FLEXURAL PERFORMANCE OF RC BEAMS STRENGTHENED WITH PRESTRESSED CFRP SHEETS

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1 FLEXURAL PERFORMANCE OF RC BEAMS STRENGTHENED WITH PRESTRESSED CFRP SHEETS Piyong Yu, Pedro F. Silva, Antonio Nanni Center for Infrastructure and Engineering Studies Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering University of Missouri-Rolla Rolla, MO, ABSTRACT A mechanical device for prestressing carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) sheets and its application for the flexural strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) beams are discussed in this paper. Significant features of this mechanical device are that the CFRP sheets can be anchored directly to the mechanical device, and prestressing forces can be applied manually without the need for hydraulic jacks. The physical principle behind this mechanical device relies on: (1) prestressing a CFRP sheet that is initially straight and anchored between two points; and (2) applying a small uplift displacement at two other points that are located at a small distance away from the anchoring points. In this manner, the force necessary to create the uplift displacement can be in the order of 1 times smaller than the force required to impose the initial prestressing on the CFRP sheets, and the uplift force may be imposed without the need for hydraulic jacks. Test results showed that the manual mechanical device proved to be practical and safe for prestressing CFRP sheets. Moreover, there is no limit for its application to other types of FRP systems. In this research program, three reinforced concrete (RC) beams were tested to investigate the feasibility of this concept for flexural strengthening. One of the beams was retrofitted with one prestressed CFRP sheet, another was also retrofitted with a CFRP sheet but it was left unprestressed, and the third beam was used as the control beam. The three RC beams were then tested to ultimate condition under a four-point loading test setup. Test results showed that after strengthening with the prestressed CFRP sheet, flexural strength and serviceability of the retrofitted RC beam was increased significantly. KEY WORDS: Carbon Fiber, Composite Material, Reinforced Concrete 1. INTRODUCTION Strengthening of RC members with a prestressing FRP system generally falls into three categories that include: (1) a cambered beam system, (2) a system that applies tension to the FRP sheets against an independent external reaction frame, and (3) a system that tensions the FRP sheets against the strengthened beam itself (El-Hacha and Elbadry 21). Each of these methods includes three phases to achieve the desired level of prestressing in the sheets. First, the prestress is applied with a hydraulic jack or another device. Second, the sheets are bonded to concrete

2 surface of RC members with an adhesive. Finally, after the adhesive has properly cured, the sheets are cut near the ends and the prestressing device is removed. The prestress level in the FRP is critical in order to guarantee the strengthening system does not fail near the anchorage zones when the prestressing force is released (Quantrill and Hollaway 1998). Many methods have been explored to achieve prestressing in FRP sheets/laminates, but no standard method is available. Recently Raafat et al (21) have developed an innovative system to prestress FRP sheets. According to this concept, the mechanical system is fixed on a structure for field application. On another research project, Piyong et al (23) have indirectly prestressed one CFRP sheet by bending a RC slab through two steel cables. The CFRP sheet was bonded to the slab in the deformed position on the tension side. The sheet was prestressed when the force on the steel cables was released and the prestressing device was removed after the epoxy cured. These are two of the methods cited in the literature. However, in any system, one of the key issues for prestressing FRP sheets is the anchoring of the sheet itself while the prestressing is underway. Anchorage of FRP sheets is typically accomplished by bonding FRP sheets to steel plates with a polymeric resin. The bonding strength is a function of many factors including: thickness of the epoxy; type of adhesive and fiber sheet; surface preparation of the steel plate; and length of the joint. (Teng et al 22) These issues are relevant to the study at hand and were considered in this research program. A new mechanical device, made of one steel beam, was developed in this program for prestressing FRP sheets. The mechanical device features a simple way to anchor the FRP sheets and to apply the prestressing force. The sheets were bonded to removable steel plates, which were fixed to the mechanical device by threaded rods and nuts. The prestressing force was applied manually by twisting the steel nuts, which were tightened against the mechanical device. In this research program, three RC beams were tested under a four-point loading test setup. With exception of the control specimen, two of the beams were strengthened with one-ply CFRP sheet, but only one beam was strengthened with a prestressed CFRP sheet. In this last beam, the CFRP sheet was prestressed up to 15% of its ultimate strength. However, higher stresses could be applied if necessary without incurring in damage to the mechanical device or the CFRP sheet itself. The mechanical components of this device along with its assemblage and application, and flexural behavior of the control and strengthened beams are discussed in this paper. Test results indicate that the beam retrofitted with the prestressed CFRP sheet exhibited a capacity 65% greater than the control specimen, and 3% greater than the beam retrofitted with the unprestressed CFRP sheet. In addition, the ultimate deflection of both of the strengthened beams was reduced by approximately 3%, as compared to the control beam. 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESTRESSING DEVICE 2.1 Anchorage and Loading Regions The main components of the mechanical device, its assemblage and application are discussed in this section. As presented in Figures 1 and 2, the mechanical device consists of one continuous steel beam and four regions, comprising of two anchoring and two loading regions, respectively. The anchorage regions consists of: (1) a removable steel plate, to anchor the impregnated CFRP sheets, and (2) a fixed steel plate, to hold the removable steel plate and bonded sheets through steel bolts and nuts.

