Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 27

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

CHAPTER 1
1. INTRODUCTION
Composite

materials

offer

many

advantages

when

compared

with

conventional steel reinforcement, such as high tensile strength, light weight, and
corrosion free. Their application in civil engineering has become more technically
attractive and economically viable. The last few decades have been marked by
degradation of numerous concrete structures due to the corrosion of steel
reinforcements that required costly repairs or replacements. To mitigate the corrosion
problem, several methods, such as epoxy coated rebars, synthetic membranes, or
cathodic protection, have been developed. To date, all of them have showed limited
success . In recent years, research has been carried out on fibre reinforced plastic
(FRP) bars as an alternative to steel reinforcement. These FRP rebars have already
shown a promising future to overcome the corrosion problem in many projects,
especially in bridge deck and parking garage design.
Short polypropylene fibres provide resistance to plastic and drying shrinkage,
and improve resistance to crack growth, impact loading, fatigue loading and freezethaw durability. It was proven to have notable benefits to structures, especially under
service conditions. The combination of FRP reinforcement and short polypropylene
fibres may eliminate problems related to corrosion of steel reinforcement while
providing requisite strength, stiffness and desired ductility, which are shortcomings of
the plain concrete and FRP reinforcement system.
Considerable research efforts have been conducted on the bond behavior of
glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) rebar in plain concrete. Different types of FRP
rebars have quite different bond characteristics, which are strongly dependent on
mechanical and physical properties of external layer of FRP rods.
Meanwhile, research has indicated that FRP materials are not immune to
Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

long-term environmental degradation. Long-term performance must be investigated


and clearly understood before it can be widely applied to the field. This paper presents
a report on the long-term bond performance for this FRP/FRC hybrid system. For
comparison purposes, the corresponding bond performance of the FRP/plain concrete
system is also reported. The objective of this study was to qualitatively investigate the
benefits gained from fibres in the FRP reinforcing system. Thus, the different volume
fraction of fibres effect was not investigated in this research.
On the basis of the previous researches, it is still not clear whether the bond
degrades, or to what extent, after being subjected to various environmental agents.
Furthermore, in many regions of the world, it is not uncommon to experience freezethaw cycles in the winter season and high temperature with high humidity in the
summer season. This paper provides insight to how the bond behaves after the longterm environmental conditioning.
1.1 WHAT IS FIBER REINFORCED POLYMER?
Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) is a composite that is a combination of two or
more materials to form a new and useful material with enhanced properties in
comparison to the individual constituents.
FRPs consists of fibers and matrix. The matrix acts as the binder for FRP. The
various functions of matrix are
i)

It binds the fibers together

ii)

Protects the fibers from environmental degradation

iii)

Transfers force between the individual fibers

iv)

Provides shape to the FRP component.

Regardless of the fiber used in the FRP reinforcing bar, it is the resin matrix that plays
the major role in transferring forces from the surrounding concrete into the reinforcing
bar, and this resin matix is potentially susceptible to degradation at the concrete
interface . Once this degradation occurs , bond capacity can be reduced or lost
completely and in addition the reinforcing fibers themselves can be exposed to attack
leading to loss of the longitudinal strength and stiffness of the reinforcement.
Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

1.2 WHAT IS FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE?


Fiber Reinforced concrete can be defined as a composite material consisting of
mixtures of cement, mortar or concrete and discontinuous, discrete, uniformly
dispersed suitable fibers. Some of the fibers used are steel fibers, polypropylene,
nylons, asbestos, coir, glass and carbon.
1.2.1 Effect of Fibers in Concrete
Fibers are usually used in concrete to control plastic shrinkage cracking and
drying shrinkage cracking. They also lower the permeability of concrete and thus
reduce bleeding of water. Some types of fibers produce greater impact, abrasion and
shatter resistance in concrete. Generally fibers do not increase the flexural strength of
concrete, so it cannot replace moment resisting or structural steel reinforcement.
Some fibers reduce the strength of concrete. The amount of fibers added to a concrete
mix is measured as a percentage of the total volume of the composite (concrete and
fibers) termed volume fraction (Vf). If the modulus of elasticity of the fiber is higher
than the matrix (concrete or mortar binder), they help to carry the load by increasing
the tensile strength of the material. Increase in the aspect ratio of the fiber usually
segments the flexural strength and toughness of the matrix. However, fibers which are
too long tend to "ball" in the mix and create workability problems. Some recent
research indicated that using fibers in concrete has limited effect on the impact
resistance of concrete materials. This finding is very important since traditionally
people think the ductility increases when concrete reinforced with fibers. The results
also pointed out that the micro fibers is better in impact resistance compared with the
longer fibers.
1.2.2 Benefits of FRC

