FRP REINFORCED CONCRETE AND ITS
APPLICATION IN BRIDGE SLAB DESIGN
by
YUNYI ZOU
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Dissertation Adviser: Dr. Arthur Huckelbridge
Supported by Saada Family Fellowship
Department of Civil Engineering
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
January, 2005
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES
We hereby approve the dissertation of
candidate for the Ph.D. degree *. 

(signed) 

(chair of the committee) 

(date) 
*We also certify that written approval has been obtained for any proprietary material contained therein.
Dedication
To my parents Zou JiShen and Chen XiuFang
To my wife Yuping
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 
1 
List of Figures 
3 
List of Tables 
10 
Acknowledgements 
11 
List of Abbreviations 
12 
Abstract 
13 

Chapter 1 
Background and Introduction of the Problem 
15 
Chapter 2 
Experimental Analysis of FRP Reinforced Concrete 

under Fatigue Load 
36 

Motivation for the Testing Program 
36 

Description of Testing Program 
37 

Experimental Results 
43 

Qualitative Discussion 
55 

Chapter 3 
Simulation of Crack Growth 
78 
Estimation of Crack Opening 
78 

Estimation of Crack Growth 
83 
Sensitivity Analysis of the Model and Variation of Crack
1
Growth Estimation
90
Simulation of Experiment Results 
98 

Chapter 4 
Finite Element Modeling and Analysis of a Realistic FRP 

Reinforced Concrete Slab 
104 

Analysis of Slab Strips 
104 

Analysis of Full Bridge Slabs 
115 

Empirical Design of Bridge Slabs 
127 

Chapter 5 
Conclusions 
130 
Chapter 6 
Future Research 
134 
References 
136 
2
List of Figures
Figure 2.1 
Aslan 100 GFRP by Hughes Brothers 
38 
Figure 2.2 
Isorod by Pultrall 
39 
Figure 2.3 
Specimen Section Details and Loading Condition 
40 
Figure 2.4 
Cyclic Load Test Setup 
41 
Figure 2.5 
Sketch of Data Acquisition System 
42 
Figure 2.6 
Specimen C5 x 8.5 H5 
44 
Figure 2.7 
Specimen C3 x 8.5 H5 
45 
Figure 2.8 
Specimen C4 x 8.5 H5 
45 
Figure 2.9 
Specimen C6 x 8.5 H5 
46 
Figure 2.10 
Specimen C3 x 8.5 P5 
48 
Figure 2.11 
Specimen C4 x 8.5 P5 
49 
Figure 2.12 
Specimen C5 x 8.5 P5 
50 
Figure 2.13 
Specimen C5 x 8.5 P5 
51 
Figure 2.14 
Specimen C5 x 8.5 P5OL 
51 
Figure 2.15 
Specimen C5 x 8.5 S5 
52 
Figure 2.16 
Injecting Dye into Cracks 
54 
Figure 2.17 
Typical Crack Profiles 
54 
Figure 2.18 
Definitions of Elastic and Plastic CMOD 
56 
Figure 2.19 
Elastic CMOD under Ramp Load vs Number of Cycles for 

Group H Specimens (Pmin=2.2 KN Pmax=15.6 KN) 
57 

Figure 2.20 
Plastic CMOD under Ramp Load vs Number of Cycles for 
3
Group H Specimens (Pmin=2.2 KN Pmax=15.6 KN)
58
Figure 2.21 
Elastic CMOD under Ramp Load vs Number of Cycles for 

Group P Specimens (Pmin=2.2 KN Pmax=15.6 KN) 
58 

Figure 2.22 
Plastic CMOD under Ramp Load vs Number of Cycles for 

Group P Specimens (Pmin=2.2 KN Pmax=15.6 KN) 
59 

Figure 2.23 
Hysteresis of Beam C4x8.5H5 under Cyclic Load 
61 
Figure 2.24 
Hysteresis of Beam C3x8.5H5 under Cyclic Load 
62 
Figure 2.25 
Hysteresis of Beam C5x8.5H5 under Cyclic Load 
62 
Figure 2.26 
Hysteresis of Beam C6x8.5H5 under Cyclic Load 
63 
Figure 2.27 
Hysteresis of Beam C3x8.5P5 under Cyclic Load 
63 
Figure 2.28 
Hysteresis of Beam C4x8.5P5 under Cyclic Load 

Static PreCracking 
64 

Figure 2.29 
Hysteresis of Beam C4x8.5P5 under Cyclic Load 

Fatigue PreCracking 
64 

Figure 2.30 
Hysteresis of Beam C5x8.5P5 under Cyclic Load 
65 
Figure 2.31 
Hysteresis of Beam C6x8.5P5 under Cyclic Load 
65 
Figure 2.32 
Unit Width Pseudo Energy Loss vs Number of Cycles in Group H 
66 
Figure 2.33 
Unit Width Pseudo Energy Loss vs Number of Cycles in Group P 
67 
Figure 2.34 
Effect of 40% Overload on CMOD Overload Pmax=22.3 KN 

Beam C5x8.5H5 
68 

Figure 2.35 
Effect of 30% Overload on CMOD Overload Pmax=20 KN 

Beam C6x8.5H5 
69 

Figure 2.36 
Effect of 40% Overload on CMOD Overload Pmax=22.3 KN 
4
Beam C5x8.5P5
69
Figure 2.37 
Effect of 40% Overload on CMOD Pmax=22.3 KN 

Beam C6x8.5P5 
70 

Figure 2.38 
Elastic and Plastic CMOD under Ramp Load vs Number of 

Cycles for Specimens C5x8.5H5OL, C5x8.5S5 and 

C5x8.5H5M (Pmin=2.2 KN Pmax=15.6 KN) 
71 

Figure 2.39 
Hysteresis of Beam C5x8.5S5 under Cyclic Load 
73 
Figure 2.40 
Effect of 40% Overload on CMOD Overload Pmax=22.3 KN 

Beam C5x8.5S5 
73 

Figure 2.41 
Unit Width Pseudo Energy Loss vs Number of Cycles in 

Specimen C5x8.5P5OL and C5x8.5S5 
74 

Figure 2.42 
Specimen C5 x 8.5 H5M 
75 
Figure 3.1 
Debonded Length Representation 
79 
Figure 3.2 
A Typical Finite Element Mesh with Debonded Length 

Representation of Specimen C4x8.5P4 
80 

Figure 3.3 
Fictitious Material Representation 
82 
Figure 3.4 
A Typical Finite Element Mesh with Fictitious Material 

Representation of Specimen C4x8.5P4 
82 

Figure 3.5 
Assumed Stress Distribution at a Cracked Section 
84 
Figure 3.6 
A “Hinge” Model 
85 
Figure 3.7 
Verification of Hinge Model 
88 
Figure 3.8 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Parameter C 
5
for Beam C6x8.5H5 (m=3.76)
94
Figure 3.9 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Parameter m 

for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} ) 
94 

Figure 3.10 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Initial Crack Length a _{0} 

for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} m=3.76) 
95 

Figure 3.11 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Initial Crack Spacing L 

for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} m=3.76) 
95 

Figure 3.12 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Concrete Elastic Modulus 

E _{c} for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} m=3.76) 
96 

Figure 3.13 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Concrete Elastic Modulus 

E _{f} for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} m=3.76) 
96 

Figure 3.14 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Specimen Width b 

for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} m=3.76) 
97 

Figure 3.15 
Sensitivity Analysis Results on Specimen Height h 

for Beam C5x8.5H5 (C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} m=3.76) 
97 

Figure 3.16 
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number 

of Cycles, Beam C3x8.5H5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.48 
99 

Figure 3.17 
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number 

of Cycles, Beam C4x8.5H5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.57 
100 

Figure 3.18 
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number 

of Cycles, Beam C5x8.5H5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.76 
100 

Figure 3.19 
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number 

of Cycles, Beam C3x8.5P5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.39 
101 
6
Figure 3.20
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number
of Cycles, Beam C4x8.5P5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.55 
101 

Figure 3.21 
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number 

of Cycles, Beam C5x8.5P5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.74 
102 

Figure 3.22 
Crack Length and Crack Opening Increment versus Number 

of Cycles, Beam C6x8.5P5, C=6.76x10 ^{.}^{4} , m=3.88 
102 

Figure 3.23 
Size Effect of Beam Width on Paris Equation 
103 
Figure 4.1 
Slab Strip Model under One Wheel Load (Girder spacing 