3 The loading regions consist of: (1) one steel strip, to support and achieve the desired prestress in the CFRP sheets, (2) two threaded rods (symmetric to the center line of the cross section), welded to the steel strip and used to raise the steel strip, (3) two steel nuts (symmetric to the same line), placed around the threaded rods and tightened against the steel beam, to prestress the CFRP sheets manually with a wrench, and (4) two thrust bearings (symmetrical to the same line), used to decrease friction between the steel nuts and the steel beam. Removable plate Fixed plate CFRP sheet Steel strip Nut Bearing Threaded rods Loading region Anchorage region Figure 1 Main Components Anchorage region Loading region Figure 2 Prestressing of the CFRP Sheet 2.2 Assemblage The first step in the assemblage of this mechanical device consists of impregnating the CFRP sheets with a polymeric resin, which was provided by Bondo Corporation and is designated as Bondo Structural Epoxy Paste (www.bondo.com). The CFRP sheets must be first impregnated, such that the resin can distribute the external load evenly along the whole cross-section and to protect the fibers from impact. After the epoxy is cured, anchorage of the CFRP sheets is created by bonding the ends of the impregnated sheets on removable steel plates with a polymeric resin (see Figures 3 and 4). Fixed plate Anchored CFRP sheet Anchorage region Figure 3 Applying Polymeric Resin Anchorage region Figure 4 Bonding CFRP Sheet The next step consists of fastening the removable steel plates to the mechanical device (steel beam) through the use of steel bolts. The removable plates are fixed to the steel beam by the tightening of the nuts in the anchorage region. High pressure must be applied to the CFRP sheets through steel plates and four bolts at each end to prevent slipping of the CFRP sheets, which would result in a loss of prestressing force. Test results show that the friction resulting from the pressure was sufficient to anchor the sheets during prestressing. After the anchorage was created, the desired prestressing stress can be smoothly achieved in the CFRP sheets by tightening the

4 steel nuts in the loading region. This action moves the threaded rods and steel strips upwards creating a small uplift in the CFRP sheets (see Figures 5 and 6). In this manner, the force necessary to create the uplift displacement can be much smaller than the force required to impose the initial prestressing on the CFRP sheets, and the uplift force may be imposed without the need for hydraulic jacks. Test results showed that the mechanical device proved to be practical and safe for prestressing CFRP sheets. Figure 6 shows the details of the anchorage and loading regions with the presence of one CFRP sheet after the assemblage is fully completed and the CFRP is prestressed ready for application. Figure 5 Setup Before Prestressing Figure 6 Setup After Prestressing 2.3 Application for Strengthening of RC Beams After the CFRP sheet is prestressed in the mechanical device, the next step consists of applying the prestressed CFRP sheet to the RC beam (See Figures 7 and 8). In this case the prestressed CFRP sheet was bonded to the RC beam with the same polymeric resin. Before hand, the surface of the beam was prepared and cleaned to ensure proper bonding of the matrix to the concrete surface. In addition, two CFRP strips were used to wrap the end of the prestressed CFRP sheet and to increase the end bonding of the sheet to the RC beam. RC beam Cut here Figure 7 Setup During Application Figure 8 Removing Mechanical Device 3. EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM 3.1 Test Matrix Three RC beams were tested in this research program to investigate the feasibility of prestressing CFRP sheets for flexural strengthening. As depicted in Table 1, Beam

