14-in. webs. and up to 43% for beams with 8-in. webs. However, negligible shear strength gain was observed in beams with a/d of 1.5 (deep beams). Experimental test results demonstrate an interaction between the contribution of concrete, transverse steel and CFRP to the shear resistance of a reinforced concrete beam. The findings of this research contribute to a better understanding of the shear behavior of reinforced concrete members strengthened with externally bonded CFRP applied bi-directionally. Experimental results from this research project provide data needed in the field of CFRP shear strengthening since limited data are available on large-scale tests.