1.8m, 16M Bar at 100mm, Slab thickness 215mm) 
106 

Figure 4.2 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under One Wheel Load of 

Design Truck (Girder spacing 1.8m, 16M Bar at 100mm) 
107 

Figure 4.3 
Slab Strip Model under One Axle Load of Design Truck (Girder 

spacing 1.8m, 16M Bar at 100mm, Slab thickness 215mm) 
108 

Figure 4.4 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under One Axle Load of 

Design Truck (Girder spacing 1.8m, 16M Bar at 100mm) 
108 

Figure 4.5 
Slab Debonded Length Representation under One Axle Load 

(Girder spacing 2.7m, 16M Bar at 100mm, Slab thickness 215mm) 
109 

Figure 4.6 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under One Axle Load 

of Design Truck(Girder spacing 2.7m, 16M Bar at 100mm) 
109 

Figure 4.7 
Slab Strip Model under One Axle Load of Design Truck(Girder 

spacing 3.6m, 16M Bar at 100mm, Slab thickness 215mm) 
110 

Figure 4.8 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under One Axle Load of 
7
Design Truck (Girder spacing 3.6m, 16M Bar at 100mm)
110
Figure 4.9 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under One Axle Load of 

Design Truck (Girder spacing 1.8m, 16M Bar at 150mm) 
111 

Figure 4.10 
Bar Stress Under Design Truck Load with 16M Bars 
112 
Figure 4.11 
Slab Model under Load of Design Truck, Lane Load and 

SelfWeight (Girder spacing 1.8m, Slab thickness 215mm, 

No Diaphragm) 
120 

Figure 4.12 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours under Loads of Design Truck, 

Lane Load and SelfWeight. 
120 

Figure 4.13 
Slab Model under Load of Design Truck Only with Girders Fixed 

Vertically (Girder spacing 1.8m, Slab thickness 215mm) 
121 

Figure 4.14 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under Design Truck Only 

with Girders Fixed Vertically. 
121 

Figure 4.15 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under Design Truck Only 

with Diaphrams. 
122 

Figure 4.16 
Slab Model under Load of Design Truck, Lane Load and 

SelfWeight (Girder spacing 2.7m, Slab thickness 215mm) 
122 

Figure 4.17 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under Loads of Design 

Truck, Lane Load and SelfWeight. 
123 

Figure 4.18 
Slab Model under Load of Design Load and SelfWeight. 

(Girder spacing 3.6m, Slab thickness 215mm) 
123 

Figure 4.19 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under Design Load 

and SelfWeight. 
124 
8
Figure 4.20
Maximum Crack Opening under Design Load in Model Bridge
124
Figure 4.21 
Maximum Crack Opening Under Design Load and Ohio Legal 

Load 5C1 in Model Bridge, 1.8 m Girder Spacing 
125 

Figure 4.22 
Slab Model under Load of Ohio Legal Truck Load 5C1 and 

SelfWeight (Girder spacing 1.8m, Slab thickness 215mm) 
125 

Figure 4.23 
Transverse Normal Stress Contours Under Loads of Ohio Legal 

Truck Load 5C1 and SelfWeight 
126 
9
List of Tables
Table 2.1 
Specimen Descriptions 
40 
Table 3.1 
Calibrated Debonded Length for Group P Specimens 
81 
Table 3.2 
Calibrated Ficticious Material Properties 
83 
Table 3.3 
Hinge Assumption Verification 
89 
10
Acknowledgements
I want to take this opportunity to thank my advisor Dr. Huckelbridge for his
guidance.
Throughout my research, I have enjoyed our discussions very much.
teaching will benefit me for years to come.
His
I also feel so fortunate and blessed to have Dr. Saada as my instructor and
sponsor. Nothing in this dissertation would be possible without his support. To me, he is
a role model for living and working.
11
List of Abbreviations
AASHTO 
American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials 

ACI 
American Concrete Institute 
CMOD 
Crack Mouth Opening Displacement 
FE 
Finite Element 
FRP 
FiberReinforced Polymers 
GFRP 
Glass FRP 
LEFM 
Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics 
LFD 
Load Factor Design 
LRFD 
Load and Resistance Factor Design 
RC 
Reinforced Concrete 
12
FRP Reinforced Concrete and its Application in Bridge Slab Design
by
Yunyi Zou
ABSTRACT
For
decades,
bridge
slabs
have
been
troubled
by
the
corrosion
of
steel
reinforcements.
The unique corrosion resistance of FRP (FiberReinforced Polymers)
bars makes them a promising alternative to steel bars.
Because of the relatively low
elastic modulus of FRP reinforcement, the postcracking serviceability often is the
controlling factor in the flexural design of FRP reinforced concrete.
Since bridge deck
slabs are under repeated traffic loads, it is the postcracking serviceability under cyclic
loads that becomes vital in the design and maintenance decisionmaking process.
Experiments
have
been
conducted
to
investigate
the
postcracking
flexural
performance of FRP RC (reinforced concrete) under constant amplitude cyclic loading.
Each specimen tested was a beam with a single FRP bar at the bottom.
Two different
types of FRP bars were used.
The crack opening was monitored for specimens of
different size. Up to 2 million cycles of cyclic loads have been applied at 100% service
load levels.
It has been found that there are two stages in the crack growth of FRP
reinforced concrete. The first stage is early growth, which is characterized by increasing
crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD).
The second stage is the stabilization of
CMOD and crack length. No fatigue failure was encountered in the testing under service
loading and moderate overloads.
The effects of moderate overload on observed crack
13
growth were also investigated.
The performances of two different FRP bars were
compared. A model was proposed to predict long term crack growth in FRP R/C under
cyclic loading, based on the Paris equation.
Two FE (finite element) crack representations were examined.
One
was
a
debonded length representation. In this model it was assumed that there was a debonded
length around each crack, within which there was no tangential interaction between
concrete and reinforcement. Beyond the debonded length, the interface between concrete
and reinforcement was tied with no relative movement.
The other representation
examined was a fictitious material crack representation. A fictitious material was placed
in a triangular crack cross section, with a maximum width of 2.5mm (0.1 in). Then, the
modulus of elasticity of the fictitious material was calibrated, based on the observed
testing results, after crack growth had stabilized. Both representations have been used to
analyze bridge slabs. Finally, an empirical slab design was discussed.
14
Chapter 1
Background and Introduction of the Problem
The advantages of FiberReinforced Polymers (FRP) include a high ratio of
strength 
to 
mass, 
excellent 
fatigue 
characteristics, 
excellent 
corrosion 
resistance, 
electromagnetic neutrality, and a low axial coefficient of thermal expansion. 
Generally 
speaking, the disadvantages of FRP reinforcement include its higher cost, lower Young’s
modulus (except for Carbon FRP), lower failure strain and lack of ductility. 
The 

