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Magazine of Concrete Research

Volume 63 Issue 3
A suggested model for European code to
calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

Magazine of Concrete Research, 2011, 63(3), 197214


doi: 10.1680/macr.9.00085
Paper 900085
Received 04/06/2009; last revised 14/04/2010; accepted 26/04/2010
Published online ahead of print 14/02/2011
Thomas Telford Ltd & 2011

A suggested model for


European code to calculate
deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
M. M. Rafi

A. Nadjai

Department of Civil Engineering, NED University of Engineering and


Technology, Karachi, Pakistan

FireSERT, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Shore Road,


Newtownabbey, UK

The theoretical deflection behaviours of concrete beams reinforced with fibre-reinforced polymer bars were
investigated and compared with the experimental data. The Eurocode 2 Part 1-1 deflection model, which is used for
conventional steel-reinforced structures, was tried for theoretical predictions. Experimentally recorded deflections of
75 simply supported specimens (beams and slabs), including the beams tested by the authors, were compared with
the Eurocode 2 method of deflection calculation. This method was found to be inaccurate for beams/slabs with
different fibre-reinforced polymer bar elastic moduli and reinforcement ratios. An appropriate modification for
theoretical beam deflection is proposed. The suggested expression includes effects of reinforcement amount relative
to the balanced condition and ratio of modulus of elasticity of fibre-reinforced polymer/steel bar. The results of the
proposed equation compared well with the recorded deflection for every fibre-reinforced polymer bar type.

Notation
as
b
Ec
Ef
Es
ff
fy
h
I
Icr
Ig
Iuncr
M
Mcr
Mu
P
crack
uncrack
c
c
f

shear span
width of section
modulus of elasticity of concrete
modulus of elasticity of FRP bar
modulus of elasticity of steel bar
ultimate strength of FRP bar
yield strength of steel bar
height of section
moment of inertia
cracking moment of inertia
gross moment of inertia neglecting the reinforcement
uncracked moment of inertia of a transformed section
applied moment
cracking moment
ultimate moment
applied load
deflection in fully cracked condition
deflection in uncracked condition
concrete strain
concrete stress
FRP stress

Introduction
The strength and compatibility with concrete are those qualities
which make steel a very effective reinforcing material for
reinforced concrete (RC) structures. However, steel is highly
susceptible to oxidation when exposed to chlorides. To arrest

rusting of steel, remedial work often has to be carried out in order


to achieve the full potential of the structure. These structural
repairs incur exorbitant costs to owners and stakeholders. For
example, countries in the UK and European Union spend around
20 billion annually on repair and maintenance of infrastructure
because of the problems associated with corrosion of steel
(ConFibreCrete, 2000). Recently non-metallic fibre-reinforced
polymer (FRP) materials have been introduced in the construction
industry to deal with unreliable durability problems of steel RC
structures.
A significant amount of research work has been carried out in
order to investigate the behaviour of FRP RC. As a result of these
efforts, worldwide interest in the use of non-metallic bars has
significantly increased over the last 25 years. FRP has thus
emerged as a potential alternative material to traditional steel. It
is expected that the use of FRP rebars in structural elements will
reduce maintenance cost to a great extent.
Fibrous bars have been successfully used in commercial applications in Japan, USA and Canada. These countries have established design procedures specifically for the use of FRP rods in
concrete structures (ACI, 2006; CSA, 2002; JSCE, 1997).
Commercial application of FRP bars is still not fully exploited in
Europe compared to North America and Japan. The major
obstacle to its wider acceptance in the construction industry is the
absence of proper design guidelines. As FRP bars have low
modulus of elasticity compared to steel, the design of FRP
197

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

reinforced structures is often based on the serviceability limit


state (SLS) as opposed to the ultimate limit state (ULS), which is
used for conventional steel RC. The control of both crack width
and deflection () becomes important in the SLS design. The use
of low-modulus FRP bars makes cracked FRP RC less stiff
compared to similar steel-reinforced concrete elements and
results in wider cracks and larger deflections. It is not hard to
understand that deflection calculations for FRP reinforced elements could lead to inaccurate predictions if these are based on
the design provisions intended for steel-reinforced concrete. This
fact has been realised in some international codes and appropriate
modifications have been made in the deflection calculation methods for FRP reinforced elements. This paper evaluates suitability
of the present Eurocode 2 Part 1-1 (CEN, 2004) deflection
prediction method for FRP RC flexural members and focuses on
the appropriateness of using its modified form. Specimens, which
were tested by the authors and other researchers, have been
included in this study. Equation 1 has been employed to calculate
theoretical deflections of these specimens.

tion of the level of Mcr /M. Information on the accuracy of


Equation 1 for the deflection predictions of FRP reinforced
beams is scarce in the available literature. Although Pecce et al.
(2000) reported a good correlation between the recorded and
predicted deflections, Al-Sunna (2006) has indicated 20% underpredicted deflection results for FRP RC with this equation. It is
important to note that Pecce et al. (2000) compared only a few
glass FRP (GFRP) reinforced beams whereas Al-Sunna (2006)
analysed 28 RC beams and slabs reinforced with both carbon
FRP (CFRP) and GFRP bars. One of the major shortcomings of
the investigations on FRP bars, which is evident in the published
research, is its concentration on GFRP bars. This has been
recognised by other researchers (Abdalla, 2002; Al-Sunna, 2006;
Mota et al., 2006). Consequently, deflection prediction models
of the international codes have been compared and/or validated
against the results of mainly GFRP reinforced concrete, whereas
it is imperative for the accuracy of a deflection prediction
method that elements reinforced with every type of FRP bar be
investigated and verified. Al-Sunna (2006) presented the idea of
using a reduced effective modulus and a 10% reduction of crack
in Equation 1 for the design of, respectively, CFRP and GFRP
reinforced beams. This approach requires different deflection
calculation procedures for these bars and, in the authors
opinion, it is an unrealistic approach to have more than one
method for different types of FRP bars. The challenge of using
Equation 1 for FRP RC is to verify this equation for beams
reinforced with FRP bars of different moduli and reinforcement
ratios.

1a:

uncrack crack  uncrack

where  is given as

1b:

M cr
1
M

2

where  is coefficient related to duration of loading and is taken


as 1.0 for short-term loading. All other terms are defined in
Figure 1 and the list of notation.
This equation is recommended by Eurocode 2 for deflection
calculation of steel-reinforced structures. The variation in the
stiffness of a cracked member is dealt with in Equation 1a
whereas Equation 1b accounts for tension stiffening as a func-

CFRP bars are mostly considered in prestressing applications


owing to their high tensile strength (Rafi et al., 2008). The
authors carried out experimental testing of RC beams reinforced
with CFRP or steel rods. Complete details of the experimental
testing work and results can be found in Rafi et al. (2007a, 2008).
This experimental testing was augmented by a strain compatibility analysis (SCA) to predict theoretical behaviours of the
beams, which were compared with the experimentally recorded
data. The Eurocode 2 Part 1-1 (CEN, 2004) model (Equation 1)
2P

as 675
2 T8 bars
6 mm
stirrups

400

200

2 T10 steel/
2 95 mm
CFRP bars

Strain gauge

100 mm c/c
600
120

Figure 1. Details of a typical beam

600
L 1750

125
All dimensions in mm

198

675

125

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

was used for deflection predictions and a stiffer response of FRP


reinforced beams tested by the authors was found. Finite-element
modelling (FEM) was also undertaken to help to understand the
beam behaviour. A sizeable amount of data for beams and slabs,
which has been reported in the literature by various researchers,
was analysed. This paper identifies the limitations of Equation 1
in relation to FRP reinforced structures. A modified expression
has been suggested and the results of both the existing and
modified equations have been compared with recorded data and
discussed. This comparison showed the effectiveness of the
suggested expression over Equation 1. First, a short description of
the beams tested by the authors is given in the following section;
this is followed by a brief review of the experimental deflection
behaviour of these beams so as not to distract from the main
emphasis of the present paper.

