Behavior of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) Anchors Strengthening Reinforced Concrete Structures

Wei Sun


Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Polymer (CFRP) materials are widely used to strengthen reinforced concrete structures because they are light weight, have high strength, and are relatively easy to install. In strengthening applications, CFRP strips are typically attached to the concrete surface using epoxy resin with fibers oriented in the direction needing additional tensile strength. However, if CFRP strips rely exclusively on bond strength with concrete, only 40% to 50% of the CFRP tensile strength can be developed before debonding occurs. In order to fully develop the tensile strength of CFRP strips, some form of anchorage is needed. CFRP anchors can be applied with relative ease and have recently been shown to provide effective anchorage of CFRP strips to concrete members. In many cases, however, current anchorage details may resulting in fracture or failure of CFRP anchors prior to developing the full strength of CFRP strips. Many design parameters, the effects of which are not well understood, can affect the behavior and strength of CFRP anchors. Moreover, previous studies have demonstrated that the quality of installation can influence anchor strength substantially. The objectives of the study presented are to: 1) provide engineers with design guidelines for CFRP anchors, and 2) deliver a reliable test for controlling the quality of installation and materials of CFRP anchorage systems.

In all, 39 tests on 6”×6”×24” rectangular concrete beams were conducted to study the influence of five parameters on CFRP anchor strength and effectiveness: 1) the width of the CFRP strip being developed, 2) the material ratio of CFRP anchor to CFRP strip, 3) the concrete strength, 4) the length/angle of anchor fan, and 5) the bond between CFRP strip and concrete (bonded/unbonded). The same tests also served to develop the test methodology for quality control of the CFRP anchorage system. Based on experimental results, guidelines for designing CFRP anchors are proposed. A test specimen and methodology are also proposed for qualifying CFRP materials and anchorage-system installations.

A Finite Element (FE) formulation was selected to provide a computational tool that is suited for simulating the behavior of CFRP strips and CFRP anchors. The ability of the selected FE formulation to reproduce the effects on behavior of varying the anchor-material ratio, concrete strength, length of anchor fan, and bond conditions was investigated. Six FE simulations were built by adjusting simulation parameters and comparing results with six experimental tests. Comparisons between experimental and numerical results indicate that the proposed FE formulation and parameter selections reproduced load-deflection and local strain behaviors with high fidelity.

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