Controlled Plastic Shrinkage

Minimized Crack Growth

Reduced Permeability

Improved Surface Durability

Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Uniform Reinforcement In All Directions

CHAPTER 2
2. EXPERIMENTAL SET UP AND PROCEDURES
2.1. EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM
In this study, a total of 36 bond specimens were fabricated to study the effect
of various environmental agents on the durability of the FRP/FRC system. To
simulate the seasonal weather changes, specimens were subjected to combined
environmental cycles, consisting of freeze-thaw cycles and high temperature cycles,
while submerged in the salt solution. Then, bond behaviours were compared with
unweathered specimens to investigate the durability of this new hybrid system.
2.2 MATERIALS
2.2.1 Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Rods
Three types of commonly used FRP rods were adopted in this experimental study:
namely #8 (25-mm) GFRP, #4 (13-mm) GFRP, and #4 (13-mm) CFRP, as shown in
figure 2.1. The surface of the GFRP rods is tightly wrapped with a helical fibre strand
to create indentations along the bar, and sand particles are added to the surface to
enhance its bonding strength. The surface of the CFRP is very smooth, as shown in
figure 2.1. The resin used was epoxy-modified vinyl ester. The mechanical properties
of FRP rods as are shown in table 2.1.
2.2.2 Polypropylene Fiber
Currently, many fiber types are commercially available, including steel, glass,
synthetic, and natural fibers. To fulfill the completely nonferrous concept,
polypropylene fibre was used in this study. Fibres are fibrillated and commercially
available in 57-mm length. Some properties of interest as reported by the
manufacturer are listed as follows: specific gravity = 0:91;Youngs modulus = 3:5
GPa. Polypropylene fibers can
Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Improve mix cohesion, improving pumpability over long distances

Improve freeze thaw resistance

Improve resistance to explosive spalling in case of a severe fire

Improve impact resistance

Increase resistance to plastic

# 8 GFRP

# 4 GRRP

# 4 CFRP

Fig 2.1: Fiber-reinforced polymer rods used in this study


2.2.3 Concrete
The concrete mix used is shown in table 2.2. For practical application and quantitative
investigation of the benefits from the fibers, the volume fraction of fiber (Vf ) of 0.5%
was selected to make the FRC take the benefits from the fibers yet still ensure good
workability of the concrete. The air content of concrete and FRC and the 28-day
compression strengths are shown in table 2.3.
2.3 DISCUSSION OF VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL AGENTS

Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

The environmental agents that have potential effects on the long term structural
behaviors of this FRP/FRC hybrid system are discussed as follows:
Table 2.1: Mechanical properties of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Rods
Items

Tensile strength
(MPa)
Elastic modulus
(GPa)
Fiber type

Resin type

#4 Carbon
fiber-reinforced
polymer
2,069

#4 Glass
fiber-reinforced
polymer
690

#8 Glass
fiber-reinforced
polymer
551

124

41

41

Polyacrylonitrile
(PAN)-based
carbon fiber
Epoxy-modified
vinyl ester

E-glass fiber

E-glass fiber

Epoxy-modified
vinyl ester

Epoxy-modified
vinyl ester

Table 2.2: Concrete mix design


Concrete type

Portland
cement
type I
(kgm3)

Water
(kgm3)