Each tested beam is defined by letters comparing its reinforcing


material and temperature conditions. The notation of the beam as
is follows: the first letter (B) stands for beam; the second letter
indicates testing temperature as R for room temperature; the third
letter represents the type of tension reinforcing bar material such
as S for steel and C for CFRP bars. Table 1 shows equivalent
cylindrical strength (using strength of three cubes for each beam)
of the concrete ( fc ) and age of beams on the day of testing. It
was stated earlier that design guidelines are unavailable in the
Eurocode for FRP RC. Therefore, the design of these beams was
based on the ACI code approach (ACI, 2002; ACI, 2003). BRC
beams were designed as over-reinforced whereas BRS beams
were under-reinforced beams. Balanced (rb ) and actual (r) reinforcement ratios for both types of beams are given in Table 1.

Loaddeection response
Test specimens
The experimental programme comprised duplicate steel and
CFRP reinforced beams. The overall length of the beam was
2000 mm and the cross-section was 120 3 200 mm. Each beam
was reinforced with two longitudinal bars on the tension face
(9.5 mm diameter CFRP bars for FRP reinforced beams and
10 mm diameter steel bars for steel-reinforced beams). The CFRP
( ff 1676 MPa and Ef 135.9 GPa) and steel ( fy 530 MPa
and Es 201 GPa) rods are shown in Figure 2. A 20 mm
concrete cover was used all around the beam. The area and
nominal yield strength of the compression steel (8 mm diameter,
fy 566 MPa) and nominal concrete strength were kept constant
for all beams. The shear reinforcement consisted of smooth 6 mm
diameter ( fy 421 MPa) closed rectangular stirrups spaced at
100 mm centre to centre. The beams were cast separately using
identical concrete mixes and were tested as simply supported
beams over a span (L) of 1750 mm under four-point static load,
as shown in Figure 1. These beams were part of a programme
that was designed to study the behaviour of FRP RC beams both
at normal and elevated temperatures.

The ultimate load (Pu ) and corresponding deflection of the beams


is presented in Table 1. The ultimate load here is considered as
the maximum load carried by the beam. Figure 3 shows the
recorded loaddeflection responses of both types of beams. The
initial linear parts of the curves correspond to the uncracked
conditions of these beams. As can be seen in Figure 3, the
behaviour of both types of beams is similar before cracking when
the beams are stiff. The end point of this linear part is an
indication of the initiation of cracking in the beam.
The next segment that immediately follows this initial linear
part provides information about the bond quality and tension
stiffening effects due to crack spacing. The slope of this part is
smaller than the slope of the initial linear segment. This shows
that the amount of deflection per unit load is higher after the
beam has cracked, which is an indication of a reduction in the
stiffness of the cracked beam. Stiffness here is defined as load
per unit deflection. It can be seen in Figure 3 that the gap
between BRS and BRC beam curves widened as load increased.
This indicates that reduction in the stiffness of BRC beams was
higher compared to BRS beams with increase in load (Rafi et
al., 2008).
The last part of the deflection curve provides an indication of
a possible failure mechanism of a structure. As observed in
Figure 3, both BRS beams showed a very ductile behaviour
and both beams failed at nearly the same load after undergoing considerable deformation with very small increase in

Figure 2. CFRP and tension steel bar

Beam

fc : MPa

Age: days

r: %

rb : %

BRS1
BRS2
BRC1
BRC2

46.52
44.64
42.55
41.71

61
85
78
77

0.77
0.77
0.70
0.70

2.84
2.78
0.37
0.35

Pu : kN
41.9
40.1
88.9
86.5

at Pu : mm
29.16
27.78
35.26
35.50

Modes of failure
Steel yielding
Steel yielding
Shear compression
Compression

Table 1. Properties, ultimate load, deection and failure modes


of beams

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Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

100
BRC1

PL3
6Ec I



as
4L3


 2

2
3 3L  4as

BRS1

60

BRS2

40

Analyticalexperimental deection
comparison

20
0
0

10

20
30
Deflection: mm

40

50

Figure 3. Loaddeection response of beams

load once steel yielded. On the other hand BRC beams


exhibited a linear elastic behaviour up to failure. The ultimate
load of the BRS beams was around 53% lower than the BRC
beams, while the deflection of BRC beams at ultimate state
(u ) was 25% greater than the BRS beams (Table 1). The
observed modes of failure of the beams are mentioned in
Table 1. The behaviour of both BRS beams was similar as
they both failed by the crushing of concrete after the tension
reinforcement yielded, whereas BRC beams failed in compression (Rafi et al., 2008).

Strain compatibility analysis


Rafi (2010) implemented a numerical model to carry out strain
compatibility analysis of an RC section. This model is based on
the layer-by-layer approach of calculating section forces, compatibility of strain, equilibrium of forces and a perfect barconcrete
bond. A maximum of 100 layers was used for a section. A nonlinear constitutive relation for uniaxial concrete compressive
strength was employed in order to calculate rebar strain and depth
of neutral axis (NA) with respect to concrete strain at the extreme
fibres. The concrete contribution below the NA was taken into
account before cracking and the tensile strength of concrete was
neglected for the cracked section. A linear stressstrain relationship was used for the FRP bars up to the ultimate strength. The
actual steel stressstrain curve, which was obtained during the
tensile test of steel bars, was employed to calculate stress in steel.
The correlation of the experimental and analytical load capacity
was found to be remarkably good for both under- and overreinforced members.
The design of a conventional steel RC structure is based on ULS
and its deflection is checked at service load level. However,
service load for FRP RC structures has yet to be defined by the
international codes (Mota et al., 2006). Therefore, a comparison
of full experimental and analytical loaddeflection histories has
been made to ensure accuracy of the method at all stages of
applied load. The deflection before and after cracking of beam
was calculated with Equation 2 by using uncracked and cracked
moment of inertia, respectively.
200

2:

BRC2

A comparison of deflection predictions for the BRS1 beam tested


by the authors has been made in Figure 4 with the experimental
record. Theoretical deflection was calculated with the help of
Equation 1, which employed Equation 2 to compute deflections
both at uncracked and cracked states. Note that Equation 1 was
based on linear elastic behaviour of a steel-reinforced section and
may not provide accurate results beyond yielding of steel.
However, the analysis was not interrupted and a good agreement
between the theoretical and recorded deflection was found in this
case up to the failure of the beam, as can be seen in Figure 4.
The results for beam BRS2 are similar to BRS1.
Figure 5 compares the experimental and predicted loaddeflection curves for BRC beams tested by the authors. Equation 1 has
been used for the theoretical deflection calculation of these beams
in the absence of an existing method for FRP RC structures in
the Eurocode, as mentioned previously. It can be seen in Figure 5
that the predictions in the initial stages of loading up to 35 kN
are quite close to the experimental results. However, Equation 1
overestimated the stiffness of BRC beams with increase in load
and as a result deflection was underpredicted, as can be seen in
Figure 5. Note that the recorded and predicted cracking loads
(Pcr ) in Figure 5 are very close to each other for BRC beams,
which minimises the influence of this factor on the theoretical
deflection. Theoretical uncr and cr , which are based, respectively, on Iuncr and Icr and have been calculated with the help of
Equation 2, have also been plotted in Figure 5. The line for uncr
is the stiffest curve which is based on the uncracked beam state
whereas cr represents the least stiff behaviour, neglecting the
entire concrete in tension. It can be seen in Figure 5 that the
measured response crosses over the cracked deflection line at a
low level of load (35 kN approximately). From a theoretical
50
40

Load: kN

Load: kN

80

30
BRS1 (Exp.)

20

Eurocode 2
10
0
0

20

40
Deflection: mm

Figure 4. Loaddeection curves for beam BRS1

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Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

100

Uncracked
deflection

3:

Eurocode 2
FEM
Equation 5
Crack
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

Deflection: mm
(a)
100

Uncracked
deflection

80

BRC2 (Exp.)

