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THE LOAD-CARRYING CAPACITY OF REINFORCED CONCRETE BEAMS

STRENGTHENED WITH CARBON FIBRE COMPOSITE IN THE TENSION


ZONE SUBJECTED TO TEMPORARY OR SUSTAINED LOADING
Juozas Valivonis1, Tomas Skuturna2, Mykolas Daugeviius3
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Saul tekio ave. 11, LT-10223 Vilnius, Lithuania
E-mail: 1juozas.valivonis@vgtu.lt, 2tomas.skuturna@vgtu.lt, 3mykolas_d@yahoo.com
Abstract. The article presents the results of the research carried out on the reinforced concrete beams under bending
strengthened in the tensile zone with carbon fibre composite. The beams under bending were subjected to short-term
and sustained static loading. The duration of sustained loading was 400 and 863 days. A total of four series of beams
with different reinforcement ratio and loading duration were tested. Experimental research showed that sustained
loading reduces the load-carrying capacity of the beams. Prior to long-term testing of the beams, the load-carrying
capacity of control beams subjected to short-term static loading was measured. The decrease of the strength of the
beams was caused by a long-term creep effect of concrete in the compression zone as well as plastic shear deformations in the bond of concrete and carbon fibre. To calculate the bending capacity, the built-up bar theory enabling estimation of short and long-term deformation capacity in the bond of concrete and carbon fibre was applied.
Keywords: bending capacity, bond shear stiffness, long-term load, creep effect, distribution of deformations.

where: Af, As1, As2 the area of carbon fibre reinforcement, steel bar reinforcement in tension and compression;
ff, fy strengths of carbon fibre and tensile steel reinforcement; x the height of the compression zone; h the
height of strengthened beam; d the effective depth of
reinforced concrete beam; f, s2 deformations carbon
fibre composite and compressed steel reinforcement; Ef,
Es2 the elasticity modulus of carbon fibre composite and
compressed steel reinforcement; 1, G reduction coefficients of the compression zone 1 =0.650.85 and
G =0.4).

1. Introduction
Methods enabling calculation of the load-carrying
capacity of a beam are based on the balance of resultant
forces caused by internal effects and external actions.
Therefore, two methods can be distinguished that are
most frequently used: the method of balance of internal
and external forces (An et al. 1991; GangaRao 1998;
Toutanji 2006; Alagusundaramoorthy et al. 2003; Pham
2004; Lu 2007; Bencardino et al. 2007; Capozucca 2002)
and the method based on the theory of built-up bars (Valivonis 2007; Mariukaitis et al. 2007; Skuturna et al.
2008; Benyoucef et al. 2006, 2007).
If the first method is applied to determine the loadcarrying capacity, according to ACI 440.2R-08 it is
measured by creating balance of forces in respect to the
weight centre of the compression zone cross-section
(Fig 1):

x
x

M R = As1 f yd d 1 + f A f f f h 1 .
2
2

(1)

M R = As1 f yd ( d G x ) +
,
+ A f E f f ( h G x ) + As 2 Es s 2 ( G x as 2 )

(2)

If calculations are made according to Fib biulletin


14, the condition for balance of forces is:

Fig 1. The design scheme

818

The analyses of research related to the load-carrying


capacity of flexural members shows that strengthened
beams can fail in the compression zone, in the horizontal
section by peeling off a strip of carbon fibre together with
a layer of concrete or when carbon fibre composite rupture in the middle of the beam span when the limit
stresses of carbon fibre composite are reached (Bulavs et
al. 2005; Leung 2003; Maalej 2005; Mar iukaitis 2009;
Ramos et al. 2006; Saxena et al. 2008; Thomsen et al.
2004). As research of other investigators shows, strengthened beams fail in the compression zone when the ratio
of the width and height of the beam is close to 1 (Gao et
al. 2007).
The bond of carbon fibre composite and concrete in
strengthened structures is not stiff. When subjected to
loading, due to shear deformations, the composite in the
bond moves in respect to concrete. Due to this, the efficiency of strengthening reduces (Skuturna et al. 2008).
Therefore, the guide for the design ACI 440.2R-08 indicates that the force of carbon fibre composite is reduced
by multiplying by coefficient f 0.85 .