Fly ash
(Class
C)
(kgm3)

Sand
(kgm3)

Coarse
aggregate
(limestone)
(kgm3)

Volume fraction
of
polypropylene
fiber

Airentraining
agent
(mLm3)

Plain concrete

371

119

119

771

1,020

0%

296

Fiber-reinforced
concrete

368

124

65

676

1,080

0.5%

266

Table 2.3: Concrete Properties


28-day compressive
Concrete type

strength (MPa)

Air Content

Plain concrete

48

4.9%

Fiber reinforced concrete

37

6%

Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

2.3.1 Freeze-Thaw Effect


The freeze-thaw cycle is a serious environmental threat to bridge structures with a
poor-quality concrete. Researches showed that concrete can be damaged by freezethaw cycles. With the addition of deicing salts, the damage can be greatly accelerated.
Owing to concretes permeable nature, water or deicing salt water can reach the
interface between the bars and concrete. Therefore, accumulated damage can occur to
concrete, FRP bars, and their interface by repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The selection
of the freeze-thaw cycle is subsequently discussed.
The internal temperature of the concrete was not the same as the air
temperature in the environmental chamber. It is important that the interface at the
FRP/concrete can reach the targeted internal temperature (i.e., less than 0C during
the freezing period and greater than 0C during the thawing period). Thermocouples
were embedded at the center of 100200-mm concrete cylinders. Two such cylinders
were used (one placed in air, the other in water) to monitor the core temperature
inside the concrete. Several preliminary freeze-thaw cycles were conducted to
determine the appropriate air temperature and cycle time. A computer data-acquisition
system that records data at 3-min intervals was used to monitor the temperature
change. The temperature variation during the freeze-thaw cycle is shown in figure 2.2.
Testing revealed that the temperature in the concrete specimens changed at a much
slower rate than the ambient temperature. It was also found that a 9-h cycle,
consisting of a 6-h freezing regimen and 3-h thawing regimen, was adequate to obtain
the freezing-and-thawing conditions in the core of the specimens.
2.3.2 High Temperature
The coefficients of thermal expansion (CTEs) of steel reinforcement and concrete are
similar, as shown in table 2.4. Thus, little or no stresses will be induced between the
steel

reinforcement and concrete owing to the temperature change for the RC

structure. However, as shown in table 2.4, the CTEs for fibers and concrete are
different. Furthermore, the resin materials used to bind the fibers have much larger
Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

CTEs in comparison with concrete. Significant stresses at the interface of the two

Fig 2.2 : Cycle of freezing and thawing


materials could induce with the temperature variation, which may affect the bond
performances. When deciding the high temperature magnitude, the glass transition
temperature Tg was considered. The FRP materials should not be used at temperatures
greater than their glass transition temperatures. The glass transition temperature for
vinyl ester is approximately 93C. Also, to accelerate the testing process, a higher
temperature than normal should be used. It was decided that the high temperature
cycle ranged from 3560C.
2.3.3 Ultraviolet Radiation
Polymeric materials can absorb ultraviolet (UV) radiation and, therefore, are
susceptible to reactions initiated by the absorption of UV energy. Generally, the
effects of UV exposure are confined to the top few microns of the surface. Thus,
the degradation from UV exposure may be a concern for the external application of
FRP materials. However, previous test results indicated that the mechanical properties
of the FRP bars were not significantly affected even by direct exposure to UV
radiation.
Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Table 2.4: Coefficient of thermal expansion of various materials


Type of

Longitudinal direction

Transverse direction

material

(1061/K)

(1061/K)

