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Concrete Columns Reinforced by Glass Fiber

Reinforced Polymer Rods


by S. H. Alsayed, Y. A. AISalloum, T. H. Almusallam, and M.A. Amjad

Synopsis:
A total of 15 concrete columns were cast and tested to investigate the influence of replacing longitudinal and/or tie steel bars by an equal volume of amount
of glass fiber reinforced polymers (GFRP) bars on the behavior of concrete columns. The columns were subjected to concentric monotonic axial loading. The
concrete block for all columns was 450 x 250 x 1200 mm.
The results indicated that replacing the longitudinal steel bars by GFRP bars
reduced the axial capacity of the column by 13%. The results also showed that
regardless of the type of the longitudinal bars, replacing the steel ties by GFRP
ties reduced the axial capacity of the column by 10%. However, the study
revealed that replacing the steel ties by GFRP had, up to about 80% of the ultimate load, no influence on the load-axial shortening curve.
Furthermore, the results indicated that the currently used ACI formula to estimate the axial capacity of the column overestimated the actual capacity of the column reinforced longitudinally and or transversely by GFRP bars.

Keywords: axial capacity; axial shortening; columns; longitudinal bar strains;


reinforcing bars

103

104 Alsayed et al.


Saleh H. Alsayed is an associate professor at King Saud University, Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia. His current research interests include hot weather concreting, high
performance concrete and use of composite material for civil applications.
Yousef Al-Salloum is an associate professor of civil engineering at King Saud
University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His current research activities include optimum
design of concrete elements reinforced with steel or composite bars, optimum
design and behavior of concrete elements strengthened externally with composite
materials.
Tarek H. Almusallam is an associate professor at King Saud University, Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia. His current research interests include behavior of RC members
reinforced/repaired with composite materials and their numerical modeling.
Mohammad A. Amjad is an associate professor at National Resources and Environment Research Institute at KACST, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His current research
interests include building materials such as concrete, masonry and glass.
INTRODUCTION

In recent years, fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) bars have been widely used in
the field of construction, particularly for structures built at coastal areas or areas
subjected to chloride attack. However, a full use of the new material will not be
materialized until all their vital properties can be assessed and utilized. Despite of
that, utilization ofFRP bras in columns has not been fully explored. Also, the current available data is insufficient to make a solid and unified conclusion. This is
partly due to the inherited weakness of the material when subjected to compression stresses.
The compressive strength of FRP, in general, is lower than their tensile
strength. Wu (l) reported that the compressive strengths of glass FRP (GFRP),
Carbon, and Aramid FRP bars are 0.55, 0. 78 and 0.2 of the corresponding tensile
strength, respectively. Almusallam et al. (2) also reported that GFRP, when used
in the compression zone of the beam, have no contribution to the flexural capacity
of the reinforced concrete beams. However, as the bars in columns are confined
with ties, they are expected to have some share in the axial capacity of the columns.
This paper presents the results of testing fifteen concrete columns reinforced
longitudinally and transversely with steel or GFRP bars. The effects of the reinforcement type on the axial capacity and deformation of the columns are discussed.
TEST PROGRAM

A total of fifteen concrete columns were cast and tested. The specimens were
classified into five groups. All groups were identical except for the type of longitudinal and tie reinforcements. Columns in group A did not contain reinforcement
whereas each column in the other groups contains the same volume of reinforcement. Details of the reinforcement in each group are presented in Table 1. Some
of the tensile properties of the steel and GFRP bars are given in Table 2. The con-

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Reinforcements 105


figuration and dimensions of a typical specimen are shown in Fig. 1. The dimensions of the concrete block were 450 X 250 x 1200 mm. Five batches were used to
cast the specimens. Out of each batch three 150 x 300 mm cylinders and three test
specimens were cast. The average 28-day compressive strength for all batches are
tabulated in Table 3.
SPECIMEN INSTRUMENTATION AND TEST SETUP

All test specimens were heavily instrumented to measure their overall and
central part vertical movements (axial shortening) using linear variable displacement transducers (LVDTs). Electrical strain gages were also used in Groups B, C,
D and E specimens to measure the strains at the mid height of the columns in the
longitudinal and tie bars.
To insure vertical position of the column and uniform distribution of the
applied load, two layers of plaster were used at the top and bottom surfaces of
each column. An initial load of about 500 kN was applied to each column, and
the strain gage readings of the longitudinal bars were monitored. The position of
the column was then adjusted according to the reading. Application of the initial
load. monitoring the_strain gage.Ieadings..of the longitudinal_bars,_unloading_the_
initial load, adjusting the position of the column were repeated until uniform distribution of the applied load is obtained. The initial applied load was then released
and the test started. The test was carried out using Amsler testing machine that
provides a constant oil rate to the actuator. It has a capacity of 10000 kN.
TEST PROCEDURE