Fig 3. The design scheme

where: M0 sum total of bending moments of separate


members when the bond is stiff; Tc bond shear force is
calculated according to the formula (
1986):

l p cosh

(4)

1
Ec,eff (t ) Ac,eff

(5)
1

E fe A fe

=)

,
+

=
(

(6)

a2
,
Ec,eff (t ) I c,eff

b Gc,eff t

c (t )

) (

c (t )

(7)

where: Ac,eff, Ec,eff (t), Ic,eff the area of effective reinforced concrete cross section, the effective elasticity
modulus, the effective moment of inertia; b the width of
cross section.
The characteristic of the bond shear stiffness Gc,eff (t)
can be calculated according to the formula:

fe

110 2

Ec (t )
Ecm

(8)

M crc
460
,
M R ka

s1

=)

Gc.eff t

In order to evaluate the influence of the shear on the


load-carrying capacity of the composite layer without
using the reduction coefficients, it is suggested to apply
the built-up bar theory. This theory reflects the real work
of strengthened structures since it takes into account slip
of the composite layer caused by shear stresses due to
which the load-carrying capacity of strengthened elements decreases. Besides, it is not necessary to take into
account the reduction coefficients when the structures are
subjected to short-term and sustained loading.

Fig 2. Shear deformations in tension zone of beam

where: Ec(t) the elasticity modulus of concrete is calculated according to EC2; Ecm the secant modulus of concrete; fe reinforcement ratio of carbon fibre composite;
s1 reinforcement ratio of steel reinforcement in tension
zone; Mcrc the cracking moment; MR the load-carrying
capacity of the beams with external carbon fibre reinforcement when the bond between carbon fibre composite
and concrete is stiff is calculated according to the formula
9; ka coefficient which evaluates the type of anchorage
of external reinforcement (when external reinforcement
over supports ka =1; when carbon fibre reinforcement is
not additionally anchored).

According to the built-up bar theory, in order to


make calculations the cross-section of the beam is divided into two separate members (Fig 3).
The bending moment:
(3)

819

2. A method of calculation of the load-carrying capacity of strengthened beams

M 0 Tc a ,

0.5l

The value , assessing the stiffness of the bond is


calculated:
c

MR

lp

EI

sinh

c (t )

P a lp

Tc

M R f cd b x d 0.5 x
Es 2 s 2 As 2 d as 2 A f E f
+

The characteristics of beam concrete, steel bars and


composite carbon fibre reinforcement are given in Table 1.
Experimental research on the second series of beams
was carried out under short-term loading. Beams of all
other series were tested under both short-term and sustained loading.
The reinforced concrete beams were tested on the
testing stand (Fig 4). The length of the beam span was
1200 mm. One hydraulic jack was used to create loading.
The loading was increased by stages. The beam testing
scheme is show in Fig 5.

(9)

af .

where: fcd strengths of concrete under compression;


as2 distance to centroid of compressive steel reinforcement; af distance to centroid of carbon fibre composite.
3. Specimens and methodology of the experimental
research
4 series of beams were produced for experimental
research. The project size of the samples was
1002001500 mm. The compression and tension zones
of the first series of beams were reinforced with 26
reinforcing steel bars. The compression zone of the second series was reinforced with 26 reinforcing bars and
the tension zone was reinforced with 28 reinforcing
bars. The compression and tension zones of the third
series of beams were respectively reinforced with 28
and 212 reinforcing steel bars. The compression zone of
the fourth series of beams was reinforced with 26 reinforcing bars and the tension zone was reinforced with
214 reinforcing bars.
Carbon fibre of B8C and B12C series beams was
glued up the supports. Carbon fibre in B6C and B14C
series beams overlapped the supports. The cross-section
area of carbon fibre reinforcement in all series of beams
was the same.

