Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthened masonry arch structures
Masonry arch bridges have played a significant role in the road and rail transportation network in the world for centuries. They are exposed to damage due to overloading and deterioration caused by environmental actions. In order to reestablish their performance and to prevent their collapse in various hazardous conditions, many of them require strengthening. Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) systems are increasingly used for repair and strengthening of structures, with particularly widespread application to concrete structures. However, the application of FRP composites to masonry structures is less well established due to the complexity of masonry caused by the material discontinuity. FRP strengthening masonry arch bridges has been even less studied due to the additional complexity arising from the co-existence of the normal interfacial stress and the shear interfacial stress at the curved FRP-to-masonry bondline. This thesis presents an extensive study investigating the behaviour of FRP strengthened masonry bridges. The study started with a laboratory test of a two span masonry arch bridge with sand backfill. A single ring arch bridge was first tested to near failure, and then repaired by bonding FRP into their intrados and tested to failure. It was found that the FRP strengthening not only improved the loading capacity and stiffness of bridge, but also significantly restrained the opening of cracks in the masonry. Shear and peeling debonding of FRP was observed. There have been two common strategies in finite element (FE) modelling of FRP strengthened structures in meso-scale: direct model and interface model. The former is necessary when investigating the detailed bond behaviour but challenges remain due to the difficulties in concrete modelling. A new concrete damage model based on the plastic degradation theory has been developed in this study to study the bond behaviour of FRP strengthened concrete structure. This robust model can successfully capture this bond behaviour and simulate the entire debonding process. A numerical study of masonry arch bridges including the backfill was conducted to study the behaviour of masonry arch bridge. A total of four modelling strategies were examined and compared. Although they all can successfully predict the behaviour of arch, a detailed solid model newly developed in this study is more suitable for modelling both plain masonry and FRP strengthened structures. Finally, a numerical study of bond behaviour and structural response of FRP strengthened masonry arch structures with sand backfill was conducted. In addition to the masonry and backfill, the mixed mode interfacial behaviour was modelled by the aforementioned interface model strategy and investigated in detail to achieve a deeper understanding of the behaviour of FRP strengthened masonry arch structures. The results are in close agreement with test results, and highlight the influence of the key parameters in the structural response to failure and revealed the mechanisms on how the load is transmitted through this complex multi-component structural system.