Aramid fiber

-6.0 to -2.0

55 to 60

Carbon fiber
Glass fiber

-0.9 to 0.7
5 to 15

8 to 18
5 to 15

Resin

60 to 140

60 to 140

Steel

12
6 to 13

12
6 to 13

Concrete

for the application of FRP materials in this project, FRP bars were protected by a
concrete cover. The degradation caused by UV radiation was expected to be negligible
and was not investigated in this study.
2.3.4 De-icing Salt Solution
Chloride penetration caused by the de-icing salt is a major cause of corrosion in steelreinforced highway structures. It may also affect the strength of the FRP materials. As
discussed previously, damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycles will be aggravated by
the use of salt solution. In this study, a solution of sodium chloride, 5% by weight,
was selected to simulate the de-icing salt solution. Specimens were submerged into
the salt solution in two large tanks.
2.3.5 Humidity Effect
The FRP rods are not waterproof. Moisture can diffuse into resin, leading to changes
in mechanical characteristics and in physical appearance (increase of volume). As a
consequence, the overall performance of the FRP/FRC hybrid system may be altered.
Because specimens in this study were submerged in salt water, the humidity effect on
the FRP/FRC system was covered automatically.

Department Of Civil Engineering

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

2.3.6 Alkaline Effect


When in contact with alkaline media, FRP material will degrade owing to the
chemical reaction with an alkaline solution. For this hybrid FRP/FRC system, FRP
rods were embedded in concrete, which is known to have a pH level as high as 13.5.
This alkaline environment can damage glass fibers through the loss of toughness and
strength. Several studies have been conducted on the effect of alkaline on the FRP
material and significant degradation for GFRP bars was reported. Direct immersion
into an alkaline solution was thought to be much more severe than real conditions.
Most likely, it is the mobility of the alkaline ions that greatly affects the test results.
To accelerate but not exaggerate the possible degradation effect from alkaline, FRP
rods were embedded in concrete, and the specimens were kept submerged in the deicing slat solution in this study.
2.4 SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONING IN THIS STUDY
A combined environmental cycle consisted of 20 freeze-thaw cycles and 20 high
temperature cycles as shown in figure 2.3. The same cycles were repeated 10 times.
Thus, a total of 200 freeze-thaw cycles and 200 high temperature cycles were
conducted to simulate the seasonal weather changes. It took approximately 100 days
to complete the 10 combined environmental cycles. After the environmental
conditioning, specimens were removed from the environmental chamber and allowed
to dry for 1 week before testing. Then, specimens were subjected to a pullout bond
test at room temperature (22C). Compared with the typical weather in most regions
of the world, the determined environmental cycles were far more severe than the real
scenario, so the accelerated test was possible. Figure 2.4 shows the detailed testing
procedures.
2.5 TEST SPECIMENS
Test specimens were designed according to RILEM recommendations (7II-128,
RILEM 1994) with a 5db embedment length, which was generally assumed to be able
to represent local bond behaviour. The FRP rods were embedded in concrete to a
predetermined length le in the concrete block. A PVC pipe was used as a bond breaker
Department Of Civil Engineering

10

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

at the first 5db length to minimize the bottom plates restraint effect on the FRP bar
and to eliminate any undesirable confinement that may affect the bond characteristics.
Details are shown in figure 2.5.
Chemical agents will attack the reinforcing materials and the bond between the
concrete and the reinforcing materials. In typical RC structures, cracks exist under
service conditions. The degradation effect is expected to be more pronounced at
locations at which cracks exist. Because the portion away from the cracks is not
directly in contact with solution, to better simulate the real situations, the portion at
the loaded end of the bond specimens was directly exposed to salt water, where as the
portion at the free end was coated with waterproof epoxy to protect it from direct
attack from