Fig 4. Overview of test setup for short-term loading

Table 1. Material properties


Series

Beam
code

fc,
(MPa)

Ec,
(GPa)

38.27

34.1

ff,
(MPa)

Ef,
(GPa)

fy,
(MPa)

fyu,
(MPa)

358

460

Af,
(cm2)

4800

231

4800

231

4800

231

As,
(cm2)

Asc,
(cm2)

0.6784

0.6784

1.038

0.57

0.167
2.26

1.01

3.08

0.6784

B6.1C
B6.2C
1

B6.3Ct

0.167

B6.4Ct
B6.5
B8.1C
2

B8.2C

35

31.3

B8.3

557

638

0.167

B12.1C
B12.2C
3

B12.3Ct

32.1

32.27

318

B12.4Ct
B12.5

B12.6

4800

231

456

B14.1C
B14.2C
4

38.27

34.1

B14.3Ct
B14.4Ct
B14.5

32.87

358

460

0.167

31.45

820

4. Results of experimental research


Nineteen reinforced concrete beams were tested in
order to define the influence of short-term and sustained
loading on the work of strengthened beams.
Characteristic points of the work of beams can be
distinguished in the charts of the bending moment and
deformations of the beams subjected to short-term loading. The research shows that the modulus of elasticity of
carbon fibre under tension is ~ 7 times bigger than the
modulus of elasticity of concrete. Therefore, external
carbon fibre reinforcement in a reinforced concrete member restricts deformations of concrete under tension. This
means that the cracking moment significantly increases in
a reinforced concrete member with a restricted tension
zone in comparison with non-strengthened beams. The
first refraction point of the graph (Fig 8) characterises
appearance of vertical cracks.

Fig 5. Testing scheme of short-term loading

During the testing the following measurements were


made: beam deflection and displacement of carbon fibre
composite in respect to concrete, deformations of the
external carbon fibre reinforcement, deformations of
concrete in the compression and tension zones, the cracking moment, the character and the width of the increase
of cracks were also recorded.
For sustained bending of beams the equipment
(Figs 6, 7) which ensured a stable level of loading during
the whole period of the research was used. The places of
concentrated forces were the same as in control beams.
To achieve the effect of sustained loading the beams were
loaded up to the level of 0.6MR of the load-carrying capacity. During the testing, similarly as with beams under
short-term loading, deformations and beam deflection
were measured here. At the end of sustained testing the
beams are unloaded and each sample is subjected to
short-term loading until it reaches the capacity loading.

20
18
Bending moment [kNm]

16
14
12
10
8
6

-1

-2

-3

0
-0.2

-0.1

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

Deformations [ 10]

Fig 8. Distribution of deformations in beam B12-1C:


-1 composite layer under tension; -2 the layer with
steel bar reinforcement under tension; -3 concrete in
the compression zone

troppus gniraeB

A-A
troppus gniraeB

It has also been found out that carbon fibre reinforcement in the tension zone influences increase of
cracks, limits the development of cracks, therefore, the
width and height of cracks do not increase. Carbon fibre
is glued to reinforced concrete beams with epoxy adhesive. When adhesive deforms, carbon fibre composite
slips horizontally and causes stresses in concrete. Due to
these stresses, additionally to vertical cracks, horizontal
cracks appear in concrete (Fig 9). Research shows that
these cracks interconnect and in separate zones damage
the bond between carbon fibre composite and concrete.
When the bond is damaged, increase in steel bar deformation significantly grows (Fig 8 refraction of the graph).
Later, depending on how carbon fibre composite
was anchored, beams failed by peeling off carbon fibre
composite (Fig 10) or carbon fibre rupture (Fig 11).
The research conducted shows that the load-carrying
capacity of the strengthened beams subjected to shortterm loading compared to the beams without external
reinforcement increases. The load-carrying capacity of
B6 series beams increases more than 3 times; the loadcarrying capacity of B8 series beams increases more
than 70 %; the load-carrying capacity of B12 series
beams increases more than 50 % in comparison with the
beams that were not strengthened (Table 3).

