Strength Degradation of Gfrp Bars


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Virginia Tech


The primary objective of this research was to examine the strength degradation of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) bars at high temperature and alkalinity and determine if an Arrhenius type relationship can be used as a means of projecting life. The work done includes a thorough literature review, experiments and development of strength prediction models. The experimental work involves exposure of GFRP bars incased in cement mortar to lime-water solution at 30, 45 and 57°C. Overall 100 specimens were included in the experimental program. The tensile strength and modulus of elasticity retention after 180 days of exposure at 57°C was 57% and 82% respectively.

The secondary objective was to determine the moisture absorption properties of GFRP bars. The moisture absorption data available is till 80 days from the immersion of the specimens in the tank.

The collected data was used in the development of strength retention models. Two strength prediction models, Time Shift Method and Fickian Model for moisture absorption are formulated. Using the Fickian Model, strength is predicted for GFRP bars, if used in bridge decks in Roanoke, Virginia. The strength loss predicted was 45% after 50 years of exposure in real life environment. A linear relationship was observed when the moisture content and strength retention were plotted. The study estimates a strength loss higher than the ACI-440H recommended environmental degradation factor of 0.7 to calculate the design ultimate tensile strength.



Arrhenius relationship, Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) bars, Prediction, Durability