salt water. Because the epoxy could induce unwanted mechanical

anchorages and change the bond behaviour when the bar was pulled out, all the epoxy
that stuck to the bar was removed after environmental conditioning. The notation
for specimens is as follows: the first character, V or D, indicates the unweathered
specimen or weathered specimen; the second character, P or F, indicates the plain
concrete or FRC; the third character (#4 versus #8) is the bar size in U.S.designation;
and the last character, C or G, indicates the reinforcement type, CFRP or GFRP. The
test matrix of the bond specimen is shown in table 2.5.
2.6 TEST SETUP AND PROCEDURES
The pullout tests were conducted in an MTS 880 machine. The test is run through
closed-loop displacement control using an external LVDT2 as a feedback device
(shown in figure 2.5).Because the FRP rods were weak in the transverse direction,
special anchorages were used to protect the reinforcement from crushing. The free end
of the FRP bar was embedded in a steel pipe using an expansive grout as an interface.
The pullout was then performed by pulling the steel pipe at one end, with the concrete
block encased in the steel reaction frame. The bars slip relative to the concrete was
computed from measurements of two LVDTs placed at both ends of the bar, as shown
in figure 2.5. To minimize the eccentricity effect, lead sheets were placed between the
concrete block and the reaction frame. The pullout tests were monotonic by increasing
Department Of Civil Engineering

11

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Fig 2.3: Environmental cycles: a) One combined environmental cycle; b)


freezing and thawing cycle; c) high temperature cycle

Department Of Civil Engineering

12

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Fig 2.4: Flow chart showing test procedures


the slip at a 0.76-mm min rate. All measurements, including pullout load and
displacements (slips), were recorded by a computer-controlled data-acquisition
system.
Department Of Civil Engineering

13

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Fig 2.5: Pull out test specimen and test setup


Table 2.5: Test Matrix
Specimen

Number of specimens

f c (MPa)

VP4C

48

VP4G

48

VP8G
VF4C

3
3

48
37

0
0.5

VF4G

37

0.5

VF8G

37

0.5

DP4C

48

DP4G

48

DP8G
DF4C

3
3

48
37

0
0.5

DF4G

37

0.5

DF8G

37

0.5

Department Of Civil Engineering

Vf (%)

14

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

CHAPTER 3
3. TEST RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
3.1 TEST RESULTS
In the following discussion, the environmental conditionings effect on the specimen
appearances and the bond behaviors for both plain concrete specimens and FRC
specimens are presented.
3.1.1 Appearance of Specimen after Environmental Conditioning
i) Plain Concrete Specimens
In addition to concrete scaling on the surface, most specimens also showed some
damage on the concrete, especially at the corner areas. One DP4C specimen and one
DP4G specimen were severely damaged, and large portions of concrete were broken
apart, as shown in figure 3.1.
ii) Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Specimens
Damages were limited to the surfaces of the specimens. With the scaling of concrete
at the surfaces, fibers could clearly be observed. However, all of the FRC specimens
remained integrated. In comparison with the plain concrete specimens, the FRC
specimens were more immune to the environmental attack.
3.1.2 Environmental Conditioning Effect on Bond Behaviors
The test results are shown in table 3.1. A typical bond slip is shown in figure 3.2 .The
typical bond-slip responses at the loaded end and the free end are shown in figures 3.3
and 3.4, respectively. In this study, the average bond strength was calculated as the
pullout force over the embedded area of the bar. The slip on the side of loading was
calculated as the value of LVDT2 minus the elastic deformation of the FRP bar
between the bond zone and the location of LVDT2.
i) Plain Concrete Specimens
Bond slip response : Unweathered specimens showed fairly consistent test results
Department Of Civil Engineering

15

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

(a)

(b)
Fig 3.1 : Difference in appearance of plain and fiber-reinforced concrete specimens
after environmental conditioning: (a)#4 glass fiber-reinforced polymer;(b)#4 carbon
fiber-reinforced polymer
with the same testing parameters .However , test results for specimens subjected
to environmental conditioning were volatile. Different levels of damage on the
specimens were observed visually. In general, specimens with concrete more severely
Department Of Civil Engineering

