Flexural Strengthening of Reinforced Concrete Beams Using Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites

Bramblett, Regan M


The Texas Department of Transportation has estimated that 18,000 bridges in use in the state were designed for loads less than today’s standards. Some heavier trucks are restricted from passing over these bridges in order to prevent damage from overloading. One solution to this problem is to strengthen the bridges using carbon fiber composites. The objective of this thesis is to develop a strengthening method by investigating the behavior of reinforced concrete beams with externally applied carbon fiber composite materials. Twenty beams were tested monotonically to failure, which was characterized by composite debonding or composite rupture. The results were used for the design and testing of fullscale bridge sections that were part of a second phase of the research project. Results may eventually be implemented on bridges throughout Texas.

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