60

Eurocode 2
40

FEM

20

Equation 5
Crack

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

Deflection: mm
(b)

Figure 5. (a) Loaddeection curves for beam BRC1; (b) load


deection curves for beam BRC2

standpoint it is impossible for the member response to cross over


the Icr response and this behaviour is atypical of steel RC flexural
members. Note that except for heavily reinforced sections Iuncr is
generally replaced by Ig to calculate uncr .
The stiffness of a partially cracked RC beam is not homogeneous
and an effective moment of inertia (Ie ) is considered in the design
of a flexural member to account for the contribution of uncracked
concrete between cracks in resisting tensile stresses. This is
termed the tension stiffening effect of concrete, which reduces
rebar strain between the consecutive cracks compared to the
strain at the crack location. It is also an alternate way of
modelling the barconcrete bond and plays a significant role in
the overall response of flexural elements. Tension stiffening is
important at loads close to cracking and its effects reduce at
higher loads. Ie provides a transition between Ig and Icr as a
function of Mcr /M. The deflection of a flexural member is derived
from its curvature (k) profile, as given by Equation 3. Shear
induced deflection may cause an increase in the curvature of a
beam owing to a shearflexure interaction. This results in
additional bar strain and a consequent increase in the total
deflection along the span of a beam. Therefore, it is imperative to
investigate the amount of shear-induced deflection in BRC beams.
Various approaches that were employed in this regard are
explained below.

Approach 1 analysis of rebar strain


First of all, recorded data of rebar strain were analysed. This
strain both at the mid-span and in the shear-span of BRC beams
is traced in Figure 6. The positions of strain gauges on the bars
are shown in Figure 1. Although this method is not very exact
owing to the dependence on the data of only one strain gauge in
the shear-span, it clearly indicates that bar strain in the shear-span
is considerably less than that at mid-span. Therefore, shearinduced deflections can be assumed negligible. Note that in
Figure 1 the strain gauges in the shear span were fixed at an
equal distance from the beam centre. The data of only one strain
gauge are plotted in Figure 6 for clarity as both the gauges
recorded similar strain.
Approach 2 deflection comparison of CFRP RC beams
In another attempt to investigate further the possibility of shear
deformation in BRC beams, deflection characteristics of a number of CFRP reinforced beams and slabs, which were tested by
other researchers, were compared with BRC beams. The results
100
80

Load: kN

40
20

Load: kN

d2
M

dx 2
Ec I e

BRC1 (Exp.)

60

60
Exp shear-span
40

FEM shear-span
Exp mid-span

20

FEM mid-span
0
0

0005
001
Strain: m/m
(a)

0015

100
80

Load: kN

Load: kN

80

60
Exp shear-span
40

FEM shear-span
Exp mid-span

20

FEM mid-span
0
0

0005
001
Strain: m/m
(b)

0015

Figure 6. (a) Rebar strain in BRC1 in shear-span and at mid-span;


(b) rebar strain in BRC2 in shear-span and at mid-span

201

Magazine of Concrete Research


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A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
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of a few beams have been presented in Figure 7 for clarity. The


deflection responses of slab LL-200-C (Abdalla, 2002), and
beams BC2a (Al-Sunna, 2006), F-29f (Orozco and Maji, 2004)
and B1 (Wilson et al., 2003) have been compared with BRC
beams in Figure 7. Since all these specimens vary in strength and
stiffness from each other, ultimate load and ultimate deflection
have been normalised by using ratios of M/Mu and /u , respectively, in order to provide a unified basis of comparison. It can be
seen in Figure 7 that the normalised stiffness of all these
specimens is nearly the same. This takes out the effects of
specimen size, shear and effective spans, and effects of CFRP
bars produced by different manufacturers. A close correlation in
the stiffness of all these specimens is an indication that shearinduced deflections are insignificant in BRC beams since it is
unlikely that all beams can have the same amount of shear
deformations.

may be due to the use of a too stiff tension stiffening model.


Nevertheless, this overestimation is typical of this type of analysis
(Zhao et al., 1997) as the effects of other factors such as localbond slip and shrinkage stresses are unaccounted for in the
analysis (Rafi et al., 2007b). The correlation for the initial
stiffness and for the overall non-linear behaviour is very exact.
Since shear-induced deflections are not included in the analytical
models, the results correlate closely with the observation of
negligible shear deformations in BRC beams.

Approach 3 finite-element modelling


As a next step towards understanding the beam behaviour in
relation to Equation 1, non-linear FEM of BRC beams was
carried out using the computer code Diana (TNO, 2005). The
concrete stiffness was based on secant moduli, which were taken
perpendicular and parallel to the direction of crack. The analytical model, which is based on the total strain, was used to
idealise the response of cracked concrete. The cracks were
considered as smeared cracks and a rotating crack approach was
employed to simulate the formation and propagation of cracks.
The behaviour of concrete in compression, effects of tension
softening and stiffening, and the behaviour of tension reinforcement were considered in the analytical model. An incremental
iterative non-linear solution procedure was used for the analysis.
Complete information of this analytical work is available in Rafi
et al. (2007b). The analytical deflection behaviours of both BRC
beams have been plotted in Figure 5. It can be seen that the
predictions of ultimate capacity and stiffness of the beams are
fairly good. It is noted in Figure 5 that the theoretical analysis
slightly overestimated post-cracking stiffness of the beams, which
12
10

M /Mu

08
BRC1
BRC2
LL-200-C
BC2a
F-2f
B1

06
04
02
0
0

02

04

06
/u

08

10

12

Figure 7. Comparison of stiffness of CFRP RC beams tested by


other researchers

202

A comparison of the analytical strain of the CFRP bar at the midspan and in the shear-span of BRC beams is presented in Figure
6. A stiffer analytical response of the beam in the post-cracking
stage can be seen in Figure 6 compared to the observed response,
especially for BRC2 beam. However, considering the influence of
cracking on recorded strain, the predicted results are fairly close
to the experimental plot and a good correlation exists between
the two results. These results also confirm that there is no
additional bar strain other than that induced by the flexural
deflection.
Further, it was noticed during the experimental testing of beams
that cracking in both the BRS and BRC beams stabilised after an
applied load of 30 kN and both types of beams developed almost
the same number of cracks up to their failure with similar average
spacing (Rafi et al., 2007a). Since the additional deflection in
BRC beams is induced after a load of 35 kN (Figure 5) it cannot
be associated with shear deflection, as the development of shear
deflection must coincide with the formation and spread of cracks
within the shear span. Based on all these results it can be
concluded that the additional deflection in BRC beams is not
caused by shear deformation. This is in agreement with the
conclusions made by Al-Sunna (2006).
Approach 4 stress comparison
Theoretical concrete compressive and FRP tensile stress have
been traced in Figure 8 against the applied loads only for beam
BRC1, owing to the similarity of results for both BRC beams.
Both the compressive and tensile stresses have been normalised
using ratios of c /fc and f /ff . It can be seen in Figure 8 that the
slope of the initial part of the concrete curve is reasonably
constant. If a tangent is drawn to the curve at the origin (Figure
8), the slope of this tangent and the initial part of the curve
remains the same up to 35 kN, which represents the linear part of
the curve. This load corresponds to approximately 40%Pu and
can be regarded as low load level. As the load is further increased
the concrete behaviour becomes significantly non-linear. This is
due to the use of low modulus FRP tension bars which require
large concrete compressive force to maintain equilibrium. It is
noted in Figure 8 that the ultimate strength of concrete is reached
at 60% of FRP stress. The corresponding load comes out to be
65 kN, which is nearly 75% of Pu. This indicates that service load
levels could be higher for CFRP RC compared to the suggested
range of 3550% in the published literature. Note that severe
microcracking usually results close to the ultimate strength of

