Franz Rad

Date of Award

Winter 3-22-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (xvi, 207 pages)


Fiber-reinforced concrete, Prestressed concrete -- Bonding -- Testing, Flexure -- Testing, Concrete beams -- Testing




The high cost of repairing reinforced or prestressed concrete structures due to steel corrosion has driven engineers to look for solutions. Much research has been conducted over the last two decades to evaluate the use of Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) in concrete structures. Structural engineering researchers have been testing FRP to determine their usability instead of steel for strengthening existing reinforced concrete structures, reinforcing new concrete members, and for prestressed concrete applications. The high strength-to-weight ratio of FRP materials, especially Carbon FRP (CFRP), and their non-corrosive nature are probably the most attractive features of FRPs.

In this study, an experimental program was conducted to investigate the flexural behavior of prestressed concrete beams pre-tensioned with CFRP strands. The bond characteristics were examined by means of experimentally measuring transfer length, flexural bond length, and bond stress profiles. A total of four rectangular beams pre-tensioned with one 0.5-in. diameter CFRP strand were fabricated and tested under cyclic loading for five cycles, followed by a monotonically increasing load until failure. In investigating bond properties, the experimental results were compared to the equations available in the literature.

The results from the four flexural tests showed that the main problem of CFRP strands, in addition to their liner-elastic tensile behavior, was lack of adequate bonding between FRP and concrete. Poor bonding resulted in early failure due to slippage between FRPs and concrete. As a result, a new technique was developed in order to solve the bonding issues and improve the flexural response of CFRP prestressed concrete beams. The new technique involved anchoring the CFRP strands at the ends of the concrete beams using a new "steel tube" anchorage system. It was concluded that the new technique solved the bond problem and improved the flexural capacity by about 46%.

A computer model was created to predict the behavior of prestressed beams pre-tensioned with CFRP. The predicted behavior was compared to the experimental results. Finally, the experimental results were compared to the behavior of prestressed concrete beams pre-tensioned with steel strands as generated by the computer model. The CFRP beams showed higher strength but lower ductility.

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