Rehabilitation of Reinforced Concrete Deep Beams Using Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP)

  •  Shereen K. H. Hassan    
  •  Mu`tasim S. Abdel-Jaber    
  •  Maha Alqam    


Reinforced concrete structures that incorporates deep beams are generally susceptible to deterioration due to weathering effects and sulphur attacks, under-design in the detailing of concrete cover and/or reinforcement, and construction errors. In lieu of demolishing and replacing these structures, rehabilitation and strengthening using carbon fiber composites becomes a cost-effective viable alternative. Recent advances in research and innovation have introduced concrete repair and strengthening systems that are primarily based on fiber reinforced polymer composites. These systems have offered engineers the opportunity to provide additional stability to the structural elements in question and to restore the damaged portions back to their original load carrying capacity. 

This paper investigates the effect of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) composites in enhancing the flexural performance of damaged reinforced concrete deep beams. Two types of CFRP composites and epoxy were used in the experimental investigation carried out and as described by this paper: 1) high strength carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) plates, commercially known as MBrace Laminate, that are bonded using an epoxy resin specifically suited for the installation and used to strengthen existing structural members; and, 2) MBrace Fiber 230/4900, a 100% solids, low viscosity epoxy material that is used to encapsulate MBrace carbon, glass, and aramid fiber fabrics so that when it cures, it provides a high performance FRP sheet.

Test samples were divided into four groups: A control group, and three rehabilitated test groups with CRFP fibers, where the main variable among them was the percent length of CRFP used along the bottom beam extreme surface between supports (i.e, for two of the groups reinforced with MBrace laminates), and the use of MBrace Fiber 230/4500 CRFP sheets on the 4th beam along its vertical sides as well as the bottom extreme face between supports. All beams had similar cross-sectional dimensions and reinforcement, and were designed to fail in flexure rather than shear.

The results show that CFRP composites, both laminated and sheet type, have increased the load carrying capacity in comparison to the control specimen, where observations were recorded pertaining to the delayed formation of vertical flexural cracks at the section of maximum moment, and diagonal shear cracks at beam ends. The increase in the load carrying capacity varied among the three rehabilitated test group beams, with the 4th group showing the highest ultimate load carrying capacity when compared to the control specimen. 

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