16

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Fig 3.2: Typical Bond Slip


damaged showed lower bond strength. In other words, the bond strength was strongly
dependent on the condition of the concrete. Figure 3.1 shows the most severely
damaged specimens (DP4C and DP4G). These specimens had large amounts of
concrete broken apart and thus showed very low bond strengths. As shown in figures
3.3 and 3.4, the bond-slip curves of all the tested specimens were softened after being
subjected to the environmental conditions.
Failure modes: Most specimens had the same failure modes as the unweathered
specimens. However, the failure modes were changed for the DP4C specimens. All
three unweathered specimens, VP4C, failed in the reinforcement pullout. However,
two of the three DP4C specimens failed in concrete splitting; the other one failed
in reinforcement pullout. This was caused by the damage of concrete. Some portions
of the concrete were broken apart; thus, a smaller amount of concrete could resist the
splitting force caused by the reinforcement pullout.
Ultimate bond strength: Ultimate bond strengths of all specimens were reduced, and
this effect was more pronounced in the smaller specimens (#4 bar specimens). As
shown in figure 3.5 , 23%, 56%, and 4% reductions were observed in ultimate bond
strength for DP4C, DP4G, and DP8G specimens, respectively.
Design bond strength: Employment of the ultimate bond strength as a design value
is not appropriate because of

Department Of Civil Engineering

the excessive associated slip, which will result in


17

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

untolerated crack width. Bond stress corresponding to 0.2-mm slippage of loaded end
or 0.05-mm slippage of free end for steel-reinforced structures can be defined as the
critical bond stress. The criterion of 0.2-mm slippage at the loaded end was decided
on the basis of half of the crack width limitation. As mentioned previously, after being
subjected to environmental conditioning, surface scaling occurred on most of the
specimens. During the pullout bond tests, the loose concrete at the loaded end would
be compacted under compression. Thus, the measured loaded-end slip could be
exaggerated. However, slips measured at the free end would not be affected.
Therefore to keep it comparable with limits imposed on the steel reinforcement, bond
strength corresponding to 0.05-mm slippage at the free end was adopted as the
designing bond strength. As shown in figure 3.6, 25%, 43%, and 11% reductions were
observed for DP4C, DP4G, and DP8G specimens, respectively.
ii) Fiber-Reinforced Specimens
Bond-slip response: In general, test results of the FRC specimens showed good
consistency. The behavior of the specimens in the same testing group was similar.
Similar to the plain concrete specimens, all bond-slip curves were softened after being
subjected to the environmental cycles.
Failure modes: Similar to the plain concrete specimens, most FRC specimens had
the same failure modes as the unweathered specimens. However, the failure mode of
one of the three DF8G specimens was changed from reinforcement pullout to concrete
splitting.
Ultimate bond strength: Reductions of the bond strength were observed for most of
the FRC specimens, as they were for the plain concrete specimens. As shown in figure
3.4, 5% and 15% reductions were observed in the ultimate bond strength for DF4C
and DF4G specimens, respectively. However, little change was observed for DF8G
specimens.
Design bond strength: Similar to the plain concrete specimens, reductions of the
design bond strength defined previously were observed for most of the FRC
specimens. As shown in figure 3.5, 12% and 16% reductions were observed in the
Department Of Civil Engineering

18

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Table 3.1 Test Results of Durability Bond Tests

P= Pullout failure; S= Splitting failure

Significant bond reductions were observed for specimens whose concrete were badly

damaged after the environmental conditioning.

Department Of Civil Engineering

19

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Fig 3.3: Typical loaded- end bond- slip curve (#4 GFRP): (a) Plain concrete
specimen; (b) Fiber-reinforced concrete specimen

Fig 3.4: Typical free- end bond- slip curve (#4 GFRP): (a) Plain concrete specimen;
(b) Fiber-reinforced concrete specimen

Department Of Civil Engineering

20

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

design bond strength for DF4C and DF4G specimens, respectively. However, little
changes were observed for DF8G specimens.