transverse 
coefficient 
of 
thermal 
expansion 
(CTE) 
is 
also 
much 
larger 
than 
the 
longitudinal CTE. The longterm strength of FRP can be as low as 70% of its shortterm
strength, and ultraviolet radiation can damage FRP.
FRP reinforcement is also not
effective for compression reinforcement because of the compression instability of the
slender axial fibers. There is a lot of potential to apply FRP in bridge engineering for
structural elements in corrosive environments with low ductility demand.
For decades, reinforced concrete slabs have been used as bridge decks both in
United States and around the world.
The relatively inexpensive concrete and steel
reinforcement have served very well in most respects. In recent years, rehabilitation of
national highway bridges has been a priority, due to the aging and deteriorating
superstructures. One of the major causes of superstructure deficiency is the corrosion of
steel reinforcement.
In this case, the excellent corrosion resistance and light weight of
FRP make it potentially superior in long term performance to conventional reinforcing
steel, and, particularly in the case of Glass FRP (GFRP), potentially competitive
economically.
15
Serviceability covers many different aspects of structural performance related to
particular applications.
The most commonly encountered serviceability requirements in
RC structures are maximum deflection and crack opening control. Cracking is a complex
phenomenon, particularly in composite materials.
For quasibrittle materials such as
concrete, the tensile stress gradually drops to zero after reaching a peak value.
There
exists an inelastic zone at the tip of the crack, known as the fracture process zone. Within
the fracture process zone, the stress decreases as it approaches the crack tip. Shah (1995)
summarized the interaction within the fracture process zone as microcracking, crack
deflection, aggregate bridging, crack face friction, crack tip blunting by voids, crack
branching, and etc. It has been reported that the measured fracture process zone is almost
independent of specimen thickness; the crack length generally is deeper on the sides than
in the middle. Consequently, it was pointed out that applicability of linear elastic fracture
mechanics (LEFM) is limited for plain concrete to large structures, with a relatively small
fracture process zone.
In the case of smaller scale structures, the aforementioned
complexity in concrete cracks deters the direct application of LEFM.
In the case of FRP RC beams under bending, as soon as cracking occurs, there is a
surge of forces in the bars.
Cracks tend to grow in fatigue load environments.
The
tensile forces in the bars and resultant compressive force in concrete increase as depth of
intact concrete and fracture process zone decrease. The relatively low Young’s modulus
of FRP, which is about one fifth of the Young’s modulus of conventional steel
reinforcement, will generate larger crack lengths and crack mouth opening displacements
(CMOD)
compared
with
conventional
steel
reinforcement,
particularly
so
if
16
reinforcement ratios are similar in magnitude for both cases. Consequently, the aggregate
bridging will be less, crack face friction will be smaller, and the zone of microcracking
will also be smaller due to suppression by concrete in compression. This is the essential
difference between plain concrete, conventional reinforced concrete (RC) and FRP RC,
which tends to make LEFM a good approximation for crack modeling for FRP RC.
P. Gergely and L. Lutz (1968) analyzed test results from various investigators on
crack openings in conventional reinforced concrete.
A multiple regression analysis was
performed on crack openings with respect to different variables.
It was found that steel
stress magnitude was the most important variable. The concrete cover was an important
variable but not the only secondary consideration.
Bar size was also found not to be a
major variable, and crack opening tended to increase with increasing strain gradient. The
significant variables identified were effective area of concrete, the number of bars,
concrete cover and stress level. The recommended equation for bottom crack in English
units was as follows.
w = 0.076β
f
s
(11)
Where β is the ratio of the distance from the neutral axis to extreme tension fiber to the
distance from the neutral axis to the center of the tensile reinforcement; d _{c} is the concrete
cover to bar center; f _{s} is the tensile stress in steel bars; A _{c} is the effective tension area of
concrete.
In ACI 440.1R01, the GergelyLutz equation has been modified to estimate the
crack opening of FRP RC members by simply replacing the steel strain with FRP strain.
17
To account for the difference in bonding between steel and FRP, a corrective coefficient
k _{b} is introduced. The final equation of crack opening in millimeter is as follows.
w =
(12)
Where E _{f} is the Young’s modulus of FRP bar; β is the ratio of the distance from the
neutral axis to extreme tension fiber to the distance from the neutral axis to the center of
the tensile reinforcement; d _{c} is the concrete cover to bar center; f _{f} is the tensile stress in
FRP bars; A _{c} is the effective tension area of concrete. The coefficient k _{b} is assumed to be
one for FRP bars having bond behavior, similar to steel bars.
Many researchers have
suggested different values for different bar surfaces.
ACI 440.1R01 listed values of k _{b}
by Gao et al. to be 0.71, 1.00, 1.83 for three currently popular types of GFRP bars.
A
value of 1.2 was suggested for deformed FRP bars by the report, in the case of no
available experimental data.
Carpinteri et al (1993) used a LEFM to model a simply supported steel RC beam.
The total stress intensity factor is the superposition of K _{I} due to the bending moment and
to the bar force. An energy concept was used to examine the steel yielding, bar slip and
crack growth under different conditions.
The total energy was calculated in terms of
bending moment and rebar force.
The relationship between rebar force and bending
moment was derived based on the relationship of energy release rate and stress intensity
factors. In the analysis of cyclic loading, three cases were discussed based on comparing
the magnitudes of peak moment with plastic flow moment, slippage moment and fracture
moment. It was assumed that cracks would propagate if the peak moment exceeded the
18
fracture moment.
Apparently, this model is more applicable to the case of low cycle
fatigue (relatively high rebar stress levels).
In early 1960s, P.C. Paris (1963) applied fracture mechanics to fatigue problems.
The proposed equation is as follows.
da
dN
=
C
(∆
K
)
m
(13)
Where a is the crack length; N is the number of cycles; ∆K is the stress intensity factor
difference at maximum and minimum loading; C and m are material parameters.
Although Paris’s law was developed for steel, researchers have tried to verify if it was
also valid for concrete.
Considerable work done has been focused on plain concrete. The report by ACI
committee 215 provides general knowledge about fatigue strength of concrete and
reinforcement. Fatigue fracture of concrete is characterized by considerably large strains
and microcracking. The SN curve of concrete is approximately linear between 10 ^{2} and
10 ^{7} cycles, which indicates that there is no apparent endurance limit for concrete.
The
fatigue strength for a life of 10 million cycles of load and a probability of failure of 50
percent, regardless of whether the specimen is loaded compression, tension or flexure, is
approximately 55 percent of the static ultimate strength.
Perdikaris et al. (1987) conducted experiments on singleedgenotched plain
concrete beams under fourpoint bending.
Crack length was also recorded based on the
CMOD compliance measurements.
It was concluded that the Paris equation results in
19
significant errors of 100% although R ^{2} ’s, which is the fraction of the variance in the data
that is explained by a regression, were close to one for different specimens.
It was
believed that large errors were part of the nature with exponentials.
Baluch et al. (1987) also tried to verify if the Paris equation is valid for concrete.
The experiments were threepoint bending on singleedgenotched plain concrete beams
of 51mm wide x 152mm deep x 1360mm.
Similarly, a compliance test was first
performed so that crack length could be obtained.
For the same beam specimen under
different R (=K _{m}_{i}_{n} /K _{m}_{a}_{x} ), it was found that Paris equation is applicable in plain concrete.
The material parameter m was found to be 3.12, 3.12 and 3.15 at R=0.1, 0.2, 0.3
respectively. It was subsequently concluded that m was independent of R. The material
parameter C was reported to be on the order of 10 ^{}^{2}^{4} and 10 ^{}^{2}^{5} ; it appeared from the
article that the units of C was mm/[Pa m ^{1}^{/}^{2} ] ^{m} , although the units were not stated
explicitly.
The authors suggested that C might be related to R.
Foreman’s equation
(1967) which includes the effects of R was also explored by the authors.
da 
= 
C 
( 
∆ K 
) m 