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

100
CFRP bar

Load: kN

80
Tangent
60
Concrete
40

35 kN

20

105

07

035

0
0

035

07

105

c /fc or t /ft

Figure 8. Theoretical concrete and CFRP stress in BRC1 beam

concrete, which may create creep effect in the concrete. As can


be seen in Figure 8, these effects in BRC beams would be present
only after a load level of 50 kN and may not affect the deflection
behaviour prior to this load level.
Approach 5 concrete constitutive models
As a last attempt, different concrete constitutive relations, as
suggested in the available technical literature, were varied to
study the effects of variation in the behaviour of compression
concrete. The relations which were tried include those suggested
by Hognestad (1951), Kent and Park (1971), Popovics (1973),
Sheikh and Uzumeri (1982), Mander et al. (1988), Hillerborg
(1989) and Almusallam and Alsayed (1995). This attempt also
failed to produce any significant improvement in the predicted
deflection response of BRC beams. Therefore, it is hard with the
present level of knowledge to explain the reasons for the stiffer
cr response compared to the recorded deflection. The behaviour
of the beam is as if the tension stiffening effects are negative.
The above analysis provides sufficient evidence that the measured
deflection in BRC beams is a result of only flexural curvature.
This can have significant implications upon the theoretical background and formulation of conventional RC design. A stiffer
flexural cr compared with the measured response would imply
that concrete compressive stress is a non-linear function of strain
(c f (c )) instead of being proportional to strain (c c ).
Therefore, Hookes law cannot be used to determine concrete
compressive stress. This invalidates linear elastic theory, which is
the backbone of RC design. Consequently, the forcedeformation
relationship, such as given by Equation 3, does not apply to BRC
beams as it has been obtained from the elastic deflection theory
of beams. This possibly explains underestimation of deflection of
BRC beams by Equation 1. Non-linear concrete behaviour as
traced in Figure 8 provides evidence to support this type of
concrete response. However, the above presented work in this
study is by no means conclusive and specialised investigative
research is suggested to confirm the findings of this study. The
analysis, which is carried out in the subsequent sections of this
paper, provides firm ground for a future study.

It was mentioned earlier that reduction in the recorded stiffness


of BRC beams was higher compared to BRS beams during their
testing (Figure 3). The average difference in the stiffness of both
types of beams at the yielding of steel bars was about 38% (Rafi
et al., 2008). Yost et al. (2003) reported a higher loss of stiffness
and a rapid change from gross to fully cracked section properties
in GFRP RC beams compared to similar steel-reinforced beams.
The stiffness of cracked RC is primarily dependent on the correct
estimate of its tension stiffening characteristics, which in turn are
related to elastic modulus, bond and reinforcement ratio of rebars.
Therefore a review of these for BRC beams tested by the authors
seems appropriate at this stage. Bond characteristics of the CFRP
bars were found satisfactory in BRC beams. The bars carried a
stress between 80 and 90% of their tensile strength (Rafi et al.,
2007a). As noted earlier, cracking in both the BRS and BRC
beams stabilised after an applied load of 30 kN and both types of
beams developed almost the same number of cracks up to their
failure with similar average spacing. Since bond properties influence the spacing of cracks, similar crack spacing in BRS and
BRC beams indicates comparable bond of both the steel and
CFRP bars and strengthens the observation of satisfactory
CFRPbarconcrete bond. This was also confirmed by the
aforementioned FEM results and discussion (Figure 6). The
deflection beyond this load (30 kN) mainly resulted in increased
width of existing cracks. Therefore, it can be inferred that
Equation 1 provided higher tension stiffening estimates for BRC
beams. Note that Al-Sunna (2006) has also found lesser tension
stiffening effects in CFRP RC beams compared to steel-reinforced beams and indicated higher tension stiffening representation by Equation 1 for FRP RC under certain conditions.
In order to evaluate the effects of the remaining two variables
(i.e. bar modulus and reinforcement ratio) on the predictions from
Equation 1, a more detailed analysis of tested specimens was
carried out with the help of available test results in the existing
technical literature. The beams were selected according to the
reinforcing amount and modulus of elasticity of FRP bars. Yost et
al. (2003) and Razaqpur et al. (2000) have reported the influence
of theoretical Mcr on the stiffness results of cracked beams. The
subsequent discussion included beam data based on two criteria
in order to simplify comparison the beams have closely
matched theoretical and experimental Mcr and either r or r/rb of
the beam is similar to BRC beams tested by the authors.
Effects of reinforcement ratio
Figure 9 shows the effects of reinforcement ratio on the
analytical results of two beams, which were tested by Yost et al.
(2003). GFRP reinforcing bars with the same Ef were used in
both beams. Beam 1a-NL had a low r and r/rb compared to
beam 4b-HL which was designed with a high r. Details of these
beams have been summarised in Table 2 where it can be seen
that r for beam 1a-NL is the same as for BRC beams. The
theoretical deflection is slightly overestimated for beam 1a-NL,
whereas the predictions are reasonably good for beam 4b-HL,
which has a high r and r/rb . Cracked deflections have also
203

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

40

noted in Figure 9 that tension stiffening effects for the beam 4bHL (high r value) are lower. This indicates that the beam
stiffness changes very quickly from Ig to a level close to Icr .
Since the tension stiffening effects are insignificant in this case,
theoretical deflections (Equation 1) are very close to both the
cracked and recorded deflection.

Load: kN

30
20
1a-NL (Exp.)
Eurocode 2

10

crack

Equation 5

0
0

20

40

60
80
Deflection: mm
(a)

100

120

60

Load: kN

50
40
30
4b-HL (Exp.)

