Flexural Behaviour of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Strengthened Reinforced Concrete Beams at Elevated Temperatures
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Fibre reinforced polymers (FRPs) have gained considerable popularity as a building and repair material. In particular, FRPs have been an economical means of extending the life of structures. As time passes, an increased number and variety of new and old structures are incorporating FRPs as reinforcement and for rehabilitation. Perhaps most common are their applications for bridge structures. Much of the reluctance towards the inclusion of FRP as primary reinforcement or as a rehabilitation measure in building structures is due to its poor performance in fires. In order to move forward with an understanding of how FRP may overcome its temperature-related short comings, it is important to explore the behaviour of FRP, and structures which utilize FRP for reinforcement, at elevated temperatures. The results of a testing program including eleven high temperature, two room temperature intermediate-scale, FRP-strengthened, and one unstrengthened reinforced concrete beam tests are presented. The elevated temperature tests were conducted on both un-post-cured and post-cured FRP strengthening at temperatures up to 211°C. The tests also utilized a novel method for heating and post-curing FRP-strengthening in place. The strengthened beams exhibited strength gains above the unstrengthened reference beam, and it has been demonstrated that post-curing of an FRP system can be effective at increasing an FRP’s performance at elevated temperatures. Exposed to constant temperatures, un-post-cured specimens still exhibited substantial FRP strength at exposure temperatures up to Tg+79°C. Post-cured specimens exhibited similar performance at temperatures of Tg+43°C. The transient temperature tests resulted in beam failure at an average temperature of 186°C and 210°C for un-post-cured and post-cured FRP strengthening respectively at a constant applied load level 93% of that of the room temperature strengthened control beam. The results of this testing program demonstrate that FRP strengthening can remain effective when exposed to temperatures well above the measured value of Tg.