A Time-Variant Probabilistic Model for Predicting the Longer-Term Performance of GFRP Reinforcing Bars Embedded in Concrete
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Although Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) has many potential advantages as reinforcement in concrete structures, the loss in tensile strength of the GFRP reinforcing bar can be significant when exposed to the high alkali environments. Much effort was made to estimate the durability performance of GFRP in concrete; however, it is widely believed the data from accelerated aging tests is not appropriate to predict the longer-term performance of GFRP reinforcing bars. The lack of validated long-term data is the major obstacle for broad application of GFRP reinforcement in civil engineering practices. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the longer-term deterioration rate of GFRP bars embedded in concrete, and to develop an accurate model that can provide better information to predict the longer-term performance of GFRP bars. In previous studies performed by Trejo, three GFRP bar types (V1, V2, and P type) with two different diameters (16 and 19 mm [0.625, and 0.7 in. referred as #5 and #6, respectively]) provided by different manufacturers were embedded in concrete beams. After pre-cracking by bending tests, specimens were stored outdoors at the Riverside Campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. After 7 years of outdoor exposure, the GFRP bars were extracted from the concrete beams and tension tests were performed to estimate the residual tensile strength. Several physical tests were also performed to assess the potential changes in the material. It was found that the tensile capacity of the GFRP bars embedded in concrete decreased; however, no significant changes in modulus of elasticity (MOE) were observed. Using this data and limited data from the literature, a probabilistic capacity model was developed using Bayesian updating. The developed probabilistic capacity model appropriately accounts for statistical uncertainties, considering the influence of the missing variables and remaining error due to the inexact model form. In this study, the reduction in tensile strength of GFRP reinforcement embedded in concrete is a function of the diffusion rate of the resin matrix, bar diameter, and time. The probabilistic model predicts that smaller GFRP bars exhibit faster degradation in the tensile capacity than the larger GFRP bars. For the GFRP bars, the model indicates that the probability that the environmental reduction factor required by The American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for the design of concrete structures containing GFRP reinforcement is below the required value is 0.4, 0.25, and 0.2 after 100 years for #3, #5, and #6, respectively. The ACI 440 and AASHTO design strength for smaller bars is likely not safe.
Subjectglass fiber reinforced polymer(GFRP)
Kim, Jeongjoo (2010). A Time-Variant Probabilistic Model for Predicting the Longer-Term Performance of GFRP Reinforcing Bars Embedded in Concrete. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from