5 A was used as the control unit to establish a baseline for performance; Beam B was retrofitted with one CFRP sheet but it was left un-prestressed; and Beam C was retrofitted with one prestressed CFRP sheet to 15% of its ultimate strength. All beams were 23 mm (8 in) wide, 34.8 mm (12 in) deep and 2.44 m (8 ft) long. The longitudinal tension and compression reinforcement consisted of two φ16 (#5) and two φ1 (#3) rebars, respectively. Beam No. of CFRP Sheets Table 1 Test Matrix CFRP Sheet CFRP Sheet Area Prestress (% f ) mm 2 (in 2 ) fu CFRP U-Wrap widths mm(in) A B 1 (1) (2) (.49) -- C 1 (1) (2) (.49) 127 (5) (1) Polymeric resin was provided by Bondo Corporation and is designated as Bondo Structural Epoxy Paste (www.bondo.com) (2) CFRP sheets were provided by Sigmatex. 3.2 Test Setup The three RC beams were tested to ultimate condition under a four-point loading test setup (see Figure 9). One hydraulic jack with a capacity of 294 kn (66 kips) was used for loading. Two heavy duty rollers were used to support the beams with a span of 2.13 m (7 ft). These pin rollers provided bearing and frictionless rotational action during the test. Two additional rollers were used to apply loading on the beams (see Figures 9 and 1). The load applied during each test was recorded using a load cell with a capacity of 445 kn (1 kips). The beams were loaded with three cycles up to failure..71 m (2 1/3 ft).71 m.71 m (2 1/3 ft) (2 1/3 ft) C L 2P Jack Steel loading beam RC beam Support CFRP sheet Strong ground.15 m 2.13 m.15 m (.5 ft) (7ft) (.5 ft) 2.44 m (8ft) Figure 9 Test Setup 3.3 Material Properties The reported tensile strength of the CFRP sheets was 3972 MPa (55 ksi), and the elastic modulus was 228 GPa (33 ksi), with an ultimate strain of.17. The average compressive strength of concrete, determined by testing four cylinders, was 41 Mpa (6 ksi), with a standard deviation of 2 MPa (3 psi). The steel bars used were mild steel. For the

6 standard tensile strength tests of the bars, an extensometer was used to measure the strain, and the loading rate of the cross head was 8.9 mm/min (.35 in/min). The tested average tensile strength of the steel bars was 415 MPa Mpa (6 ksi), with a standard deviation of 23 MPa (3.4 ksi). Elastic modulus of the bars was 19 GPa (276 ksi), with a standard deviation 3 GPa (44 ksi). The yield strain was nearly.22 in/in. 3.4 Instrumentation Strain gages were attached to the CFRP sheets to measure the strains along the span of the beams. Three strain gages were attached on the internal longitudinal reinforcement at mid-span and close to one point load. Two strain transducers were applied to measure the deflection of the beams at mid-span, and two Linear Variable Differential Transducers (LVDT) were used to measure support settlement at both supports of the beams. The data was recorded through a data acquisition system (DAS) at a scan rate of 1 HZ. 4. TEST RESULTS 4.1 Prestress Loss Before Flexural Testing Loss of prestress was recorded during application of the mechanical device for prestressing of the CFRP sheet in Beam C. Referring to Figure 1 it can be seen that only a slight decrease of 6% in prestress occurred when the prestress was released, which was accomplished by cutting of the CFRP sheet near the ends of the RC Beam (see Figures 8 and 1). Transfer of prestress was achieved 1 hours after the CFRP sheet was bonded to the RC beam. 1 Prestress after relaxation (%) Time (hours) Figure 1 Prestress Losses vs. Time Figure 11 Beam B Failure Mode 4.2 General Observations During Flexural Testing Beam A failure can be characterized by crushing of the concrete in the compression zone after the longitudinal reinforcement yielded. Initial cracks occurred when the applied load reached 16 kn (3.5 kips). For beam B, onset of cracking was observed at mid-span when the load reached 27 kn (6 kips). The beam failed when the CFRP sheet ruptured at mid-span (see Figure 11). Before the beam reached the ultimate condition, large numbers of flexural cracks were observed. The deflection at mid-span decreased significantly when compared with Beam A (control beam).

