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Publication# Shear resistance of lightweight concrete core of FRP-concrete sandwich structure

Résumé

This paper presents a model to predict the shear resistance of the unreinforced lightweight concrete core of a recently developed hybrid sandwich concept for bridge decks. The sandwich skins consist of a fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite sheet for the tensile skin and a thin layer of high-strength concrete as a compression skin. The model uses a fracture mechanics approach and considers the shear force transmitted in the fracture process zone where a tensile load transmission through an initiating crack is still possible. To verify the modeling results, experiments on 12 sandwich beams were carried out. In contrast to the Eurocode 2 model for shear resistance prediction, the proposed model demonstrated a good agreement to experimental results and highlighted the importance of considering not only the static strength, but also fracture mechanics properties such as the characteristic length.

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The addition of a thin overlay of Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) to Reinforced Concrete (RC) members is an emerging technique to strengthen and protect existing structures and to design durable new structures. Combining UHPFRC with closely spaced, small-diameter steel rebars in Reinforced UHPFRC (R-UHPFRC) layers improves the UHPFRC's strain hardening behaviour. For reasons of practicality, R-UHPFRC layers are cast or glued (in the case of prefabricated elements) on top of RC members, thus changing the latter into R-UHPFRC - RC composite members. The high strength and deformation capacity of R-UHPFRC elements make them a suitable external flexural reinforcement for RC members over intermediate supports, e.g., bridge decks and slabs or beams in buildings. Over reinforcement of RC beams and slabs with tensile flexural reinforcement can result in their shear failure at either a lower resistance or deformation than the associated values for member failure in flexure. A comprehensive experimental program was conducted to study the flexure-shear behaviour of R-UHPFRC - RC composite beams. The program comprises two test series on cantilever beams and continuous beams. The test parameters include shear span-depth ratio (a/d), the amount of transverse reinforcement ( ρν), the amount of longitudinal reinforcement, and the strength and bond condition of the R-UHPFRC rebars. The experimental results reveal the different failure modes of R-UHPFRC - RC composite members and the contribution of the R-UHPFRC elements to the member resistance, ductility and capacity to redistribute the internal stress. It was shown that in R-UHPFRC - RC beams with ribbed rebars and a shear span to depth ratio greater than 2.5 the stresses are carried by beam action. Depending on the degree of longitudinal reinforcement, all but two of the beams with 3.0≤a/d≤3.4 and ρν≤0.17 had a flexure-shear failure; the rest failed in flexure. The flexure-shear failure of the composite beams was at an approximately equal rotation level as their RC reference beam but at a resistance 2.3 times that of the RC beam. This is due to (1) the debonding interface zone between the elements that allows the R-UHPFRC - RC beams to rotate more freely and (2) the out-of-plane resistance of the R-UHPFRC element that contributes to the shear resistance. The internal flow of forces and the structural response of composite members strongly depend on the bond condition between the R-UHPFRC and RC, the UHPFRC and its rebars, as well as the concrete and its rebars. Cracking of the concrete along the interface zone causes bond reduction, i.e., softening of the shear connection, between the two elements. In presence of high shear stresses and diagonal flexure-shear cracks, interface zone softening is observed between the elements prior to the maximum resistance, while UHPFRC is strain hardening. The cause of this softening behaviour is the prying action due to the relative rotational movement of the RC rigid bodies separated by the flexure-shear cracks. Static and kinematic solutions of the theory of plasticity for RC beams are extended to predict the collapse load of R-UHPFRC - RC composite beams at the ultimate limit state. A mechanical model for predicting the structural response of composite beams is proposed. In combination with truss models, the concept of an R-UHPFRC - RC plastic hinge is introduced to calculate the force-displacement response of composite beams. The failure criterion based on the collapse mechanisms (kinematic solutions) sets the limit of the force-displacement response. The model is corroborated by the experimental results. This model provides a tool for analysis of RC members reinforced with an added tensile R-UHPFRC element.

Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) combined with steel rebars, subsequently called R-UHPFRC, is a promising building material implying a novel technology for the improvement of concrete structures. Steel rebars enhance effectively the resistance of UHPFRC while reducing variability in the tensile behaviour of monolithic UHPFRC due to variation in fibre distribution and orientation. When a thin layer of R-UHPFRC is overlaid on top of a concrete bridge deck slab, it is subjected to repeating wheel loads and fatigue limit state needs to be considered. This paper presents the results of tensile fatigue tests on R-UHPFRC elements for the determination of its fatigue behaviour. Experimental results show a fatigue endurance limit at 10 million cycles at a solicitation level of S = 0.54 for S being the ratio between the maximum fatigue force and the ultimate strength. Over the fatigue life of the specimens, stress was transferred from UHPFRC to steel rebars. Fatigue resistance of R-UHPFRC shows that it has a significant potential for fatigue strengthening of reinforced concrete structural elements like bridge deck slabs.

2014Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) combined with steel rebars, subsequently called R-UHPFRC, is a promising building material implying a novel technology for the improvement of concrete structures. Steel rebars enhance effectively the resistance of UHPFRC while reducing variability in the tensile behaviour of monolithic UHPFRC due to variation in fibre distribution and orientation. When a thin layer of R-UHPFRC is overlaid on top of a concrete bridge deck slab, it is subjected to repeating wheel loads and fatigue limit state needs to be considered. This paper presents the results of tensile fatigue tests on R-UHPFRC elements for the determination of its fatigue behaviour. Experimental results show a fatigue endurance limit at 10 million cycles at a solicitation level of S = 0.54 for S being the ratio between the maximum fatigue force and the ultimate strength. Over the fatigue life of the specimens, stress was transferred from UHPFRC to steel rebars. Fatigue resistance of R-UHPFRC shows that it has a significant potential for fatigue strengthening of reinforced concrete structural elements like bridge deck slabs. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.