The load was applied in increment and recorded, along with the corresponding strain gages and LVDT's readings, using a data acquisition system. Application of the load, monitoring the strain and LVDT readings were continued until
total failure of the test specimen occurred. As the machine was providing constant
oil rate to the actuator, it was difficult to obtain the full descending part of the
load-axial shortening curves of the columns.
TEST RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The average load versus overall axial shortening, load versus mid 500 mm of
the column axial shortening, and longitudinal and tie bars strains at the midheight of the columns, for all groups are presented in Figs. 2 to 5. In these figures, each curve represents the average of three curves for each group. The average maximum load, the corresponding average overall axial shortening and
middle 500 mm axial shortening of the columns are reported, respectively in columns 3, 5 and 7 of Table 3. The relative variations of the aforesaid magnitudes
due to the type of reinforcement are given in columns 4, 6 and 8 of the same table.
The average axial capacity of the columns, predicted using the modified ACI
code Eq. 10.2 (3) as shown in Eq. 1 below, is presented in column 3 of Table 4.

106 Alsayed et al.

=0.85 f'c (Ag - A

81)

+ E8E Ast

=0.85 f'c (Ag - A81) + 0.6 furAst

for

Where:
Ag is the gross area of concrete = bh, A81 is area of the longitudinal reinforcements, E8 and Ey are, respectively, the applied and the yield strains of the longitudinal steel bars;fuf is the -ultimate tensile capacity of the GFRP bars -and -Er is the
applied strain on the GFRP bars.
Comparison between the measured and predicted maximum loads, for the five
groups is tabulated in column 4 of Table 4. Photographs of specimen D3 during
and after testing are shown in Figs. 6 and 7, respectively.
As the test specimens in this study were not effectively confined, the difference in the response of the concrete in the core and the cover is not expected to
differ. This can, however, be assumed in the range where the strain in the longitudinal bars is below the yield (4), i.e. in the range of0.0015 to 0.002. In this study,
all specimens failed when the strain in the longitudinal bars was within this range.
Thus it can be assumed that the core and the cover have similar response up to the
failure of the specimens.
Figs. 2 and 3 clearly show the influence of the reinforcement type on the loadaxial shortening relationship. It is obvious in the two figures that up to about 80%
of the ultimate load, groups C and E specimens (contained GFRP ties) and group
A specimens (contained no reinforcement) showed similar behavior. This may be
attributed to the low modulus of elasticity of the GFRP ties. Thus, at low level of
loading, GFRP ties had little or no contribution in confining the columns. However, as the applied load increased, the GFRP ties provided some confinement
reduced the lateral expansion of the columns and, in tum, increased the ultimate
capacity. On the contrary to that, the effect of steel ties started with the start of
loading._ Thus.columns. with_steelties_ (groups. B and D)_ showed higher_ resistance
to axial shortening.
It is important to note here that due to the way of measuring the overall axial
shortening (see Fig. 1), a significant off-set is obtained at the origin and a considerable part of the measured displacements were due to the deformation of the testing machine. Thus, the load-deflection curves as presented in Fig. 2 may not
represent the actual column behavior. Also, to account for the lack of ductility in
FRP bars it is necessary to apply some reduction factor on their strength. When
the bars were used in beams (subjected to flexural stresses) some researchers (57) recommended the use of a reduction factor ranging from 0.7 to 0.8. However,
when used in columns, a higher reduction factor is needed. In this study, a reduction factor of 0.6 is assumed on the tensile strength on the GFRP bars.
Results presented in column 4 ofTabie-3 indicate thatreplacing the-longitudinal steel bars by GFRP bars reduced the axial capacity of the columns by 13%
(group D versus group B). However, replacing only the ties reduced the axial
capacity by 10% (group C versus group B). It can also be observed in the results

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Reinforcements 107


presented in column 8 of Table 3 that for any of the groups, except for group C,
the axial shortening in the mid 500 mm is 0.20 to 0.25 of its corresponding overall
axial shortening. This may be attributed to the effect of the test set up as explained
earlier. The results also reveal that replacing the steel ties by the GFRP ties (group
C specimens) reduced both the axial capacity of the column and the mid 500 mm
axial shortening 10%.
Furthermore, results reported in Table 4 indicate that the error in predicting
the axial capacity of the column (using Eq. 10.2 of Ref. 3) is less than 10% for
specimens in groups A, B and C. However, for the columns with GFRP bars in the
longitudinal direction, the error in predicting the measured values is 12%.
Comparison of the strains at ultimate as shown in Fig. 4 to those computed for
the mid-height cover concrete (strain calculated as the ratio of the measured
deflection to the gage length-not shown here), indicates almost equal values, that
is failure of the columns occur before loosing the concrete cover. This is also confirmed by the recorded strains in the ties at the ultimate load as presented in Fig.
5. However, failure of specimens with longitudinal steel bars occurred due to
buckling of the reinforcement in the mid-height of the columns but for specimens
with longitudinal GFRP bars failure resulted from crushing of the concrete and
breakage of the bars at the mid-height of the columns.
However, no solid conclusion can be drawn from this preliminary investigation. Further study is needed to account for different types of FRP bars and different configuration of the longitudinal as well as the tie reinforcement.
CONCLUSIONS
Based on the test results carried out in this study, the following conclusions
may be drawn:
(1) Replacing steel bars with GFRP bars in columns subjected to monotonicconcentric loading reduces their capacity by about 13%.
(2) The axial capacity of the columns containing GFRP ties is 10% lower
than those containing equal volume of steel ties.
(3) The material type of the tie bars (steel versus FRP) has great influence on
the ascending part of the load-axial shortening curve of the column.
(4) Currently used equations in designing columns subjected to concentric
axial load may overestimate their actual capacity by 12%.
Further study is needed to check the effect of reinforcement type on the
behavior of columns subjected to different types of loading and reinforcement
configuration.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of King Abdualaziz
City for Science and Technology (KACST) Grant AR-16-52.