20

Eurocode 2
10

crack

Equation 5

0
0

20

40
60
Deflection: mm
(b)

100

80

Figure 9. (a) Loaddeection curves for beam 1a-NL (Yost et al.,


2003); (b) loaddeection curves for beam 4b-HL (Yost et al.,
2003)

been plotted in Figure 9 which indicate a large tension stiffening


effect for beam 1a-NL when compared with the measured
response. The effect of tension stiffening is more significant in a
lightly reinforced beam (1a-NL) as the depth of NA is small. As
a result, overall the beam response in tension is dictated by the
tensile response of both the concrete and the rebars. These
effects were underestimated by Equation 1, which resulted in
higher deflections compared to the recorded deflection. It is

Beam
1a-NL (Yost et al., 2003)
4b-HL (Yost et al., 2003)
RC-A1 (Nakano et al., 1993)
RC-A5 (Nakano et al., 1993)
Coated FRP (Nanni, 1993)
CB2B (Benmokrane and Masmoudi, 1996)
BG3b (Al-Sunna, 2006)
BC2a (Al-Sunna, 2006)
F1 (Saadatmanesh and Ehsani, 1991)
Table 2. Summary of the properties of the beams

204

Note that these are not isolated results and have been further
verified for beams RC-A1 and RC-A5 which were tested by
Nakano et al. (1993). These beams were reinforced with 8 mm
and 16 mm diameter aramid FRP (AFRP) bars, respectively,
which had nearly the same modulus as can be seen in Table 2.
Both the experimental and theoretical behaviours are plotted in
Figure 10 for beams RC-A1 and RC-A5. Reinforcement ratios
for both beams are provided in Table 2, where it can be
noticed that beams RC-A1 and 1a-NL had nearly the same r/
rb . As beam RC-A1 was lightly reinforced compared to beam
RC-A5 the theoretical deflection was overestimated (similar to
beam 1a-NL) whereas for beam RC-A5 the predicted deflection
matches well with the recorded deflection. A comparison
between cracked and measured beam behaviour in Figure 10
indicates that tension stiffening effects are higher in beam RCA1 (similar to 1a-NL). However, contrary to beam 1a-NL, the
cr curve gets closer to the theoretical curve of Equation 1 for
beam RC-A1, which strengthens the observation of underpredicted tension stiffening effects from Equation 1. Tension
stiffening is less in beam RC-A5 (similar to 4b-HL) and
measured beam response, in this case, crosses over the cracked
response at low load level (82 kN). Beyond this load level,
cracked response is similar to the theoretical deflection from
Equation 1. Although the possibility of shear deflection was not
investigated for beam RC-A5 it is clear that the shear deflection in beam RC-A5 cannot be more than RC-A1 as the former
was a heavily reinforced beam and shear deflection reduces
with an increase in either the modulus or amount of reinforcing. Since beams 4b-HL and RC-A5 had similar amount of
reinforcing, a stiff cracked response in beam RC-A5 is thought
to be due to higher modulus AFRP bars and is further
investigated in the following sections.

b: mm

h: mm

r: %

r=rb

254
178
200
200
100
200
150
150
200

184
184
300
300
150
300
250
250
460

0.71
2.32
0.28
3.03
0.70
0.70
3.93
0.65
1.53

1.27
2.43
1.38
13.60
2.61
1.24
5.42
1.13
6.03

Ef : GPa
40.30
40.30
65.00
57.00
63.80
37.65
42.75
131.80
53.60

Bar type
GFRP
GFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
GFRP
GFRP
CFRP
GFRP

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

75

120

60

80
60

Nakano (RC-A1)

40

45

Load: kN

Load: kN

100

30

Eurocode 2

20

20
40
Deflection: mm
(a)

Equation 5

crack

0
0

Eurocode 2

15

Equation 5

crack

Coated FRP (Exp.)

60

250

6
Deflection: mm
(a)

12

100
200

100

Load: kN

Load: kN

80
150
Nakano (RC-A5)
Eurocode 2

50

crack

Equation 5

60
40

CB2B (Exp.)
Eurocode 2

20

0
0

10

20

30

Deflection: mm
(b)

Figure 10. (a) Loaddeection curves for beam RC-A1 (Nakano et


al., 1993); (b) loaddeection curves for beam RC-A5 (Nakano et
al., 1993)

crack

Equation 5

0
0

20

40
Deflection: mm
(b)

60

80

Figure 11. (a) Loaddeection curves for the coated FRP beam
(Nanni, 1993); (b) loaddeection curves for beam CB2B
(Benmokrane and Masmoudi, 1996)

Effects of bar modulus


Figure 11 presents experimental and theoretical loaddeflection
curves for the beams tested by Nanni (1993) and Benmokrane
and Masmoudi (1996). The beams were, respectively, reinforced
with AFRP and GFRP bars. Both beams have the same r as beam
1a-NL and BRC beams whereas the coated FRP beam had a high
r/rb compared to beam CB2B. Details of the beams have been
provided in Table 2. It is evident in Figure 11 that deflection is
overestimated for beam CB2B and a good correlation between
the recorded and predicted behaviour exists for the beam coated
FRP. Note that this beam had the same r as beams 1a-NL and
CB2B, and the Ef of FRP rebars was higher (Table 2). Cracked
responses of both beams have been traced in Figure 11 and it is
noted that tension stiffening effects of beam BC2B are largely
similar to beam 1a-NL. As can be expected, Equation 1 underestimated these effects which resulted in overestimation of beam
deflection. Measured deflection for coated FRP beam crosses over
the cracking response similar to beam RC-A5 and, subsequently,
theoretical cr eventually surpasses the beam predicted deflection
(Equation 1). This confirms that bar modulus is the main factor
to cause this type of beam behaviour.

to Ef of FRP rods. The recorded deflections of beam BG3b (AlSunna, 2006) reinforced with GFRP bars (Ef 41.95 GPa) and
beam BC2a (Al-Sunna, 2006) reinforced with CFRP bars
(Ef 131.8 GPa) have been compared in Figure 12 with the
predictions made by Equation 1. Properties of the test specimens
can be reviewed in Table 2, where it can be seen that beam BC2a
had low r value, which was also nearly the same as BRC beams
and r/rb of this beam is very close to beam 1a-NL (Yost et al.,
2003). On the other hand beam BG3b has high r and r/rb values.
As can be expected from the above, Equation 1 gave very
accurate results for beam BG3b. The theoretical curve, on the
other hand, significantly deviates from the measured deflection of
beam BC2a, which was reinforced with higher modulus rebars. A
comparison of the coated FRP beam (Figure 11(a)) with BC2a
reveals that this deviation is proportional to the bar modulus as
both these beams have the same reinforcing amount. The cracked
deflection responses are also plotted for beams BG3b and BC2a
in Figure 12 which confirms the underestimation of tension
stiffening from Equation 1b as was noted in Figures 911.

Figure 12 further evaluates the accuracy of Equation 1 in relation

The results of Figures 912 are telling in several respects. First,


205

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

140

400

120

Load: kN

Load: kN

crack

300

100
80
60

BG3b

40

Eurocode 2

20

crack
5

Equation 5

15

10

F1 (Exp.)

100

Eurocode 2

0
0

200

20

25

30

Deflection: mm
(a)

0
0

10

20
Deflection: mm

30

40

Figure 13. Loaddeection curves for beam F1 (Saadatmanesh


and Ehsani, 1991)

120

Load: kN

100
80
60
BC2a (Exp.)

40

Eurocode 2

20

crack

Equation 5

0
0

10

20
Deflection: mm
(b)

30

40

Figure 12. (a) Loaddeection curves for beam BG3b (Al-Sunna,


2006); (b) loaddeection curves for beam BC2a (Al-Sunna, 2006)

it is clear that tension stiffening of the beams is not correctly


represented by Equation 1. This is particularly true for lightly
reinforced sections. Although additional deflection, which is
observed in beams BC2a (Al-Sunna, 2006), BRC (Rafi et al.,
2008), RC-A5 (Nakano et al., 1993) and coated FRP (Nanni,
1993), cannot be explained satisfactorily it was observed that,
for lightly reinforced sections, this deflection is independent of
either FRP bar type or amount and results for FRP bars with a
modulus greater than 50 GPa. Since all the above tested beams
with Ef > 50 GPa were reinforced with either AFRP or CFRP,
beam F1 (Saadatmanesh and Ehsani, 1991) was analysed
additionally to verify this observation. This beam is moderately
reinforced with GFRP bars (Ef 53.60 MPa). Other details of
the beam F1 are presented in Table 2. Recorded and predicted
deflection responses of the beam are traced in Figure 13. It can
be seen in Figure 13 that the measured deflection crosses over
the cr curve at low load level and the theoretical beam
deflection (Equation 1) is the same as cr . This type of response
was not noted in the GFRP RC beams in Figures 9, 11 and 12
as the GFRP bar moduli were less than 50 GPa for these beams.