dN 
(1 
− 
R )( K 
c − 
K 
max 
) 
(14)
where K _{c} is the fracture toughness of the material of interest at the appropriate thickness.
Different material parameters C and m were inferred under different R values for the
same type of specimen, however.
Therefore, it was concluded that Foreman’s equation
was not applicable in plain concrete.
Z.P. Bazant et al (1992) investigated the size effect in fatigue fracture of concrete.
The specimens under threepoint bending were geometrically similar in length, height
20
and notch length. The thickness was constant for all beams. The results of fatigue tests
were presented with the plots of log(∆a/∆N) versus log(∆K/∆K _{I}_{f} ).
Different lines were
obtained for different beam size, although they were parallel to each other. The authors
combined the Paris law with a size effect law, for fracture under monotonic loading; the
revised Paris law is a function of a size adjusted stress intensity function.
Due to the nature of cracks in concrete, a method of compliance calibration is
normally used in crack length determination for pure concrete.
However, it has been
questioned that effects of the fracture process zone will stiffen the crack, and true
compliance will be lower than the one obtained from a notched specimen. Therefore, the
crack length will presumably always be underestimated by compliance calibration
methods.
Swartz et al (1984) investigated the validity of the compliance calibration method,
utilizing a three point bending test setup. All specimens had small starter notches at mid
span and they were precracked to a desired crack length using CMOD as a control.
It
took a couple of cycles for the specimen to achieve the desired crack length according to
the compliance calibration curve.
Dye would then be applied at the crack section.
The
test results showed that the compliance method consistently overestimated the actual
crack length. The surface cracks revealed by the dye correlated well with the crack depth
predicted by a calibrated compliance.
For ratios of crack length to beam height greater
than 0.26, the difference of average interior crack length and surface crack depth was
about 25mm.
21
Swartz et al (1981) also compared the effects of fatigue precracking and static
precracking. For the same notched plain concrete beams, one group was precracked by
fatigue after one million cycles and the other group was statically precracked to the same
crack depth.
Under threepoint and fourpoint bending, it was reported that failure
strength and associated maximum stress intensity factor of the statically precracked
beams are slightly higher than those of precracked by fatigue. It was then concluded that
static precracking was acceptable, even for fatigue testing.
Efforts have been made to predict the growth of cracks due to fatigue loading.
Balaguru and Shah (1981) proposed a model to simulate the increase of deflection and
crack opening for steel RC. The components included in the model were as follows: (a)
the cyclic creep of concrete; (b) the reduction of stiffness due to cracking and bond
deterioration; (c) reinforcing steel softening. The experimental data was cited from other
articles, which was limited to 100,000 or 50,000 cycles.
The rebar stress range was
between 69 MPa and 276 MPa (10 ksi and 40 ksi).
The maximum rebar stress utilized
was almost twice the rebar fatigue stress limit.
The crack opening was recorded
photographically.
It appeared that there were only five data points recorded within
100,000 cycles. The general trend of the model was that crack opening always increased
with the number of cycles applied. However, the motivation of using a stress range twice
the rebar fatigue stress limit may be questioned.
A limit of 100,000 cycles is generally
not enough in the fatigue test of reinforced concrete.
22
The finite element method has been widely used in reinforced concrete analysis.
There are two different approaches in crack modeling in finite element analysis. One is
smeared crack modeling, which is generally better when overall load/deflection behavior
is of primary interest.
Initially, the concrete is assumed to be isotropic.
The reinforced
concrete cracks when the stress reaches an assumed failure surface.
Instead of literally
representing the crack in the concrete FE mesh, the concrete member remains as a
continuum. The constitutive equations are then modified to reflect the cracked state.
The other popular method is discrete cracking modeling, utilized when detailed
local behavior is investigated, as done early on by Ngo and Scordelis (1967). Based on
local stresses in the finite element mesh, some element nodes are separated to model a
discrete crack. Since it is costly and tedious, this method is generally only applicable in
certain special circumstances.
Darwin (1993) performed a review of finite element analyses on conventional
reinforced concrete.
The survey results are summarized as follows.
(a) Reinforcement.
Reinforcements can be modeled in three methods  (1) distributed reinforcement within
elements, (2) discrete bar element between element nodes, and (3) uniaxial element
embedded in the element.
In all cases, reinforcements and concrete are modeled as
separate materials.
Perfect bonding is always assumed.
Fortunately, loaddeflection
behavior is not sensitive to the bonding unless the failure mode is bond slip, which is not
deemed to be a valid design. (b) Concrete under Tension. Tension stiffening and tension
softening have improved the numerical stability of simulation.
Tension stiffening was
23
first used to account for the residual tensile strength of concrete between cracks. Tension
softening uses the concept of fracture mechanics to achieve similar effects. (c) Concrete
in Compression. It was found that the overall performance of a model is more related to
the details of crack representation and shear retention after cracking, than the details of
different concrete constitutive models in compression.
(e) Load Increment.
It was
advised to take small load increments and assure that convergence is achieved at every
step.
Perfect bond models, however, are invalid for the purpose of crack analysis.
In
the vicinity of a crack, there is inevitable bondslip between rebar and concrete. Efforts
have been made to model bonding. Manufacturers of FRP bars are aware of the necessity
to model the bondslip of their bars.
Hughes Brothers, Inc. had sponsored a couple of
institutions to investigate the phenomenon.
A variety of results were obtained, as
different testing methodologies generated different results.
complexity of the issue.
This is an indication of the
Larralde et al (1993) tested the bonding of FRP bar and concrete.
There was a
longitudinal helical wrap around bar surface.
Since there was little cracking in the
concrete after bond failure, it was believed to be an indication of low local bearing stress
between the indentations of the FRP bars and the surrounding concrete.
There is generally no fatigue failure within the FRP bars themselves. Therefore,
research activities have been directed to the bonding between FRP and concrete under
24
fatigue loading.
C. Shield et al (1997) investigated the thermal and mechanical fatigue
effects on the bonding between GFRP bars, steel bars and concrete. The specimens were
300mm x 457mm x 1220mm. At both the top and bottom of a specimen, there was one
protruding test bar, with one supplementary bar on each side.
The embedment lengths
were
selected
to
be
about
ten
diameters
or
more,
in
order
to
ensure
sufficient
development length.
Some specimens were cycled under pullout loads between 18KN
and 45 KN for 100,000 cycles.
Other specimens were stored in an environmental
chamber for three and a half months while temperatures changed between 20 ^{o} C and
25 ^{o} C for 20 cycles.
Basically, eccentric pullout tests were conducted.
The slips at the
loading end and free end were monitored.
All of the specimens failed in bond with
concrete splitting around the test bars.
It was found that GFRP specimens showed no
reduction in bond strength after mechanical fatigue, while there was a 13% reduction
with steel bars specimens.
Thermal fatigue, however, caused more bond degradation in
GFRP specimens than in steel bar specimens. In the test setup, the protruding portion of
the test bar was loaded, which made it impossible to apply realistic number of cycles, due
to the damage to the bar.
C.E. Bakis et al (1998) investigated the effect of cyclic loading on bonding of
Glass FRP (GFRP) bars in concrete.
The experiment scheme was the RILEM bond
beam.
The beam section was 100mmx180mm.
Some of the bars tested are no longer
manufactured. The CP bars in their tests exhibited behavior very similar to the Aslan 100
bars made by Hughes Brothers Inc.
The bar diameters were 10.1mm, 12.7mm and
16mm.
An embedment length of five diameters was used.
The load amplitude was
25
selected to achieve 90%, 50% and 75% of the ultimate bond strength. The bar slip at the
free ends was recorded. In the case of CP bars, the residual slip after the first cycle was a
significant portion of slip at the end of the 100,000 cycles, ranging from 75% to 25%,
depending on the load magnitude.
It was found that the residual bond stiffness was
actually higher than the initial bond stiffness.
The actuator displacement verses load
observations also supported that conclusion. The authors suggested that slipping of bars
might aid the apparent interlocking with concrete. It was also recognized by the authors
that bond failure should not occur in properly designed members with working stress of