108 Alsayed et al.


REFERENCES
(1) Wu, Wei-Pin," Thermomechanical Properties of Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) Bars, Ph. D.
Dissertation, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1990, 292pp.

(2) Almusallam, T.H., Al-Salloum, Y. A., Alsayed, S.H., and Amjad, M.A., "Behavior of Concrete Beams Doubly Reinforced by FRP Bars, " Proceedings of the Third International Symposium, Japan Concrete Institute, Sapporo, Japan, Vol. 2, October 1997, pp. 471-478.
(3) ACI 318-95/ACI 318R-95, Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete and Commentary, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, Michigan, 1995, 371pp.
(4) Sheikh, S.A., and Uzumeri, S.M.," Strength and ductility of Ties Concrete Columns," Journal
of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 106, ST5, May 1980, pp. 1079-1101.
(5) Alsayed, S.H. and Al-Salloum, Y.A., "Optimization of Flexure Environment of Concrete
Beams Reinforced with Fiber Reinforced Plastic Rebars, " Magazine of Concrete Research, Vol.
48, No. 174, March 1996, pp. 27-36
(6) Saadatmanesh, H. and Ehsani, M.R., "Fiber Composite Bars for Reinforced Concrete Construction," Journal of Composite Materials, Vol. 25, No.2, 1991, pp. 188-203.
(7) Nanni, A., "Flexural Behavior and Design of RC Members using FRP Reinforcement, " Journal of the Structural Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 119, No. Ill, 1993, pp. 3344-3359.

TABLE l-OfT AilS OF REINfORCEMENT IN 5 GROUPS.


Group
A
B

c
D
E

Longitudinal reinf.
Quantity
Type
0
Steel
6dl16mm
Steel
6clll6 mm
GFRP
6cll15.7 mm
GFRP
6$15.7 mm

Transverse reinf.
Quantity
0
9cll6mm
9cll6.35 mm
9cjl6mm
9$6.35 mm

(Ties)
TYpe

Steel
GFRP
Steel
GFRP

TABLE 2-TENSILE PROPERTIES OF STEEL AND GFRP BARS.


Bar TYpe
Steel
Steel
GFRP
GFRP

Diameter, mm

!y~MPa

16
6
15.7
6.35

557
332

---

---

fu,MPa
636
448
767
985

E,GPa
200
200
36
42

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Reinforcements 109

TABLE 3-SUMMARY OF TEST RESULTS.


Load,

No.

Increase

axial short-

Increase

ening at the

ratio of

TABLE 4-COMPARISON BETWEEN MEASURED AND PREDICTED COLUMN


CAPACITY.
oup
Designation

{1)

*Predicted using Eq. 1

LVDT

Movingpistm

Fig. 1-Specimen dimensions, instrumentation, and test setup (dimension in mm).

110 Alsayed et al.

4000

3500

3000

2500

z
....
t

2000

.....0
1500

--e--

Group A

-4--

Group B

____...._

1000

Group C

---SQl- Fro up D
500

----

GroupE

2
3
Axial shortening, mm

Fig. 2-Average overall axial shortening of columns.


4000 - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,

3000

::;

~
....

2000

-e-

Group A

~ Group B
1000

Group C

Group D
GroupE

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

Q..4

O.S

0.6

0.7

O.B

0,9

1.0

1.1

Axial shortening, mm

Fig. 3-Average axial shortening for mid-500 mm of columns.

1.2

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Reinforcements 111

4000 - - - , - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,

3000

.g

2000

....l

~ Group B
1000

_.._..

Group C

Group D

----

GroupE

1000

3000

2000

4000

Microstrain

Fig. 4-Average longitudinal bar strains at midheight of columns.


4000

~---------------------,

3000

.,~
.3"'

2000

1000

300

_.._..

Group B

Group D

----

GroupE

600

Group C

900

Microstrain

Fig. 5-Average strains in ties at midheight of columns.

1200

1500

112 Alsayed et al.

Fig. 6-Typical specimen of Group D during testing.

Fig. 7-Typical specimen of Group D after testing.