Use of CFRP to Provide Continuity in Existing Reinforced Concrete Members Subjected to Extreme Loads

In Sung Kim


A special problem in many reinforced concrete structures built in the 1970’s and earlier is the lack of continuity between elements. Continuity is a characteristic of structures essential to preventing collapse. Therefore, in extreme loading conditions such as loss of a column support due to terrorist attack or if earthquake or other extreme actions occur, the structures could be vulnerable to collapse. The study reported here focused on two structural discontinuities in existing reinforced concrete structures, discontinuity in bottom reinforcement in beams (horizontal discontinuity) and poorly detailed lap splices in columns (vertical discontinuity).

The objective of this study was to develop rehabilitation methods using CFRP to provide continuity of reinforcement in existing structures. To develop the rehabilitation methods, two separate experimental studies were conducted using beam and column specimens. CFRP materials were applied to the bottom or side face of a beam and anchored using CFRP anchors or U-wraps to provide horizontal continuity in bottom reinforcement and tested under dynamic loading. After CFRP rehabilitation, the ductility of the bottom reinforcement and large rotational capacity of the beam were realized. CFRP materials were also applied to the lap splice region in square and rectangular columns which exhibited a brittle splice failure as-built. After rehabilitating the columns using CFRP jackets and anchors, the failure mode changed from a brittle splice failure to yield of column reinforcement, and the strength and deformation capacity were improved under both monotonic and cyclic loading. Based on the results of beam and column tests, design guidelines for CFRP rehabilitation were proposed.

Horizontal and vertical continuities can be provided through the use of CFRP for rehabilitating existing reinforced concrete structures that were designed prior to the introduction of codes that require continuous reinforcement along members and between adjacent members. The vulnerability of such structures to collapse can be reduced through rehabilitation.

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