Evaluation of post-fire strength of concrete flexural members reinforced with glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars
Owing to their corrosion resistance and superior strength to weight ratio, there has been, over the past two decades, increased interest in the use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcing bars in reinforced concrete structural members. The mechanical behavior of FRP reinforcement differs from that of steel reinforcement. For example, FRP reinforcement exhibit a linear stress-strain behavior until the bar ruptures and the strength, stiffness and bond properties of FRP reinforcement are affected more adversely by elevated temperatures. All structures are subject to the risk of damage by fire and fires continue to be a significant cause of damage to structures. Many structures do not collapse after being exposed to fire. The safety of the structure for any future use is dependent on the ability to accurately estimate the post-fire load capacity of the structure. Assuming that the changes, due to fire exposure, in the mechanical behavior of the GFRP reinforcing bar and concrete, and the bond between the reinforcing bar and the concrete are understood, an analytical procedure for estimating the post-fire strength of GFRP reinforced concrete flexural elements can be developed. This thesis investigates the changes in: a) tensile properties and bond of GFRP bars; and b) the flexural behavior of GFRP reinforced concrete beams flexural after being exposed to elevated temperatures up to 400°C and cooled to ambient temperature. To this end, twelve tensile tests, twelve pullout bond tests and ten four-point beam tests were performed. The data from the tests were used to formulate analytical procedures for evaluating the post-fire strength of GFRP reinforced concrete beams. The procedure produced conservative results when compared with the experimental data. In general, the residual tensile strength and modulus of elasticity of GFRP bars decrease as the exposure temperature increases. The loss in properties is however, smaller than that observed by other researchers when similar bars were tested while hot. The residual bond strength was also found to decrease with increase in exposure temperature. Residual bond mechanism and flexural behavior were found to be influenced, in complex ways, by the exposure to elevated temperatures. Additionally, an apparent "yielding plateau" and an apparent increase in bar ductility was observed in the post-heat behavior of some of the tensile specimens. This points to a potential for heat treatment of FRP bars to achieve higher ductility.
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- Engineering, Civil;Engineering, Materials Science