up to 20% of ultimate strength. This work was contradictory to the finding by C. Shield
et al. (1997) that cyclic loading did not enhance the bonding stiffness.
The experiment
setups were similar to each other for the two investigations, but the load levels were very
different.
Cosenza et al. (1997) discussed the bonding behavior between concrete and FRP
bars, and a survey of bondslip models was presented.
FRP bars were categorized into
straight bars and deformed bars. Straight bars were smooth, graincovered or sandblasted
prismatic rods.
Deformed bars were ribbed, indented, twisted or braided.
It was stated
that the bond was controlled by the factors including chemical bond, friction due to FRP
surface roughness, mechanical interlock of FRP bars against concrete, normal pressure
between FRP bars and concrete.
An effect of bar size has been observed, with the
average bond resistance decreasing as bar size increased. A top bar effect also exists for
FRP.
Longer embedment length resulted in lower average bond resistance.
Among
environmental conditions, bond strength was not closely related to temperature changes;
26
chemical conditions, however, such as high alkalinity were shown to be detrimental to
bonding.
Popular bondslip models are the Malvars model, BPE model, modified BPE
model and CMR model. All of these models use exponential functions to model the first
branch of increasing bond stress and slip. The softening branch was modeled linearly, for
convenience. The authors stated that modified BPM model presented the best agreement
with the available experiment results.
A. Katz (2001) tested five different types of FRP bars.
Each FRP bar was
embedded in a concrete block and 450,000 cycles of cyclic loads were applied. Between
each 150,000 cycles, the specimens were immersed in water of 60 ^{o} C and 20 ^{o} C to
simulate a deterioration process.
At the end of the fatigue tests, a pullout test was
conducted for each specimen.
Three mechanisms of failure observed were abrasion of
rod surface, delamination of outer layer of resin, and abrasion of cement particles
entrapped between rod and concrete. It was concluded that helical wrapping of FRP bars
did not increase bond resistance under cyclic loading.
A sand covered bar surface did
improve bonding; such bars were able to maintain maximum loading for a relatively long
slip.
Flexural response of FRP reinforced concrete were reported by Benmokrane
(1996) and other investigators.
The general consensus is that at small load, the crack
pattern in FRP concrete is similar to that of steel reinforced concrete.
As the load
increases, however, there are more cracks with larger crack openings in FRP concrete
than in traditional steel reinforced concrete, for comparable reinforcement ratios.
This
27
behavior is expected, since FRP has a much lower modulus of elasticity, compared with
traditional steel reinforcement.
The moment /curvature diagrams of lightly reinforced
FRP beams are clearly bilinear, with the bend point at the crack initiation moment level.
GFRP reinforced concrete beams were analyzed by Vijay and GangaRao (2001);
different modes of failure were compared.
The compression controlled failure mode
presented not only higher flexural strength, but also a more ductile failure than the
tension controlled failure mode.
This result was consistent with ACI 440.1R01
suggested design criteria. A parameter DF was defined as the ratio of energy absorption
at ultimate strength to that at a limiting curvature value. To satisfy both the serviceability
deflection limit of L/180 and crack opening limit of 0.016 inches, the curvature limit was
set to be 0.005/d.
The parameter DF then became a unified indicator, covering both
serviceability and strength.
The tensile strength of concrete is typically assumed to
be
7.5
, with an assumed elastic modulus of 57000
(using U.S. units with stress
units
be
ε
cr
in
=
7.5
tensile
= 0.0013
strain
at
.
The
cracking
curvature
at
is
thus
assumed
first
cracking
ψ
cr
to
is
approximately
2ε
cr
/
h
= 0.0026 /
h
, for a symmetric section.
Vijay and GangaRao thus
have used twice the curvature at first cracking as the limiting curvature in their design
criterion.
Bridge decks of traditional steel reinforced concrete have been analyzed and
tested by many researchers, including Graddy et al.(1995). With the general purpose FE
program SAP as their primary analysis tool, they performed a sequence of linear finite
28
element analysis, utilizing a smeared crack representation.
was used for plain concrete, with Kupfer's (1969) criterion.
A cracking stress of 0.1f _{c} ’
Cracks were only deemed
possible in the directions parallel to the transverse and longitudinal reinforcement, i.e.,
the model failed to simulate nonorthogonal cracks.
New material parameters were
assigned
for
each
round
of
analysis.
The
element
utilized
was
an
eight
node
isoparametric solid element, of the same size for the entire model, with edges parallel to
the edges of model.
Comparing analytical results with available experimental data, the
study indicated that loaddeflection was accurately simulated in the analysis,
while the
predicted stresses in the reinforcements were
very
different
from those observed
experimentally. The work was limited to the ultimate strength studies of RC slabs, and
the serviceability of these slabs was not investigated.
Many researchers including Graddy et al.(1995) and others have noticed the effect
of arching action in traditional steel reinforced concrete.
Before a concrete slab cracks,
the dominant resistance is flexure.
After the concrete cracks, a “dome” architecture
exists underneath the concentrated loads, if the cracked concrete is excluded. Inplane, or
membrane stress, then becomes more significant. The results of theoretical analysis and
experiments have shown that the arching action contributes to the slab strength. Arching
action for multiple wheel loads is uncertain, however, especially in the case of FRP
reinforced concrete slabs. Arching effect at service load levels for FRP slab has not been
investigated.
29
Canadian investigators have been active in the research of fiber reinforced
concrete and steelfree bridge deck system.
The transverse reinforcements are mainly
external steel straps or FRP bars. B. Bakht et al (2000) reviewed different types of straps.
They included fully studded straps, partially studded straps, cruciform straps, FRP bars
and diaphragms.
Three models of steel free slabs with different straps were tested to
failure under monotonic loading. The mode of failure was mostly punching shear failure
as expected, but at a much larger load.
An additional specimen was tested under 1000
cycles of pulsating load between 0 and 88 KN (20 Kips) prior to the static testing.
The
results of the latter static testing indicated that the forces in straps increased, due to
shakedown in the slab.
The authors concluded that actual failure loads of the steelfree
deck slabs are more than 10 times larger than the theoretical failure load attributable to
bending alone.
Similar research was conducted by Salem et al (2002).
A finite element model
was developed for a steel free concrete deck. The lateral reinforcement was a cruciform
strap. The concrete was fiber reinforced concrete, so as to control cracking due to creep
and shrinkage.
The results showed that the load at slab failure was only increased by
11% for a two girder model and 15% for a three girder model, when the inertia of girders
was increased by 150%.
The position and location of the lateral straps were also
analyzed.
The ultimate load of the slab was insensitive to the strap position.
For
practical purposes, it was recommended to weld the straps to the top flange of girders.
30
Yost (2002) tested the performance of concrete slabs reinforced by FRP grids.
The product is commercially known as NEFMAC, and is composed of continuous high
strength reinforcing fibers, impregnated within a vinyl ester resin.
A two dimensional
grid sheet was formed with redundant “overlaying”.
The test was conducted under
monotonic loading with AASHTO HS25 truck load. The ultimate load was five times as
much as the HS25 criterion. The field testing of a bridge slab had shown that the strains
and deflections were well within the design limits.
The effects of pulsating and moving loads on traditionally reinforced concrete
slabs were studied by Perdikaris et al (1988, 1989).
The research covered both the
AASHTO orthotropic reinforced slabs and the Ontario isotropic reinforced slab.
In the
prototype, the three beams were space at 2.13m (7 ft).
The orthotropic reinforcement
pattern consisted of a top and bottom layer of transverse and longitudinal steel
reinforcing bars 19M (#6) spaced at 188mm and 376mm respectively.
In the isotropic
reinforcement pattern, the spacing in both directions was 437mm.
In either case, the
spacing was fairly large.
The restricting boundary conditions were considered in the
research.
Models of 1/6.6 and 1/3 scale were tested.
The maximum fatigue load was
60% of the static ultimate strength, which was fairly high.
The results showed that
fatigue life of slabs with isotropic reinforcement is twenty times that with orthotropic
reinforcement.
The factors of safety at static ultimate failure are 14 and 23, however, for
those of isotropic and orthotropic reinforcements, respectively.
31
Bridge slabs are constantly under traffic load. Due to serviceability requirements,
such as crack opening and lateral load distribution, ultimate strength is usually not crucial
in the slab design.
