Numerical study of FRP reinforced timber members subjected to variable climates
Harte, Annette M.
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O'Ceallaigh, Conan, & Harte, Annette M. (2019). Numerical study of FRP reinforced timber members subjected to variable climates. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Structural Health Assessment of Timber Structures (SHATiS) 2019, Guimarães, Portugal, 25-27 September.
The use of FRP reinforcement, even in small percentages, has been shown to improve the short-term flexural behaviour of timber members. This technology has been successfully used in new construction and in the repair and renovation of existing buildings across Europe. However, the enhancement of the long-term behaviour due to FRP reinforcement is often dis-regarded in design. In this study, a coupled finite element numerical model was developed to examine the in-fluence of a variable climate on the long-term deflection of FRP reinforced members. The time-dependent coupled hygro-mechanical model utilises a thermo-hygro analogy to define the movement of moisture through the member depending on the relative humidity of the sur-rounding environment. The model considers the elastic and viscoelastic behaviour of timber, in addition to the moisture dependent, mechano-sorptive creep and swelling/shrinkage behaviour. The model has been validated against experimental results from long-term variable climate tests on unreinforced and reinforced timber beams under four-point bending. A parametric study was carried out to examine the influence of reinforcement material on the long-term behaviour of reinforced timber members over a ten-year period under a sinusoi-dal relative humidity cycle. The materials considered were glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP), basalt fibre reinforced polymer (BFRP), aramid fibre reinforced polymer (AFRP) and carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP). Results have shown that unreinforced members ex-perience the largest deflection over the ten-year period, as expected. The deflection behaviour of the FRP reinforced beams was found to be dependent on the stiffness of the FRP material with the least stiff GFRP reinforcement experiencing a greater deflection than the stiffer BFRP, AFRP and CFRP materials. By considering the relative creep deflection results, it has been shown that a single creep design factor kdef may be used to predict the long-term perfor-mance of reinforced beams regardless of FRP type.
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