0.52

tellap thgieW

0 .52

0.52
0.52

0.52
0.52

821

sre yal
PR FC

Fig 7. Test setup for sustained loading

s ma eB

maeb refsnart dao L


s mae B

Fig 6. Testing scheme of sustained loading test

0 .52
0.52

0.52

forced concrete beam. Therefore, when repeatedly loaded


ultimate deformations at which the load-carrying capacity
is lost are reached faster.
25

Bending moment [kNm]

20

Fig 9. Distribution of leaning cracks along the beam at


the site of bond of carbon fibre and concrete in the
tension zone

15

10
B6.1C
B12.1C
B14.1C
-0.25

-0.20

-0.15

-0.10

0
0.00

-0.05

Deformations [ 10]

Fig 12. Distribution of deformations of compression


zone of concrete

Bending moment [kNm]

25

Fig 10. Failure mode of beams by peeling off carbon


fibre composite

20

15

10
B6.1C
B12.1C
B14.1C

0
0.00

0.20

0.40

0.60

0.80

1.00

Deformations [ 10]

Fig 13. Distribution of deformations of carbon fibre


composite layer under tension

0.22

Deformations [%]

0.21

Fig 11. Rupture of carbon fibre in the middle of beam

Experimental research revealed that the higher reinforcement ratio of steel bar reinforcing, the lower the
strengthening effect of carbon fibre composite. The
maximum strengthening effect is reached when steel bars
reinforcement ratio is low. Experimental research showed
that the best strengthening effect was reached in B6C
beams since the strength qualities of concrete and composite were more used because higher deformations were
reached (Figs 12, 13). Research also showed that when
members are considerably reinforced, carbon fibre fixed
in the tension zone is not fully used (Figs 12, 13).
The sustained bending tests revealed that the intensity of creep deformations in the compression zone of
concrete is higher than in the tension zone. It has also
been found out that under sustained loading deformations
in the tension zone at the steel bar reinforcing level are
bigger than the composite layer deformations (Figs 14,
15). This enables us to make a conclusion that the composite layer under tension displaces in respect to rein-

0.20
0.19
0.18
0.17

-1
-2

0.16
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

Days

Fig 14. Distribution of creep deformations in the layers under tension in the beam B12-3Ct: -1 composite
layer under tension; -2 the layer with steel bar reinforcement under tension

The intensity of deformations reached when loading


was 0.6MR depended on reinforcement ratio of steel bar
reinforcing. When beams B 6.3Ct and B6.4Ct are loaded
until the level of permanent load is reached, the steel
reinforcement under tension reaches yield stresses. When
beams are unloaded, residual deformations in the layers
under tension are measured (Fig 16, Table 2).
822

Bending moment [kNm]

30

0.30

0.20

25
20
15
10
5

0.10
200

400

600

0.0

0.1

0.2

800

0.3

Days

Fig 15. Distribution of creep deformations in the layers under tension in the beam B14-3Ct: -1 composite
layer under tension; -2 the layer with steel bar reinforcement under tension

Table 2. Creep and residual deformations of layers under


tension

10

1.2

0.0884
0.02575
0.03275
0.0412
0.0326

Fig 16. Distribution of relative deformations in beam


B6.3Ct: -1 composite layer under tension; -2 the
layer with steel bar reinforcement under tension

18
16
14

12
10
8
6
4
-1
-2
Series7

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3
0.4
Deformations [ 10]

0.5

102

0.3137
0.0465
0.05675
0.04182
0.042514

Experimental research showed that the load-carrying


capacity of beams after sustained loading decreased. The
biggest decrease in load-carrying capacity was displayed
in the beams which were the least reinforced and it
reached up to 28 %. The decrease of load-carrying capacity in the beams reinforced with 12 and 14 longitudinal reinforcement reached from 4 % to 7 %. This can be
explained by creep deformations of concrete in the compression zone and shear creep deformations of carbon
fibre composite under tension. When the strengthened
beams are unloaded, residual deformations remain in the
tensile and compressed layers. Deformations of specimens increase starting from the residual value when sustained loading test is over and beams are subjected to
short-term loading. Deformations in the layers at each
loading stage are bigger than in control beams at the same
level of loading. Therefore, failure of beams subjected to
sustained loading occurs earlier than that of the beams
tested by applying only short-term loading. The results of
the load-carrying capacity of the beams are presented in
Table 3.
Calculation of the load-carrying capacity of
strengthened beams under temporary and sustained loading was made according to the suggested methodology
which evaluates the stiffness of bond of concrete and
carbon fibre composite (Formula 8) as well as the influence of sustained loading. The results of calculation are
given in Table 3.