Fig 3.5: Reductions in ultimate bond strength

Fig 3.6: Reductions in design bond strength

3.2 DISCUSSIONS
In the following discussion, mechanisms responsible for the bond degradation are
presented. Bond durability affected by different testing parameters, including
specimen size, plain concrete or FRC, GFRP specimens or CFRP specimens, is also
discussed.
Department Of Civil Engineering

21

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

3.2.1 Bond Degradation Mechanisms


Bond is determined by the properties of its constituents (concrete and reinforcement)
and the interaction between them. Three possible reasons explain the bond
degradation:
i) Micro voids between reinforcement and concrete exist at the time of the specimen
fabrication (i.e., reinforcement is not in full contact with the concrete) .When
specimens are submerged in the solution, the solution will permeate into their
interface. The micro voids will gradually be filled up with solutions. The volume of
water will expand approximately 10% when frozen. Micro cracks will thus be created
if the stresses are larger than the tensile strength of the concrete. With the subsequent
freeze-thaw cycles, damage will build up, and more and bigger microcracks can be
created.
ii) FRP bar has a higher CTE than concrete. When the temperature increases, the
expansion rate of the FRP bar is larger than that of the concrete. Radial bursting force
will be imposed on the concrete surface at the interface. When the concrete stress is
larger than the tensile strength, cracks will develop. When the temperature reduces,
the contraction rate of FRP bar is bigger than that of concrete, and microgaps will
form along the interface.
iii) The FRP rods are not waterproof. Moisture can diffuse into the polymer resin to a
certain degree .Studies also show that some deterioration of the polymer resins may
occur because water molecules can act as resin plasticizers, thereby disrupting van der
Waals bonds in polymer chains. Furthermore, during the freeze-thaw cycles, water
will expand and lead to the cracking of the resin. The surface area is the most
vulnerable, and consequently, bar and concrete will not contact as tightly as before.
Bond is thus degraded. The first two mechanisms function together and degrade the
bond primarily by creating cracks along the interface. Bond degradation may also
come from degradation of reinforcement itself. All three mechanisms play a certain
role in the bond degradation, and the combined effects are likely to be even more
detrimental to the bond.
Department Of Civil Engineering

22

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

3.2.2 Specimen Dimension Effect on Bond Degradation


Compared with the large (#8) specimens, the small (#4) specimens showed greater
degradation effect. This phenomenon occurred to both plain concrete specimens and
FRC specimens. As shown in figure 3.5, the ultimate bond strengths reduced by 56%
for DP4G specimens, whereas only a 4% reduction was observed in DP8G specimens.
Similarly, the ultimate bond strengths were reduced by 15% for DF4G specimens,
whereas no noticeable changes occurred to DF8G specimens. As for the design bond
strength, the smaller specimens also showed a much more serious reduction, as shown
in figure3.6. Specimen dimensions effect on the bond durability can be explained in
the way that the salt solution attacks the bond. Salt solution can reach the interface
between bar and concrete in two ways, as shown in figure 3.7. One is through the
loaded end of the specimens (the free end was coated with waterproof epoxy).
Because the depth of the specimen that was immediately accessible to the solution
was independent of the size of the specimen, the absolute depths affected were the
same. On the other hand, the bigger specimens had a bigger embedment length; thus,
the ratio of affected area to the whole bonded area was smaller in the case of the large
specimens. The other way that salt solution can reach the interface is by permeating
through the concrete cover, as shown in figure 3.7. The cover of the #8 specimens was
twice as thick as the #4 specimens, thus the interface between reinforcement and
concrete was better protected.
3.2.3 Fibre Effect on Bond Degradation
With the addition of fibres, the durability of bond was significantly improved. As
shown in figure 3.5, an average reduction of 28% of bond strength was observed in
the plain concrete specimens, whereas only a 6% reduction was observed in the FRC
specimens. For the design bond strength, an average reduction of 26% was observed
in the plain concrete specimens, whereas only a 10% reduction was observed in the
FRC specimens, as shown in figure 3.6.It can be concluded that fibres can effectively
alleviate the bond deteriorations caused by environmental conditioning. As discussed,
cracks or voids were created during the environmental conditioning. Although the
Department Of Civil Engineering