Modied form of Eurocode equation


It becomes clear in the above discussion that tension stiffening
effects of FRP RC are different from steel-reinforced concrete
206

and the results of predicted deflection (Equation 1) vary with


both Ef and, to a certain extent, r/rb . Contrary to what can be
expected in steel RC elements, reduction in a cracked FRP
reinforced beam stiffness increases with an increase in both
parameters. This may appear counter-intuitive from a structural
engineering point of view that higher modulus reinforcing bars
reduce stiffness of RC. It is imperative that the tension stiffening
of FRP RC as represented by Equation 1b is brought to a realistic
level. This is possible by softening the cr response as suggested
by Al-Sunna (2006).
An attempt has been made here to modify Equation 1 empirically to develop a more accurate estimation of beam stiffness.
Efforts have been made to introduce such changes that will allow
the basic form of this equation to remain close to the original
Eurocode 2 expression (Equation 1). It is worth mentioning here
that beams 1a-NL (Yost et al., 2003) and 4b-HL (Yost et al.,
2003) did not have any shear reinforcement. All other beams
contain adequate stirrups to keep diagonal tension cracks tight.
The presented discussion did not provide any evidence of shearinduced deflection in BRC beams. Furthermore, Al-Sunna (2006)
indicated the possibility of higher shear deformation with low
modulus bars (typically GFRP) compared to higher modulus bars
(CFRP). The results in Figures 912 do not indicate any such
possibility in any of the GFRP reinforced beams. Therefore,
shear deformations were not considered for simplicity in the
analytical work described in the next section. Similarly, any
local-bond slip can be reflected by the concrete tension stiffening
relation and can be accounted for by appropriate modification in
Equation 1. Al-Sunna (2006) has also pointed out a dependency
of deflection more on Ef and r of FRP bars than its bond with
concrete.
Based on the above theoretical analysis and presented discussion
a new factor  of the form given in Equation 4 is suggested here
in order to take into account differences in the stiffness of FRP
and steel RC.

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

4:

 a1 1 a2

Ef
Es



This factor can be included in Equation 1 for short-term


deflection calculation which can be rewritten as Equation 5
5a:

corresponding to Equation 1, came out to be 0.75. It can be seen


in Figure 14 that the deflection curves from Equation 1 and
Equation 5 using a1 0.75 are a perfect match. The predicted
curves at a few more a1 values have also been included in Figure
14 and it becomes clear that the theoretical predictions at
a1 0.90 provided the closest correlation with the experimental
curve for beam BRC2.

uncrack crack  uncrack


"

5b:

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

 1

M cr
M

2 #

The values of a1 were then plotted with corresponding r/rb of


the specimens. The results are graphically represented in Figure
15 and a simplified relationship of a1 was obtained by linear
regression, which is given in Equation 7.

7:
The value of a2 as 0.5 was selected based on some trial and error
calculations and a1 is considered a function of r/rb . Substitution
of a typical value of Es 200 GPa in Equation 4 yields

6:

Ef
 a1 1
400



A statistical approach has been followed in order to obtain a


relation between a1 and r/rb . The reported test results in the
literature are included in order to increase the population size. A
total population of 73 beams, including BRC beams tested by the
authors, and two slabs was selected with a range of r/rb and Ef
values. These will collectively be referred to as specimens here.
These specimens were tested in either a three-point or four-point
load. FRP bars consisted of GFRP, AFRP and CFRP, which were
placed in either one or two layers. However, GFRP rods were
used in the majority of the specimens because they attracted more
attention in the researchers community owing to their lower cost,
as mentioned earlier. The ratio of r/rb varied between 0.27 and
13.59 where the concrete consisted of normal-, high- and very
high-strength concrete. Details of the specimens are given in
Table 3. Specimens with a wide variety of bars were used in
Table 3 in order to minimise the effects of FRP manufacturing
processes which are employed by various manufacturers across
the globe. The researchers for the designated specimens are given
in Table 4.
For each specimen, values of (which were calculated from
Equation 1 at different load levels) were substituted in Equation 5
to determine corresponding , which was found to be the same at
all the load steps. A unique value of a1 was then determined
using Equation 6 for that specimen. This was then changed in
close intervals of 0.01 and a value of a1 for the best fitting
experimental curve was obtained. Particular attention was paid to
ensure closest correlation of the experimental and theoretical
curves in the range of 35% and 90% Pu. The same method was
followed for all the specimens in Table 3. A typical example of
the method has been illustrated in Figure 14 for beam BRC2
tested by the authors. The initial value of a1 for this beam,

a1 0:0121

r
0:8581
rb

The correlation coefficient for Equation 7 comes out to be 0.21.


A low coefficient is owing to a few higher r/rb values, as can be
seen in Figure 15. The correlation coefficient increases if these
higher values are excluded from the data. However, this was not
considered necessary as Equation 5 provided satisfactory results,
after substitution of  and a1 from Equation 6 and Equation 7,
respectively. The obtained results have been plotted in Figure 5
and Figures 912. These figures show a good correlation between
the modified equation and the experimental results. The value of
 can be taken as 1 for steel-reinforced beams.
To assess the effectiveness and repeatability of Equation 5 (in
combination with Equations 6 and 7), all the beams in Table 3
were analysed and the deflections predicted by both the original
(Equation 1) and modified (Equation 5) equations were compared
with the experimental data. This comparison at three load stages
(35% Pu, 50% Pu and 90% Pu ) has been illustrated in Figure 16
for a few of the beams for clarity. For the beams in Table 3 the
maximum coefficient of variation of the ratio of experimental and
theoretical deflection (using Equation 5) at the above-mentioned
three load levels comes out to be approximately 21.5% as
opposed to 32.3% for a similar ratio with the Eurocode 2 method
(Equation 1). The 95% confidence interval is approximately in
the range 0.971.13 for the former method and 1.101.35 for the
latter.
Full analytical loaddeflection histories of six beams from Table
3 are traced in Figure 17. A comparison of the experimental
curve is made with the original equation (Equation 1) and
proposed equation (Equation 5). It is evident in Figure 17 that
Equation 5 predicts deflection more accurately. These results are
typical for almost all the beams in Table 1.
It can be seen in Figure 15 that Equation 7 improves the
correlation of theoretical deflection with the measured deflection.
The use of Equation 7 is, therefore, recommended for more
accurate deflection calculation of FRP reinforced structures.
Alternatively, an average value of a1 can be obtained from Figure
207

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

Set

Beam

b: mm

h: mm

L: mm

as : mm

fc : MPa

r: %

r=rb

Ef : GPa

ff : MPa Bar type

BF6
BF7
BF9
D
F1
VH2
H
E
RC-A1
RC-A3
RC-A4
RC-A5
Coated
G II
G III
GIV
GV
CB2B
CB3B
CB4B
CB6B
ISO1
ISO3
M1
M2
F-1-GF
GB10
B1
A1
GB5
cb-st
BC2NA
BC2HA
BC4VA
BC2VA
F1
F2
L.4
L.2
I.4
LL-200-C
CB-4
CB-6
CB-8
GB1
GB2
GB3
B1
B2
B3
B4

127
127
127
152
200
152
152
152
200
200
200
200
100
200
200
200
200
200
200
200
200
200
200
150
150
154
150
200
175
150
152
130
130
130
130
500
500
500
500
500
1000
200
200
200
180
180
180
180
180
180
180