However, the AASHTO design methodology is still presented from
the perspective of strength design.
The design moment in the load factor design (LFD)
methodology was assumed to be (S+2)P/32 per foot of slab width, where S is the
effective span length of slab in feet and P is the design wheel load.
The formula is in
U.S. units.
In the AASHTO load and resistance factor design (LRFD), an equivalent
width of bridge slab was defined for strength design in AASHTO Table 4.6.2.1.31.
In
the case of a concrete slab over multiple girders, the width is taken as 660+0.55S for
positive moment and 1220+0.25S for negative moment, where the girder spacing is S.
The methodology is believed to simplify the bridge deck design process.
The Ontario Highway Bridge Design Code has recognized the inplane or
membrane forces in typical bridge slabs.
The slab design was reduced to a prescription
of isotropic reinforcement.
The reinforcement pattern is orthogonal in the slab.
A
minimum reinforcement ratio of 0.003 is required in both directions, top and bottom.
The restrictions of the empirical design are as follows.
a.)
The span length of a slab is
less than 3.6m (12 ft).
b.)
The ratio of span to thickness does not exceed 15.
c.)
The
slab thickness is 225mm minimum and the spacing of the bars is 300mm maximum. d.)
Intermediate diaphragms will not be spaced at more than 8m.
The crack control
requirements are then assumed to be met automatically.
32
A
similar
empirical
design
methodology
is
available
in
AASHTO
(2000).
Reinforcement is required at both directions of each face.
The minimum amount of
reinforcement is 0.570 mm ^{2} /mm of steel for each bottom layer and 0.380 mm ^{2} /mm of
steel for each top layer. The maximum spacing of reinforcement is 450 mm.
The most common type of bridge is a concrete deck, supported on multiple
girders. Except in the case of large horizontal curvature, girders are usually analyzed and
designed individually. In other words, 1D finite element analysis is common practice in
the bridge design consulting industry.
Therefore, the AASHTO design codes have
traditionally provided lateral distribution factors which account for the maximum
possible portion of wheel load (half of axial load) acting on one girder. In the AASHTO
LFD design codes, simple formulas of load distribution factors are listed.
For girder
spacing S less than 3.6m (12 feet), the distribution factor (DF) is S/5.5.
In the current
LRFD codes, the formulas for DF are as follows.
DF =
DF =
0.06
+
(
0.075
+
S
S
K
g
)
0.4
(
)
0.3
(
14
L
12 Lt
3
s
)
0.1
(
S
S
K
g
)
0.6
(
)
0.2
(
9.5
L
12 Lt
3
s
)
0.1
(one design lane loaded) 
(15) 
(two or more design lane loaded) 
(16) 
where S is the girder spacing; L is the bridge span, K _{g} is longitudinal stiffness parameter
and t _{s} is slab thickness.
Many researchers have been involved in the evaluation of
distribution factors. The majority of the work has been finite element analysis of bridge
structures of steel reinforced concrete slabs on multiple girders.
Mabsout el al (1997)
reviewed finite element analysis of bridges and analyzed a bridge with a span of 17m (56
ft).
Concrete slabs may be modeled with shell elements or isoparametric continuum
33
elements.
Girders may be modeled as 3D beam elements with rigid links to the slab.
Sometimes, the web may be modeled with shell elements and flanges may be modeled
with beam elements, or the entire girder may be modeled with shell elements.
It was
found that different models produced distribution factors similar to NCHRP 1226
(1987), but all were less than AASHTO (1996).
The analysis results showed that the
distribution factor decreased, as the bridge span became larger.
In summary, the advantages of FRP make it a potentially better choice in
applications such as bridge deck slabs.
The performance of FRP RC under monotonic
loading has been understood fairly well.
ACI 440.1R01 proposes to design for a
strength failure mode of concrete crushing, to achieve better ductility.
Some other
criteria which are serviceability oriented have been reported.
The serviceability of FRP RC, particularly in fatigue environments, deserves to be
further investigated before engineers can be expected to be confident with this fairly new
material.
The predicted maximum crack opening of FRP RC has been converted from
conventional RC, although the bond properties are different for steel and FRP. The Paris
law appears to be applicable in concrete, with a size effect being detected.
FRP itself
possesses excellent fatigue properties; the bond durability under cyclic loads, however,
has not been thoroughly investigated. There have been varying results, mostly based on
pullout tests, on residual bond strength following limited cyclic loads.
34
Verification with a different experimental methodology is needed.
The current
bridge design code is conservative in terms of load distribution.
Although the current
design methodology is strength oriented, serviceability is often the critical factor in
bridge deck slab design. The finite element method has been successfully used for a long
time in bridge structural analysis; analysis results are typically based on uncracked
concrete slab properties, which is generally reasonable for steel RC.
Crack growth in FRP reinforced concrete is yet fully understood, particularly in
fatigue environments.
Investigation of FRP RC fatigue performance is crucial in
applications such as bridge slabs. In this study, experimental results on fatigue testing of
FRP RC will be presented.
Subsequently, the crack opening displacement and crack
growth will be modeled utilizing the finite element method and fatigue/fracture theory,
respectively.
A finite element model will be developed to simulation the crack opening
of the test specimens.
A fatigue model will be created to simulate the observed crack
growth under cyclic loading.
An empirical equation for final crack opening will be
proposed.
A sensitivity analysis on the crack growth model will also be conducted to
evaluate the effects, the uncertainty and the randomness of different parameters.
The
finite element model will then be extended to the analysis and crack opening estimation
of realistic FRP reinforced concrete bridge deck slabs under actual AASHTO wheel
loads.
Finally, the overall performance of an FRP RC slab on a single span bridge of
multiple girders will be analyzed. Under the condition of a cracked slab, the lateral load
distribution factor will be discussed. Other implications on the serviceability provisions
in ACI 440.1R01 will be discussed.
35
Chapter 2
Experimental Analysis of FRP Reinforced Concrete under Fatigue Load
Motivation for the Testing Program
Due to its high corrosion resistance, FRP is set to be a promising alternative to
steel reinforcement in bridge decks. Typically a major concern in an FRP bridge slab is
its serviceability, rather than its strength.
Crack opening is one of the important
indicators of serviceability.
Crack opening and its growth in FRP RC are related to the
fatigue characteristics of FRP bar, concrete, and their interface. The bondslip and crack
growth mechanisms at different rebar spacing have not yet been fully investigated.
The
behavior
of
FRP
reinforced
concrete
under
fatigue
loading
has
been
investigated thus far by simple pullout tests, or by RILEM beam bond tests, following an
interval of cyclic loading.
There are two shortcomings with these approaches.
One is
that the testing condition is not the actual working condition of rebar in an environment
such as a bridge deck.
A small bond length is normally used in a RILEM beam or a
concrete pullout block.
Conclusions drawn under such conditions may not always be
applicable to typical in service conditions.
The second issue is that such tests are
sensitive to specimen imperfections. With portions of bar exposed, the bar is susceptible
to local damage due to unintentional stress concentrations and eccentricities which may
not be representative of inservice conditions; such variations can be especially critical in
fatigue testing.
36
The proposed experiment focused on fatigueinduced crack growth in FRP RC
under servicelevel cyclic loading, in specimens more representative of inservice
applications.
Specimens were actual beams reinforced with FRP bars.
Beams of
different widths were used to simulate bridge slabs of different bar spacing/reinforcement
ratios.
Traditionally, the minimum thickness of a bridge slab is 215 mm (8.5 inches).
Concrete bridge slabs are typically designed with sufficient depth such that no shear
reinforcement is needed, and so that the expected load distribution among bridge girders
is achieved.
Therefore, the performance of FRP reinforced concrete in the flexural
response modes is of primary interest to bridge deck designers.
Description of the Testing Program
FRP beams of identical depths and spans, but with four different widths were
fabricated.
The concrete was composed of type III cement, water, fine aggregate and
coarse
aggregates
with
weight
proportions
of
1.0/
0.5/
2.0/
2.83.
The
nominal
compressive strength target was 34.5MPa (5000 psi).
The compressive strength from a
cylinder test was 27.9 MPa (4045 psi). The tensile strength from a splitcylinder test was
4.9 MPa (715 psi).
37
Figure 2.1 Aslan 100 GFRP by Hughes Brothers
The first set of FRP bars tested, which are reported herein, were Aslan 100 GFRP
made by Hughes Brothers, Inc. (see Figure 2.1).
As shown above, the bars are sand
coated with a helical wrap along the length. The reported tensile strength is 655 MPa (95
ksi) for No. 16 (#5) bars.
The reported modulus of elasticity is 40.8 GPa (5.92E6 psi).
