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Design Manual Development for a Hybrid, FRP Double-Web Beam and Characterization of Shear Stiffness in FRP Composite Beams
Schniepp, Timothy John
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Fiber-reinforced polymeric (FRP) composites are being considered for structural members in bridge construction as lighter, more durable alternatives to steel and concrete. Extensive testing and analysis of a pultruded, hybrid double web beam (DWB) developed for use in bridge construction has been conducted at Virginia Tech. A primary purpose of this testing is the development of a structural design guide for the DWB, which includes stiffness and strength data. The design manual also includes design allowables determined through a statistical analysis of test data. Static testing of the beams, including failure tests, has been conducted in order to determine such beam properties as bending modulus, shear stiffness, failure mode, and ultimate capacity. Measuring and calculating the shear stiffness has proven to be an area of particular interest and difficulty. Shear stiffness is calculated using Timoshenko beam theory which combines the shear stiffness and shear area together along with a shear correction factor, k, which accounts for the nonuniform distribution of shear stress/strain through the cross-section of a structure. There are several methods for determining shear stiffness, kGA, in the laboratory, including a direct method and a multi-span slope method. Herein lays the difficulty as it has been found that varying methods produces significantly different results. One of the objectives of current research is to determine reasons for the differences in results, to identify which method is most accurate in determining kGA, and also to examine other parameters affecting the determination of kGA that may further aid the understanding of this property. This document will outline the development of the design guide, the philosophy for the selection of allowables and review and discuss the challenges of interpreting laboratory data to develop a complete understanding of shear effects in large FRP structural members.
- Masters Theses