305
305
305
305
460
305
305
304.8
300
300
300
300
150
210
260
300
250
300
300
300
300
550
550
300
300
254
250
400
350
250
292
180
180
180
180
185
185
250
250
250
200
300
300
300
300
300
300
300
300
300
300

3048
3048
3048
2750
3050
2750
2750
2750
2400
2400
2400
2400
800
2700
2700
2700
2700
3000
3000
3000
3000
3000
3000
2750
2750
2100
2300
2300
2300
2300
2743
1500
1500
1500
1500
3400
3400
2300
2300
2300
3000
2750
2750
2750
2800
2800
2800
2000
2000
2000
2000

1067
1067
1067
917
1295
917
917
917
900
900
900
900
350
1250
1250
1250
1250
1300
1300
1300
1300
1000
1000
917
917
700
767
750
750
767
1372
500
500
500
500
1200
1200
700
700
700
700
875
875
875
1200
1200
1200
850
850
850
850

32.43
29.67
29.67
51.75
31.00
44.81
44.81
51.75
29.43
29.43
29.43
29.43
43.60
31.30
31.30
40.70
41.00
52.00
52.00
45.00
45.00
43.00
43.00
31.00
31.00
35.70
33.70
25.10
29.76
28.14
48.26
53.10
57.20
93.50
97.40
30.00
30.00
30.00
30.00
30.00
30.00
39.90
44.80
44.80
35.00
35.00
35.00
71.70
71.70
71.70
71.70

1.39
2.09
1.81
1.00
1.53
0.38
0.38
0.94
0.28
0.21
1.71
3.03
0.70
3.60
1.20
1.16
2.87
0.70
1.05
1.40
2.10
1.13
0.57
1.08
2.15
1.55
1.36
0.07
0.13
1.30
0.26
1.24
1.24
2.47
1.24
1.22
0.70
0.47
0.20
0.38
0.30
0.52
0.78
1.04
0.53
0.79
1.05
0.49
0.32
0.49
0.49

3.49
5.92
3.66
0.96
6.03
0.74
0.38
0.89
1.38
0.27
7.70
13.60
2.61
7.58
3.31
2.02
6.11
1.24
1.86
2.68
4.00
1.54
0.78
1.38
2.77
2.23
4.33
0.63
0.79
4.71
1.07
2.15
2.06
2.23
1.21
3.57
1.58
2.24
0.95
0.78
0.87
2.24
3.61
4.84
0.92
1.44
5.74
1.87
1.24
0.87
0.87

26.22
26.22
26.22
44.82
53.60
44.82
44.82
44.82
65.00
65.00
56.00
57.00
63.80
35.63
43.37
35.63
35.63
37.65
37.65
37.65
37.65
45.00
45.00
44.82
44.82
34.00
45.00
52.97
52.97
45.00
147.00
38.00
38.00
38.00
38.00
42.00
42.00
147.00
147.00
42.00
147.00
122.00
122.00
122.00
40.00
40.00
40.00
147.00
147.00
147.00
147.00

696.6
696.6
696.9
591
1180
591
591
591
1413
1413
1265
1265
1400
700
886
700
700
773
773
773
773
690
690
590
590
586
1000
1775
1775
1000
2250
773
773
773
773
886
886
1970
1970
692
1970
1988
1988
1988
695
695
695
2550
2550
2550
2550

2
3
4

6
7

9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

17
18

19

20

21

208

GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
AFRP
AFRP
GFRP
CFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
CFRP
CFRP
GFRP
CFRP
CFRP
CFRP
CFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
CFRP
CFRP
CFRP
CFRP
( continued)

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

Set

Beam

b: mm

22

1a-NL
2b-NL
3a-NS
3a-HS
3a-HL
4b-NL
4b-HL
4a-NS
F-29f
F-29g
B2
F-3
F-6
DF2T1
DF3T2
DF3T3
CF3T1
DF4T1
SG2a
BG2a
BC2a
BG3b
BRC1
BRC2

254
305
254
165
152
203
178
229
102
102
150
102
102
150
150
150
150
150
500
150
150
150
120
120

23
24
25
26

27

28

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

h: mm

L: mm

as : mm

fc : MPa

r: %

r=rb

Ef : GPa

ff : MPa Bar type

184
184
286
286
184
184
184
286
102
102
200
102
102
300
300
300
300
300
120
250
250
250
200
200

2896
2896
2134
2134
2896
2896
2896
2134
1016
1016
2700
1016
1016
2400
2400
2400
2400
2400
2100
2300
2300
2300
1750
1750

1372
1372
991
991
1372
1372
1372
991
339
339
850
432
432
800
800
800
800
800
750
767
766
767
675
675

40.37
40.37
36.36
79.70
79.56
40.37
79.56
36.36
46.54
46.54
45.70
46.54
46.54
84.50
84.50
84.50
85.60
84.50
32.96
38.61
50.30
34.20
42.55
41.71

0.71
0.94
2.05
2.10
1.88
1.41
2.32
2.28
0.81
0.81
0.34
1.21
2.41
0.40
0.59
0.59
0.59
0.85
0.79
0.77
0.65
3.93
0.70
0.70

1.27
1.67
3.89
2.20
2.00
2.51
2.43
4.32
4.18
4.18
2.16
6.37
9.68
2.63
2.66
2.33
3.21
3.36
1.06
0.92
1.13
5.42
1.94
1.99

40.30
40.30
40.30
40.30
40.30
40.30
40.30
40.30
144.80
144.80
49.00
144.80
144.80
53.00
53.00
53.00
53.00
53.00
42.75
41.60
131.80
41.95
135.90
135.90

690
690
690
690
690
690
690
690
2490
2490
1674
2490
2490
1760
1760
1760
1760
1760
665
620
1325
670
1676
1676

GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
GFRP
CFRP
CFRP
AFRP
CFRP
CFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
AFRP
GFRP
GFRP
CFRP
GFRP
CFRP
CFRP

Table 3. Material and geometrical properties of beams analysed

Set

Researcher

Set Researcher

1
3
5
7
9
11
13
15
17
19
21
23
25
27

Nawy and Neuwerth (1977)


Saadatmanesh and Ehsani (1991)
Nakano et al. (1993)
Al-Salloum et al. (1996)
Benmokrane et al. (1996)
Swamy and Aburawi (1997)
Tan (1997)
Grace et al. (1998)
Pecce et al. (2000)
Kassem et al. (2003)
Wilson et al. (2003)
Orozco and Maji (2004)
Maji and Orozco (2005)
Al-Sunna (2006)

2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28

Faza and GangaRao (1990)


Faza and GangaRao (1992)
Nanni (1993)
Benmokrane and Masmoudi (1996)
Vijay and GangaRao (1996)
Duranovic et al. (1997)
Zhao et al. (1997)
Theriault and Benmokrane (1998)
Abdalla (2002)
Toutanji and Deng (2003)
Yost et al. (2003)
Aiello and Ombres (2005)
Rashid et al. (2005)
Ra et al. (2008)

Table 4. List of researchers for designated specimens

15. For this average value r/rb is taken in the range 1.202.70 as
suggested by Yost et al. (2003). As can be seen in Figure 15 the
average value of a1 in this range of r/rb comes out to be 0.88,
which can be used as a simplification to Equation 7. It is
important to note here that Al-Sunna (2006) suggested a bond

factor of 0.5 and 10% reduction in the cracked stiffness in order


to calculate deflection of GFRP RC beams with Equation 1.
Owing to variations in FRP bar properties this method will
require different deflection calculation methods depending on bar
type used. In fact with FRP bar types differing from that used by
209