7 In Beam C onset of cracking was observed when the load reached 45 kn (1 kips). Beam C was stiffer with a registered smaller deflection at mid-span. Beam C failed at rupture of the CFRP sheet near the ends of the CFRP sheet (see Figure 12 and 13). CFRP sheet ruptured and debonded from the inner edge of the U-wrap CFRP strips, and then propagated to the other end of the sheet. The beam was initially cracked by intermediate flexural cracks in the constant moment region. When the CFRP sheet debonded from one end to the other, concrete cover separation from the beam was observed in the constant moment region of the span. One layer of concrete was attached to the CFRP sheet after debonding. Figure 12 Beam C Failure Mode Figure 13 Beam C Failure Mode 4.3 Load-Deflection Response The registered ultimate loads and deflections are compared in Table 2 for all test units. The tested load-deflection curves for all beams are shown in Figure 14. Referring to Figure 14, it can be shown that the bending stiffness of Beam C is greater than that of Beams A and B, as a result of the prestressed CFRP sheet. After yielding, the load carrying capacity of the strengthened beams was much greater than that of the control beam. Test results indicate that after strengthening the flexural strength of the beams increased significantly. Beam Failure Mode Table 2 Comparison of Tested Results P U kn (kips) Load Increment (%) U mm (in.) Displacement Decrease (%) A Concrete crush 68 (15) (3.5) -- B CFRP rupture 89 (2) 3 2 (.8) 75 C CFRP end debonding and rupture 112 (25) 65 2 (.8) Strain in the CFRP Sheets The mid-span strain registered on the CFRP sheets of Beams B and C are shown in Figure 15. Obviously, higher strains were recorded in Beam C because of the initial prestress. It can be seen that in the initial stages of testing the strains in Beams B and C CFRP sheets at mid-span were constant up to onset of flexural cracking. Referring to Figures 14 and 15 it can be seen that the strains increased significantly after yielding of the longitudinal reinforcement. This indicates excellent bonding behavior between the CFRP sheets and the

8 concrete surface; also, illustrating that large stress levels were recorded in the CFRP sheets; leading to the significant increase in the flexural capacity of the RC beams and decrease in the ultimate deflection Load P (kips) (kn) 4 Beam A (Control) Beam B (CFRP sheet) Beam C (Prestressed CFRP sheet) Mid-span deflection(in) Figure 14 Load-Deflection Strains were also registered near the ends of the CFRP sheets. Referring to Figure 16, it can be seen that strains developed at the end of the CFRP sheets for Beam B increased significantly during testing, while those for Beam C remained nearly constant. This indicates that the U- Wraps applied in Beam C were adequate in anchoring the CFRP sheets during transfer of prestressing and also during testing. 3 Beam B (CFRP sheet) Beam C (prestressed CFRP sheet) 12 3 Beam B (CFRP sheet) Beam C (Prestressed CFRP sheet) 12 Load P (kips) (kn) 4 Load P (kips) (kn) CFRP strain at midspan (µε) CFRP strain at same location(µε) Figure 15 Strains at Mid-Span Figure 16 Strains near the End

9 5. CONCLUSIONS Preliminary conclusions drawn from the current research are as follows: The mechanical device was practical in prestressing the CFRP sheet, The polymeric resin used to bond the CFRP sheets to the RC beams performed excellent during transfer of the prestressing and testing. During transfer more than 9% of the initial stress was present in the CFRP sheet, and the CFRP sheets did not debond from the concrete surface during the flexural testing, The ultimate flexural strength of the retrofitted RC beams increased significantly after strengthening, The ultimate deflection of the retrofitted RC beams decreased significantly after strengthening, The CFRP U-wraps increased significantly the end bonding performance of the prestressed CFRP sheets. 6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research program was funded by the NSF-Industry/University CRC located at the University of Missouri - Rolla. The authors would like to thank Bondo Corporation for their donation of the polymeric resin and especially to Mr. Abdul Razzak from Bondo Corporation for working together with the UMR researchers during application of the CFRP sheets. In addition, the authors would also like to thank Sigmatex for their donation of the CFRP sheets. 7. REFERENCES 1. El-Hacha, R. and Elbadry, FRPRCS-5, (21) 2. Quantrill, R.J. and Hollaway, L.C Composite Science and Technology, 58, (1998) 3. El-Hacha, R., Weght, R.G. and Green, M.F., ACI Structural Journal, 1, (3), 35 (23) 4. Piyong, Yu., Silva, P.F. and Antonio, Nanni, CCC23 International Conference (23) 5. Teng, J.G., Chen, J.F., Smith, S.T. and Lan, L, FRP-strengthened RC structures, Wiley, New York, 22, pp. 45-6

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