Modelling of FRP-concrete interfacial bond behaviour
Externally bonding of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) strips or sheets has become a popular strengthening method for reinforced concrete structures over the last two decades. For most such strengthened concrete beams and slabs, the failure is at or near the FRP-concrete interface due to FRP debonding. The objective of this thesis is to develop a deeper understanding of the debonding behaviour of the FRP-concrete interface through mesoscale finite element simulation. Central to the investigation is the use of the concrete damaged plasticity (CDP) model for modelling the concrete. The FRP is treated as an elastic material. The numerical simulation is focused on the single shear test of FRP-concrete bonded joints. This problem is known to be highly nonlinear and has many difficulties in achieving a converged solution using the standard static loading procedures. A dynamic loading procedure is applied in this research and various parameters such as time step, loading rate etc. are investigated. In particular, the effect of the damping ratio is investigated in depth and an appropriate selection is recommended for solving such problems. It has been identified that the concrete damage model can have a significant effect on the numerical predictions in the present problem. Various concrete empirical damage models are assessed using cyclic test data and simulation of the single shear test of the FRP-concrete bonded joint and it is proposed that the Birtel and Mark’s (2006) model is the most appropriate one for use in the present problem. Subsequently, the effects of other aspects of the concrete behaviour on the FRP-concrete bond behaviour are investigated. These include the tensile fracture energy, compression strain energy and different concrete compression stress-strain models. These leads to the conclusion that the CEBFIP1990 model is the most appropriate one for the problem. An important issue for recognition is that the actual behaviour of the FRP-concrete bonded joints is three dimensional (3D), but most numerical simulations have treated the problem as two dimensional (2D) which has a number of imitations. True 3D simulation is however very expensive computationally and impractical. This study proposes a simple procedure for modelling the joint in 2D with the 3D behaviour properly considered. Numerical results show that the proposed method can successfully overcome the limitations of the traditional 2D simulation method. The above established FE model is then applied to simulate a large number of test specimens. The bond stress-slip relationship is extracted from the mesoscale FE simulation results. An alternative model is proposed based on these results which is shown to be advantageous compared with existing models. This new model provides the basis for further investigation of debonding failures in FRP strengthened concrete structures in the future.