Role of end peeling in behavior of reinforced concrete beams with externally bonded reinforcement
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Aging bridges in the United States demand effective, efficient, and economical strengthening techniques to meet future traffic requirements. One such technique is to bond steel or fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) plates to the tension faces of reinforced concrete bridge beams with adhesives to strengthen them in flexure. However, beams that have been flexurally strengthened in this manner often fail prematurely, in particular by plate end peeling. The benefits of flexural strengthening by externally bonded reinforcement can only be fully realized by preventing premature failure modes so as to allow the development of composite action between the beam and the external reinforcement. With this goal in mind, several critical limit states of externally reinforced beams are examined in this thesis. Models developed by Roberts (1989) and by Colotti, Spadea, and Swamy (2004) that predict premature plate end debonding are examined in depth using data from previously conducted experimental programs that employed both steel and FRP external reinforcement. In addition, various parameters of the concrete beam, adhesive, and external reinforcement are analyzed in each model to determine the role of each parameter in failure prediction. A critical appraisal of the performance of the models using existing experimental data leads to the selection of the Roberts (1989) model. This model is used to develop recommended design guidelines for flexurally strengthening reinforced concrete bridge beams with externally bonded FRP plates and for preventing premature plate peeling.
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