Short and Long Term Behaviour of Externally Bonded Fibre Reinforced Polymer Laminates With Bio-Based Resins for Flexural Strengthening of Concrete Beams
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The use of bio-based resins in composites for construction is emerging as a way to reduce of embodied energy produced by a structural system. In this study, two types of bio-based resins were explored: an epoxidized pine oil resin blend (EP) and a furfuryl alcohol resin (FA) derived from corn cobs and sugar cane. Nine large-scale reinforced concrete beams strengthened using externally bonded carbon and glass fibre reinforced bio-based polymer (CFRP and GFRP) sheets were tested. The EP resin resulted in a comparable bond strength to conventional epoxy (E) when used in wet layup, with a 7% higher strength for CFRP. The FA resin, on the other hand, resulted in a very weak bond, likely due to concrete alkalinity affecting curing. However, when FA resin was used to produce prefabricated cured CFRP plates which were then bonded to concrete using conventional epoxy paste, it showed an excellent bond strength. The beams achieved an increase in peak load ranging from 18-54% and a 9-46% increase in yielding load, depending on the number of FRP layers and type of fibres and resin. Additionally, 137 concrete prisms with a mid-span half-depth saw cut were used to test CFRP bond durability, and 195 CFRP coupons were used to examine tensile strength durability. Specimens were conditioned in a 3.5% saline solution at 23, 40 or 50oC, for up to 240 days. Reductions in bond strength did not exceed 15%. Bond failure of EP was adhesive with traces of cement paste on CFRP, whereas that of FA was cohesive with a thicker layer of concrete on CFRP, suggesting that the bond between FA and epoxy paste is excellent. EP tension coupons had similar strength and modulus to E resin, whereas FA coupons had a 9% lower strength and 14% higher modulus. After 240 days of exposure, maximum reductions in tensile strength were 8, 19 and 10% for EP, FA and E resins, respectively. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was also performed to iii assess the significance of the reductions observed. High degrees of variability in the test results may have skewed the results from this statistical analysis.