To simulate a typical bridge slab section, beams were all 1830 mm (6 feet) long and
215mm (8.5 inches) thick.
The beam widths were 76 mm, 102 mm, 127 mm and 152
mm (3, 4, 5 and 6 inches) which represent typical bar spacing in bridge decks.
For
identification purposes, they are categorized as group H and they are labeled as
C3x8.5H5, C4x8.5H5, C5x8.5H5, C6x8.5H5, respectively.
The first letter C stands for
the constant amplitude; the beam size in U.S. units follows; H shows the manufacture of
the bars as Hughes Brothers, Inc.; the last number is the size, #5, of the FRP bar. Within
each beam, there was one No. 16 FRP bar (#5 diameter 5/8 inches) at the bottom of each
beam (tensile region) with 25 mm (1 inch) cover to the bar surface.
38
Figure 2.2 Isorod by Pultrall
The second set of FRP bars tested were Isorod GFRP made by Pultrall, ADS
Composites Group (see Figure 2.2). The bars are also sand coated, without a helical wrap
along the length. The tensile strength is 674 MPa (98.9 ksi) for #5 bars. The modulus of
elasticity is 42 GPa (6.1x10 ^{6} psi).
Similarly, test specimens were all 1830 mm (6 feet)
long and 215mm (8.5 inches) thick.
The beam widths were 76 mm, 102 mm, 127 mm
and 152 mm (3, 4, 5 and 6 inches) which represent typical bar spacing in bridge decks.
For identification purposes, they are categorized as group P and they are labeled as
C3x8.5P5, C4x8.5P5, C5x8.5P5, C6x8.5P5, respectively.
One extra specimen, C5x8.5P5OL, of section 127mmx215mm with bars of Isorod
was made to investigate the effect of overload precracking.
One more specimen,
C5x8.5H5M, of section 127mmx215mm with bars of Aslan 100 was singled out with
cracks adjacent to each other, to investigate the effect of multiple cracks. One specimen,
C5x8.5S5, of section 127mmx215mm was made of 16M (#5) steel rebar, for comparison
purposes.
39
Specimen 
Width (mm) 
Height (mm) 
Reinforcement 
Test Sequence 
C3x8.5H5 
76 
215 
16M (Aslan 100) 
2 
C4x8.5H5 
102 
215 
16M (Aslan 100) 
3 
C5x8.5H5 
127 
215 
16M (Aslan 100) 
1 
C6x8.5H5 
152 
215 
16M (Aslan 100) 
4 
C5x8.5H5M 
127 
215 
16M (Aslan 100) 
5 
C3x8.5P5 
76 
215 
16M (Isorod) 
6 
C4x8.5P5 
102 
215 
16M (Isorod) 
7 
C5x8.5P5 
127 
215 
16M (Isorod) 
10 
C6x8.5P5 
152 
215 
16M (Isorod) 
9 
C5x8.5P5OL 
75 
215 
16M (Isorod) 
8 
C5x8.5S5 
127 
215 
Steel 
11 
Table 2.1 Specimen Descriptions
40
Figure 2.4 Cyclic Load Test Setup
The specimens were all under four point bending (see Figure 2.3 and 2.4).
The
beam was loaded symmetrically with two loads at the third points. The cracks within the
pure bending region were monitored.
The maximum cyclic service load was determined
based on the creep rupture stress limit of 0.20f _{f}_{u} for FRP bars, in accordance with ACI
440.1R01, resulting in a cyclic rebar stress level of 645 MPa (~20 ksi).
The minimum
and maximum loads were 2225 N (500 lb) and 15600 N (3500 lb) respectively.
The
resulting moments are greater than the theoretical cracking moments. Based on nominal
k _{b} value of 1.2, the predicted crack openings are 0.68 mm, 0.75 mm, 0.80 mm and 0.84
mm for beam widths of 76 mm, 102 mm, 127 mm and 152 mm, respectively.
According to ACI 440.1R01, the performance of FRP is dependent on the testing
frequency. Endurance limit was found to be inversely proportional to loading frequency
41
in carbon FRP. Higher cyclic loading frequencies in the 0.5 to 8 Hz range corresponded
to higher bar temperatures due to sliding friction. For a bridge slab under traffic load, the
stress of a rebar reaches maximum when a truck axle load is applied on the top of the slab
at the same location. For a truck with axle spacing of 3.6m (12 feet) at 65 miles per hour,
the frequency of passing axles may be as high as 7.94. However, for a bridge of 10,000
ADTT (average daily truck traffic), the truck load is applied at a frequency of 0.23 Hz.
So, the overall frequency is 1.8 Hz, which is the product of 7.94 and 0.23. Therefore, the
frequency at which load was cycled was at 2 Hz in the tests. The percentage of overload
was decided based on traditional AASHTO load factor design. The overload was defined
to have the value of γ factor at 1 instead of 1.3 in the factored load.
Therefore, for
specimen C5x8.5H5 and C6x8.5H5, the effect of a modest (30% to 40%) overload was
also investigated.
Figure 2.5 Sketch of Data Acquisition System
42
Static precracking was used. The loading was stopped as soon as cracks became
visible for all specimens, except in the case of the overload precracking investigation.
MTS clipon crack opening displacement gages 632.02B20 and 632.02C20 were then
installed on the cracks which had been initiated as shown above.
The maximum arm
displacements of the instruments are +2.540 mm to 1.270 mm (+0.1000 in to 0.050 in)
and +3 mm to 1 mm (+0.118 in to 0.039 in)), respectively.
Two DCDTs were also
fastened on each side of the specimen in the midspan to measure the relative beam
deflection, within the pure bending region, for average curvature estimation. All eleven
specimens were tested under the same initial cyclic load amplitude.
The crack mouth
opening displacement (CMOD) was recorded under a ramp load and the first 20 cycles of
cyclic load at the beginning of each test interval, in order to track the evolution of crack
development with increasing load cycle counts.
Experimental Results
(1) Group H  Aslan 100 GFRP Rebar by Hughes Brothers, Inc.
The first specimen tested was C5x8.5H5.
Two cracks appeared within the pure
bending region after static precracking and two more cracks were observed immediately
after the test started. The approximate crack spacing was 190mm (7.5”). After the first
test interval of 5,000 cycles, the crack lengths became visually constant.
After more
cycles were applied, there was no sign of distress with the specimen, and all cracks were
stable.
All crack tips stopped at approximately 38mm (1.5 inches) below the top of
beam, which was near the theoretical neutral axis. The specimen did not appear to have
43
any distress at the end of testing of one million cycles. The crack length was virtually the
same.
There was no concrete spalling near the rebar at the bottom of specimen. It was
also found that there was no scaling in the specimen – concrete surfaces were sound with
no loss of surface mortar and aggregates. To investigate the effect of overload, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was
increased to 22,300 N (5.0 kips), corresponding to a rebar stress level of 25 ksi.
After
10,000 cycles of this overload, the specimen was still in good condition.
Figure 2.6 Specimen C5 x 8.5 H5
The second specimen tested was C3x8.5H5. Three cracks appeared at static pre
cracking and three more were observed at 20,000 cycles. The crack spacing was between
130mm (4.5 inches) to 165mm (6.5 inches).
The tips
of the cracks stopped at
approximately 50mm (2 inches) below the top of beam. Due to the larger bearing stress
at both supports, the concrete at the bearing locations started crumbling near the end of 2
million cycles of testing.
There was no sign of concrete distress elsewhere in the
specimen. No overload was applied due to the degraded condition of the concrete in the
vicinity of the bearings.
44
Figure 2.7 Specimen C3 x 8.5 H5
The behavior of specimen C4x8.5H5 was similar.
Three initial cracks were
generated at static precracking. Two more cracks appeared at 6000 cycles. The average
crack spacing was between 130mm ( 4.5 inches) and 180mm ( 7 inches). The tips of the
cracks stopped at approximately 45mm ( 1.75 inches) below the top of beam, up to 1.8
million cycles. To investigate the effect of overload, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was again increased to 22,300
N (5.0 kips) for 15,000 cycles. No addition distress was found in the specimen.
Figure 2.8 Specimen C4 x 8.5 H5
45
The behavior of specimen C6x8.5H5 was somewhat different.
Only one crack
was generated at static precracking.
Extra load was added after the appearance of the
first crack but no additional cracks appeared.
During the subsequent fatigue testing, no
new cracks appeared up to 140,000 cycles, at which point the CMOD gage debonded.
(The single crack had ceased to grow in length, however, prior to 10,000 cycles.)
The P _{m}_{a}_{x} was raised at that point to 20000 N (4.5 kips) to explore the effect of
overload.
A new crack appeared 700 cycles later.
The newly formed crack was
instrumented, and P _{m}_{a}_{x} was again lowered to its initial value of 15,600 N ( 3.5 kips).
After an additional 35,000 cycles of fatigue load at P _{m}_{a}_{x} of 15,600 N, the primary crack
did not show any sign of further growth induced by the 700 cycles of overload.
Therefore, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was raised back to 20,000 N and 40,000 additional cycles were applied,
with both the primary crack and secondary crack remaining stable.
Figure 2.9 Specimen C6 x 8.5 H5
46
To further investigate the overload effect, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was finally increased to 22,300 N
(5.0 kips).
A third crack was found around 400 cycles; a total of 40,000 cycles were
applied at this load level, with the second and third cracks monitored. All cracks became
stable and no addition signs of distress were noted.
(2) Group P  Isorod GFRP made by Pultrall, ADS Composites Group
The first specimen tested was C3x8.5P5.
Three cracks appeared at static pre
cracking within the pure bending region and one outside the pure bending region.
The
average spacing was 150mm (6 inches).
After the first run of 3,000 cycles, the crack