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

40

100

Eurocode 2

Eurocode 2

80

a1 090

a1 080

Theo: mm

Load: kN

a1 075
60

Equation 5

30

a1 084

40

20
10

20

10

20
30
Deflection: mm

40

50

10

20
Exp: mm
(a)

30

40

80

Figure 14. Loaddeection curves for beam BRC2 with different


values of a1

Equation 5

Eurocode 2

Theo: mm

60
y 00121x 08581

16

a1

12

40
20

08

Average a1

04

0
0

20

0
0

8
/ b

10

12

14

40

60

Exp: mm
(b)

16
140
Eurocode 2

120

Figure 15. Results of regression analysis

Equation 5

Al-Sunna (2006) this method and/or factors (0.5 and 10%) may
not work at all with sufficient accuracy. On the other hand, the
single equation proposed in this study (Equation 5) is free from
this dependency on the bar type.
In summary, current knowledge of RC flexural design is largely
derived from the behaviour of an under-reinforced steel RC
section whose response is predominantly controlled by steel
behaviour. The behaviour of a steel RC beam to applied load is
linearly elastic up to steel yielding. Therefore, elastic deflection
theory is able to determine deflection behaviour satisfactorily. On
the other hand, FRP RC beams are designed as over-reinforced to
avoid brittle bar failure. In this case concrete behaviour in
compression is largely non-linear and controls beam behaviour.
This may require a re-examination of some of the concepts of
conventional steel RC flexure design before they are applied to
FRP RC. Most importantly a review of the linear stressstrain
relationship for concrete compressive stress is appropriate. This
may become helpful in explaining the overestimation of tension
stiffening in the present Eurocode 2 formulation. A simplistic
approach has been followed in this study to modify tension
stiffening estimation from Equation 1b, which is included in
Eurocode 2 for steel RC. This would leave the present familiar
form of the Eurocode 2 equation the same for use by academics
and practising engineers. A factor  has been suggested in order
210

Theo: mm

100
80
60
40
20
0
0

20

40

60
Exp: mm
(c)

80

100

120

Figure 16. (a) Measured and predicted deection of beams at


35% Pu ; (b) measured and predicted deection of beams at 50%
Pu ; (c) measured and predicted deection of beams at 90% Pu

to soften the cr response of an FRP RC beam. This factor  can


be calculated from Equation 6. a1 in Equation 6 may be taken as
an average value of 0.88 or may be obtained from Equation 7.
These modifications improve deflection behaviour appropriately
compared to predictions for FRP RC beams with the existing
Eurocode 2 method.

Conclusions
The results of a theoretical investigation of FRP RC beam
behaviour are presented in this paper. The analytical study was

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

50

200
150

Load: kN

Load: kN

40
30
20

2b-NL (Exp.)

100
RC-A4 (Exp.)

Eurocode 2

10

50

Equation 5
0

0
25

75

50
Deflection: mm
(a)

100

90

300

75

250

60

200

45
B1 (Exp.)

30

10
20
Deflection: mm
(b)

Load: kN

Load: kN

Eurocode 2

Equation 5

150
LL-200-C (Exp.)

100

Eurocode 2
15

Eurocode 2
50

Equation 5

Equation 5

10

20

30

40

50

25

50

75

100

125

Deflection: mm
(d)

Deflection: mm
(c)
250

16

200

12

Load: kN

Load: kN

30

150
B3 (Exp.)

100

Eurocode 2
50

8
F-2g (Exp.)
4

Eurocode 2

Equation 5

Equation 5

0
0

10
20
Deflection: mm
(e)

30

4
6
Deflection: mm
(f)

10

Figure 17. (a) Loaddeection curves for beam 2b-NL (Yost et


al., 2003); (b) loaddeection curves for beam RC-A4 (Nakano et
al., 1993); (c) loaddeection curves for beam B1 (Tan, 1997);
(d) loaddeection curves for slab LL-200-C (Abdalla, 2002);
(e) loaddeection curves for B3 (Wilson et al., 2003);
(f) loaddeection curves for F-29g (Orozco and Maji 2004)

based on strain compatibility analysis and employed the Eurocode


2 Part 1-1 deflection model. The beams tested by the authors
(BRS and BRC beams) and various other investigators were
analysed. Non-linear FEM was also carried out for BRC beams.
The main findings of this investigation are listed below.
(a) An over-reinforced (r . r b ) design is generally
recommended for FRP reinforced concrete beams. Results

show that recorded tension stiffening effects are higher in


FRP RC beams with low r/rb compared to heavily
reinforced beams. The current Eurocode 2 method of tension
stiffening estimation underestimates this parameter for FRP
beams. The degree of underestimation in the tension
stiffening is correlated with the relative amount of FRP
reinforcing. The error of underestimation decreases as the
ratio r/rb increases.
211

Magazine of Concrete Research


Volume 63 Issue 3

A suggested model for European code to


calculate deflection of FRP reinforced
concrete beams
Ra and Nadjai

(b) In the uncracked state of a beam, deflection is calculated


using Iuncr with the slope of the uncracked deflection line
equal to Ec Iuncr . For a cracked section, deflection calculation
is based on Icr and the resulting line has a slope of Ec Icr . The
former line represents the stiffest response whereas the latter
is the representation of least stiff behaviour. Actual beam
behaviour lies somewhere in between the two owing to
concrete tension stiffening effects. Conversely, peculiar beam
behaviour was identified in FRP reinforced beams as the
recorded beam response crossed over the theoretical
deflection curve based on Icr . This additional deflection
beyond cr occurred after a critical bar modulus (Ef 50
GPa) for beams with higher relative amount of reinforcement
and was found to be proportional to bar Ef . It was noted that
beam deflection was not influenced by shear-induced
deformations as these decrease with an increase in
reinforcing ratio. Shear-induced deflections were separately
investigated for BRC beams, which were tested by the
authors, using various approaches including FE modelling.
These deflections and creep effects were found to be
insignificant and it was noted that the beam deflection was
based on flexural curvature.
(c) The behaviour of concrete in compression becomes important
in over-reinforced RC design. For FRP beams, the behaviour
of concrete in compression is non-linear at an early stage of
load application. This may require a re-examination of some
of the fundamental concepts applied to the design of steel RC
as these are based on linear elastic material behaviour.
(d) A simplistic approach has been used in this study and a
modified expression has been suggested for the deflection
calculation of FRP reinforced structures. The factor 
proposed in this study is given in Equation 6 and includes
effects of ratio of modulus of FRP/steel bar and r/rb . The
relation for r/rb with Equation 6 has been derived with the
help of the recorded deflection of 75 beams and slabs and is
given in Equation 7. Alternatively, an average value of 0.88
can be used.
(e) A wide range of experimental data was theoretically analysed
using the original and modified expressions. The suggested
equation provided satisfactory correlation with the measured
deflection for the majority of the specimens. The maximum
coefficient of variation was found to be 21.5% with the
modified method in comparison to a value of 32.3% with the
existing equation.

Ulster. The first author also acknowledges the support from


Professor Sarosh H. Lodi, Chairman, Department of Civil
Engineering at the NED University of Engineering and Technology, for discussing some of the pertinent issues which arose
during this study.

It is understood that the modifications suggested in this study are


empirical and by no means is it an alternative to the proper
understanding of the beam behaviour. However unless a different
approach of designing FRP reinforced concrete beams is required
by Eurocode 2, the suggested modification can provide satisfactory results.

Acknowledgements
The authors wish to acknowledge the support provided for this
research by the School of Built Environment, University of
212

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