20

res,f

where: cr,cs , res,cs creep and residual deformations of layer


with steel bar reinforcement under tension; cr,f , res,f creep
and residual deformations of composite layer under tension.

Deformations [ 10]

102

0.6

Fig 17. Distribution of relative deformations in beam


B12.3Ct: -1 composite layer under tension; -2 the
layer with steel bar reinforcement under tension

The residual deformations of beams B6.Ct and


B12.Ct are higher than creep deformations (Fig 17, Table 2). The size of residual deformations of beams B14.Ct
is similar to creep deformations since increase of deformations developed proportionally until the permanent
load was reached and when it was being unloaded, proportionally decreased (Fig 18, Table 2). Whereas, the
increase of deformations in beams B6.Ct was also caused
by yield deformations of tensile reinforcement due to
which residual deformations were significantly bigger
than creep deformations.
823

1.0

0.8

0.51763
0.06375
0.01975
0.2335
0.261

cr,f

0.6

102

0.4

0.2

0.0

-1
-2

0.2845
0.034
0.02275
0.232
0.2575

res,cs

102

cr,cs

Beam
code
B6.3Ct
B12.3Ct
B12.4Ct
B14.3Ct
B14.4Ct

Bending moment [kNm]

0.5

Fig 18. Distribution of relative deformations in beam


B14.3Ct: -1 composite layer under tension; -2 the
layer with steel bar reinforcement under tension

12

Bending moment [kNm]

0.4

Deformations [ 10]

-1
-2
Series2

-1
-2

Deformations [%]

0.40

Series

Table 3. Experimental and calculated load-carrying capacity

Code
B6.1C
B6.2C
B6.3Ct
B6.4Ct
B6.5
B8.1C
B8.2C
B8.3
B12.1C
B12.2C
B12.3Ct
B12.4Ct
B12.5
B12.6
B14.1C
B14.2C
B14.3Ct
B14.4Ct
B14.5

M R ,t0 ,exp

M R ,t0 ,calc

M R ,t1 ,exp

M R ,t1 ,calc

(kNm)
15.50
18.00

(kNm)
15.40
15.40

(kNm)

(kNm)

14.6
14.6

1.38
0.99

17.57
17.57

1.11
1.12

17.34
17.34

0.96
0.96
17.22
17.55

11.62
11.78
23.00
28.00

M R ,t1 ,calc M R ,t1 ,exp

0.99
0.86
10.61
14.76

5.20
15.82
15.63
9.10
18.0
18.0

M R ,t0 ,calc M R ,t0 ,exp

17.07
17.07

27.70
27.70

0.99
0.97

1.2
0.99
24.00
24.00

1.12
1.12

28.50

load-carrying capacity calculation results quite precisely


coincide with the experimental values.

Calculation results show that if the suggested calculation method is used, the load-carrying capacity of
strengthened beams can be measured quite precisely.
Analysis of results shows that calculation exactness
mainly depends on reinforcement ratio. Calculations of
load-carrying capacity of beams whose reinforcement
ratio is very low or big are not so exact (138 %) than of
beams where reinforcement ratio is normal (112 %).

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Conclusions
Research showed that carbon fibre composite significantly increases the load-carrying capacity of
strengthened members. The effect of strengthening depends on reinforcement ratio of steel bar reinforcement in
the specimens. The lower the ratio of this reinforcement,
the higher the strengthening effect since the strength of
carbon fibre composite is better used. The higher reinforcement ratio of steel bar reinforcement, the lower the
effect of strengthening.
It has been defined that sustained loading influences
the load-carrying capacity of strengthened beams. Under
sustained loading creep deformations of concrete in the
compression zone as well as carbon fibre composite occur and they remain when specimens are unloaded. When
beams are again subjected to short-term loading, deformations increase starting from the residual values. As a
result, the load-carrying capacity of the specimens decreases in comparison with the load-carrying capacity of
the beams loaded only short-term.
A calculation method that evaluates the stiffness of
bond carbon fibre composite and concrete as well as the
influence of sustained loading has been suggested. The
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