lengths became visually constant. After more cycles were applied, there was no sign of
distress such as spalling and scaling with the specimen, and all cracks were stable.
No
new cracks were found in the specimen. The controlling system crashed at a load cycle
count of 30,000. All crack tips stopped at approximately 45mm (1.75 inches) below the
top of beam. 
The specimen did not appear to have any distress at the end of 270,000 
testing cycles. 
To investigate the effect of overload, P _{m}_{a}_{x} of 20,000 N (4.5 kips) was 
applied. After 10,000 cycles of overload, the specimen was still in good condition.
47
Figure 2.10 Specimen C3 x 8.5 P5
The second specimen was C4x8.5P5.
Within the pure bending region, only one
crack appeared at static precracking and one more was observed at 400 cycles.
A clip
gage was immediately installed for the new crack. An additional crack appeared at load
cycle 1000. The average spacing was 200mm (8.5 inches). The tips of the initial cracks
stopped at approximately 38mm (1.5 inches) below the top of beam after the application
of 900,000 load cycles. Excessive overload was tested at P _{m}_{a}_{x} of 29,000 N (6.5k), which
resulted in 276 MPa (40 ksi) of rebar stress. This stress level was equivalent to the data
cited by Balaguru and Shah (1981) in their model to simulate the increase of deflection
and crack opening for steel RC. The general trend of their model was that crack opening
always increased with the number of cycles applied.
After 200 cycles of overload,
existing cracks started branching and a new crack appeared.
After 3000 cycles of
overload, the concrete cover started falling off, as debonding became more pronounced; it
was determined that the specimen had reached fatigue failure at that point.
48
Figure 2.11 Specimen C4 x 8.5 P5
Specimen C5x8.5P5 behaved somewhat differently. One initial crack of 130mm
long was generated at static precracking.
One new crack appeared at 110 cycles.
At
around 900 cycles, two new cracks appeared, with one crack of initial surface length
120mm (4.75 in), between the first two cracks at the midspan region. The average crack
spacing was 115mm (4.5 inches) within the pure bending region.
The tip of the newer
crack at midspan was dormant for about 100,000 cycles, and then began growing.
(Unfortunately, no more gages were available to acquire the crack opening evolution of
this crack.)
The tips of all cracks stopped at approximately 50mm (2 inches) below the
top of the beam at 1.25 million cycles.
To investigate the effect of overload, P _{m}_{a}_{x} of
22,300 N (5.0 kips) was applied for 10,000 cycles. By the end of the test, the concrete at
the left bearing started crumbling.
49
Figure 2.12 Specimen C5 x 8.5 P5
The specimen C6x8.5P5 behaved similarly.
Only one crack was generated at
static precracking, as expected.
No extra load was initially added, to avoid any plastic
hardening of the concreterebar interface bonding. During the subsequent fatigue testing,
no new cracks appeared up to 1,300,000 cycles.
The P _{m}_{a}_{x} of the cyclic load was then
raised to 22300 N (5.0 kips) to explore the effect of overload. One new crack appeared
within 400 cycles of overload.
After 50,000 cycles of overload, however, there was no
indication of severe distress. Subsequently, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was raised to 29,000 N (6.5 kips). The
two existing cracks then started branching.
After 155,000 cycles of this overload were
applied, the specimen was still in good shape. All cracks became stable and no addition
signs of distress were found.
50
Figure 2.13 Specimen C6 x 8.5 P5
(3) Overload Precracking
In all tests to this point, cracks had been generated with minimum possible static
loading, which is equivalent to fatigue precracking. Experiments were also conducted to
investigate the case of overload precracking.
Additional static overload was applied
after cracks had appeared, followed by cyclic load at service level.
For specimen
C5x8.5P5OL, there was no further growth of crack length during the course of fatigue
testing. 
For specimen C6x8.5H5, crack lengths did continue developing during fatigue 
testing 
Figure 2.14 Specimen C5 x 8.5 P5OL
51
(4) Conventional steel RC
A similar test was conducted for a specimen made with conventional steel
reinforcing. Static precracking was used, and five cracks appeared, with two very close
to each other. The initial crack length was between 100mm (4 inches) and 120mm (4.75
inches).
The crack spacing was ranging between 140mm (5.5 inches) to 180mm (7
inches). As cyclic load testing started, there was no visible growth of the cracks. No new
crack was generated during the test. At the end of 1,000,000 cycles, there was no sign of
distress within the specimen.
To further investigate the overload effect, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was first increased to 22,300 N
(5.0 kips).
The specimen was still in good shape after 150,000 cycles.
Then, P _{m}_{a}_{x} was
then increased to 29,000 N ( 6.5 kips) which represented 200% of working stress; the
specimen appeared to be intact after 30,000 cycles of this load level.
Figure 2.15 Specimen C5 x 8.5 S5
52
For
all
specimens,
the
attempts
to
monitor
average
curvature
through
the
measurement
of
relative
displacements
within
the
test
section,
failed
to
produce
consistently usable results, particularly for large cycle counts.
First, the magnitude of
deflection at the midspan, relative to the line of the two 1/3 span loading points, was
very small in magnitude (only on the order of a few thousandths of an inch), resulting in a
low resolution for the measured DCDT data to begin with.
It was also inevitable for
specimens to shift positions over time under the dynamic load, even though a minimum
nonzero load was maintained, and to exhibit some secondary torsional movement, due
primarily to minor imperfections in the specimen and supports, all of which contributed
to measurement difficulties. It was decided finally to utilize only the more reliable crack
gauge data in the subsequent analyses.
(5) Crack Profile Characterization
The crack profile may be investigated in the methods of laser holographic
interferometry, acoustic emission and dye penetration. For some specimens in group P,
the crack length profile was investigated using dye penetration. A notch was made at the
top of a crack for a specimen. The specimen was then loaded in the three point bending
mode, so as to open the crack. As the cracks opened up, rubber sheets were clamped to
each side of the specimen around the crack (see Figure 2.14). Black ink was injected into
the notch, penetrating the crack until reaching the tip the crack. After about two hours,
the reinforcement was cut off and the crack examined; the images of cross sections of
C4x8.5P5, C5x8.5P5 and C6x8.5P5 are illustrated in Figure 2.15.
53
Figure 2.16 Injectiing Dye into Cracks
Figure 2.17 Typical Crack Profiles
54
Quantitative Discussion
The balanced reinforcement ratio is 0.0048, for an FRP tensile strength of
655MPa (95 ksi) and a concrete strength of 27.6 MPa (4000 psi).
The reinforcement
ratios tested were 0.013, 0.010, 0.008 and 0.007 for specimens C3x8.5H5, C4x8.5H5,
C5x8.5H5
and
C6x8.5H5,
respectively.
Specimen
C6x8.5H5,
which
displayed
a
somewhat different behavior than the other specimens, had the lowest reinforcement
ratio, although it was still slightly overreinforced.
As mentioned earlier, the predicted
service load crack openings, based on ACI 440.1R01 criteria, were between 0.68 mm
and 0.84 mm for all four specimens, at the suggested nominal k _{b} value of 1.2.
The
experimental results show that the service load crack openings, measured immediately
after static precracking, were 0.15 mm, 0.16 mm and 0.17 mm for group H specimens
C3x8.5H5, C4x8.5H5 and C5x8.5H5, respectively.
These experimental observations
were only about 25% of the predicted value. The opening of the single crack in specimen
C6x8.5H5 was 0.26mm, which was still less than 30% of the predicted value. In group P,
the service load crack openings, measured immediately after static precracking, were
0.16 mm, 0.17 mm, 0.19 and 0.22 mm for group P specimens C3x8.5P5, C4x8.5P5,
C5x8.5P5 and C6x8.5P5, respectively.
Based on these limited tests, it appears that the
modified GergelyLutz equation may be overly conservative in predicting actual static
service load crack openings, at least for the bars tested in this investigation. According to
the limited test results, a k _{b} value of 0.4 may be more realistic for initial static crack
opening prediction.
Another finding was that there was hardly any difference between
group H and group P.
The reason is that initial static CMOD at working stress level is
55
more related to the modulus of elasticity of FRP bars than the surface bonding.
The
elastic properties of two groups of FRP bars were approximately the same.
The growth of crack opening versus number of cycles may be represented by a
sum of an elastic CMOD and a plastic CMOD.
The elastic CMOD is calculated as the
difference of CMOD at maximum and minimum load, which disappears after unloading.
The residual CMOD at minimum load is the plastic CMOD, which does not disappear
after the removal of loading (see Figure 2.18), and tends to show a greater increase with
the number of applied load cycles than elastic CMOD does.
∆Load
CMOD
Figure 2.18: Definitions of Elastic and Plastic CMOD
Figures 2.19, 2.20, 2.21 and 2.22 display the evolution of elastic CMOD and
plastic CMOD for each specimen in group H and P, with increasing load cycle
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