23

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

Fig 3.7: Two ways of solution ingress


addition of fibers cannot increase the first cracking load, the fibers would restrict
further development of the cracks owing to the expansion of water or reinforcement.
Hence, the deteriorations would not be accumulated, or this deterioration effect would
happen at a much more moderate rate. Less bond degradation for the FRC specimens
could also be partly attributed to the fact that damage of the concrete was less after
environmental conditioning. The air content of the plain concrete used in this study
happened to be lower than that of the FRC, which may also be responsible for the
more severe damage of the plain concrete specimens.
3.2.4 Difference of Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer versus Carbon
Fiber-Reinforced Polymer
The bond degradation rate of the GFRP specimens was more severe than that of the
CFRP specimens. As shown in figure 3.5, the bond reduced by 23% in the DP4C
specimens and 56% in the DP4G specimens. Similarly, the bond reduced by 5% in the
DF4C specimens and 15% in the DF4G specimens. For the design bond strength, the
reductions were also larger in the GFRP specimens, as shown in figure3.6.As
discussed previously, the degradation of the reinforcement may partly contribute to
the bond strength degradation. Because of the attack by the salt water, the
Department Of Civil Engineering

24

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

reinforcement, especially the outer surface, was damaged. Thus, the contact area
would be reduced. Research has shown that the CFRP bar has superior durability
characteristics compared with the GFRP bar. Thus, less damage was expected in the
case of the CFRP bar, and hence, the CFRP specimens showed better durability of
bond. This phenomenon further supported the finding that bond strength degradation
is tightly related to the material degradation.

Department Of Civil Engineering

25

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

CHAPTER 4
4. CONCLUSIONS
Long-term bond performance between FRP bars and FRC was investigated
and compared with that of FRP bars in plain concrete. The accelerated aging test was
accomplished by submerging specimens in salt solutions and subjecting them to 10
combined environmental cycles, each of which consisted of 20 freeze-thaw cycles and
20 high temperature cycles. The following conclusions can be drawn from this study:
Three mechanisms cause bond degradation. The first is the expansion of solutions in
the microvoids at the interface. The second is the different CTE between
reinforcement and concrete. The first two mechanisms function together and degrade
the bond primarily by creating microcracks in concrete at the interface. The third
reason is the damage of the reinforcement, especially at its surface.
With the addition of polypropylene fibers, the bond durability significantly
improved owing to the restriction of the crack development at the interface. The loss
of ultimate bond strength of FRP bars in plain concrete owing to aging effects was
found to be 28% on average, whereas only a 6% reduction was observed in the FRC
specimens. Similarly, design bond strength exhibited a 26% average reduction in the
plain concrete specimens, whereas only a 10% reduction was observed in the FRC
specimens.
The larger specimens with thicker concrete cover and relatively smaller direct
exposed area to the solution of sodium chloride showed better bond durability.
Degradation of bond is tightly correlated with the degradation of FRP bar. As
observed in this study, CFRP specimens had superior long-term bond durability
compared with GFRP specimens. This is attributed to the more durable characteristics
of the CFRP bar.

Department Of Civil Engineering

26

Bond durability of FRP bars Embedded in Fiber- Reinforced Concrete

REFERENCES
Journals

Abdeldjelil Belarbi and Huanzi wang. (2012) Bond durability of


FRP bars Embedded in Fibre-reinforced concrete Journal of
Composites for Construction, Vol. 16, No. 4, August 1, 2012. ASCE,
16:371380.

Robert, M., and Benmokrane, B. (2010). Effect of aging on bond of


GFRP bars embedded in concrete. Cem. Concr. Compos., 32(6), 461
467.

Marta Baena, Llus Torres, Albert Turon and Cristina Barris


(2009) Experimental study of bond behaviour between concrete and
FRP bars using a pull-out test. Composites: Part B 40 , 784797

Bank, L. C., Puterman, M., and Katz, A. (1998). The effect of


material degradation on bond properties of fiber reinforced plastic
reinforcing bars in concrete. ACI Mater. J., 95(3), 232243.

Bank, L. C., Gentry, T. R., and Barkatt, A. (1995). Accelerated test


methods to determine the long-term behavior of FRP composite
structures: Environmental effects. J. Reinf. Plast. Compos., 14(6),
559587.

Department Of Civil Engineering

27