CFRP, RC beams, strengthening, finite element, lateral anchorage


In this thesis, a fully nonlinear finite element study of the flexural behavior of doubly reinforced concrete beams strengthened using different Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) composite strengthening configurations has been carried out. Prior to the study, a total of six beams were constructed, pre-cracked, strengthened and tested to failure under a four-point loading condition (Zhao and O'Riordan-Adjah, 2004). Then, for the purpose of this thesis work, detailed three dimensional finite element models were created not only to correlate the results obtained from the experiments, but also to predict the load capacity, failure modes and crack pattern of reinforced concrete (RC) beams strengthened using Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites. Knowing the behavior for each of the materials that compose the beam (concrete, steel, bonding material or interface, and FRP laminates) and how to get their properties, an accurate and representative finite element model can be created. Tests and analytical (FE) results showed that the strengthened configuration plays an important role in the overall strength, failure mechanisms, and, more significantly, the ductile behavior of the beams. Considerable increases in the load-carrying capacity of the RC beams were observed. Increases that range from 12% (using FRP only on the bottom of the beam) to 35% (FRP on the bottom + 45 degrees sides' configuration as explained later) compared to the control beam before ultimate failure were obtained. Failure modes were also affected since the beam with only FRP on the bottom failed completely by debonding of the laminate while the beams with side FRP anchorage strips failed by a combination of composite debonding on the sides and concrete crushing. Finally, ductile behavior of the beams was greatly improved due to the application of the strengthening material on the side of the concrete beams, serving as an anchorage to the bottom fabric. The accuracy of the model has been validated comparing the results obtained from the six beam tests to the ones determined using the FE approach. Good agreement between the two has been found.


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Graduation Date





Zhao, Lei


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

August 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)