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Materials and Structures

DOI 10.1617/s11527-013-0068-7


Concrete columns confined with CFRP wraps

Valerio Alecci Silvia Briccoli Bati

Giovanna Ranocchiai

Received: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2013

 RILEM 2013

Abstract Today, there is an increasing use of fiber of wrapped specimens and the failure mode as
reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in civil engi- observed in the experimental tests.
neering as reinforcement of existing structures. In
particular, FRP composites offer higher strength and Keywords FRP  Confinement  Triaxial tests 
Youngs modulus than traditional steel devices, also Concrete
easy handling and installation, excellent resistance to
corrosion and they can be plastered after application.
When FRP wraps are used to confine compressed
pillars, the effective contribution of the composite
cannot be accurately evaluated because it begins to 1 Introduction
work as the stress state of the member grows. In the
present paper, some theoretical relationships available Columns and pillars compressed along their length
in literature and in current international design guide- exhibit a transverse expansion. It is commonly known
lines, regarding the evaluation of confinement effect that cracks along the direction of the compression
on wrapped concrete columns, are analyzed and force develop in masonry like materials when the limit
compared with experimental test results. Based on value of the transverse strain is exceeded. In the past,
these considerations, we propose a new formula that is the use of reinforced concrete jackets or iron bands
in good agreement with the experimental test results around the member were the main repairing and
that were produced for the purpose and reported both retrofitting techniques for masonry or concrete pillars;
in the present paper and in a previously published iron hoops were applied still hot as to produce a pre-
research study. Although empiric, the proposed stress state within the compressed member.
formula is able to reproduce the structural response In the recent years FRP reinforcement techniques
have been used increasingly because of their high
performances in strength enhancement and in the
V. Alecci
repair of concrete columns in both seismic and
Dipartimento di Architettura, University of Florence,
Piazza Brunelleschi 6, 50121 Florence, Italy corrosive environments. The FRP wrap generally is a
passive reinforcement for compressed members
S. Briccoli Bati  G. Ranocchiai (&) because, with the current technologies, it is not easy
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Abientale,
to pre-stress it, so it begins to work as the stress state
University of Florence, via Santa Marta 3,
50139 Florence, Italy and the induced transverse strain grow. However, in
e-mail: literature some interesting experimental investigations
Materials and Structures

exist on concrete elements confined by pre-stressed This paper is organized in the following way: the
FRP wraps [16, 31]. main contributions available in the literature regarding
The evaluation of the effective contribution of an the evaluation of the confinement effect on concrete
FRP wrap and the estimate of the ultimate strength of compressed members are presented; the results of
the structure was the subject matter of several simple compression and triaxial tests carried out on
experimental researches on concrete specimens [5, wrapped and unwrapped concrete specimens are
11, 13, 21, 22, 25, 33, 36, 3941, 46, 50, 51] and on presented; the results obtained are compared with
brick masonry specimens [1, 3, 7, 18]. Concerning those determined by applying relationships available
concrete members, some researchers focus their in the literature or proposed by official guidelines and
attention on the influence of the number of layers on are discussed; finally, a new formulation is proposed
the increase of strength [18, 21, 37] and on the able to fit experimental test values and taking into
influence of environmental conditions on the perfor- account the effective failure mode of concrete col-
mance of a wrapped compressed element [12, 46]; umns introducing a ductility parameter.
others investigate the mechanical behavior of com-
posite systems with resins and fibers of different kinds 2 The confinement effect on compressed concrete
and the cost-efficiency of each individual system [52]. members
Dai et al. [8] studied the behavior of concrete elements
confined with FRP composites of large deformability The early relationships available in literature for the
formed by fibers made from recycled materials. Wei calculation of the effect of confinement on the strength of
et al. [48] presented an experimental study on concrete FRP reinforced compressed members express the strength
columns with partially deteriorated strength confined as the sum of the strength of the unconfined element plus a
with CFRP to evaluate the effect of a partial confine- quota that depends on the confinement capability of the
ment, only on the part of the member with locally wrap. The expression still in use to predict the peak stress
deteriorated strength. Other experimental researches, of a concrete element confined with a steel spiral was
carried out on members with circular, square and originally proposed by Richart et al. [27]. This formula
square with round corners cross-sections, studied was derived to fit the experimental values of the strength
problems concerning the efficacy of reinforcement in of concrete cylinders loaded axially while subjected to
some critical regions [4, 5, 29, 30]. confining lateral pressure [26]:
In the last years, design guidelines about the use of
fcc fco k0 f 0 1
FRP composites to repair concrete members were
developed in many countries. Concerning the com- where fcc is the strength of the confined specimen; fco
pressed elements confinement, these guidelines only is the compressive strength of the unconfined speci-
partially exploit the theoretical knowledge available in men; f0 is the effective lateral uniform confining
literature. Recently, Rocca et al. [28] presented a pressure; k0 is the confinement coefficient indicated
comparative study regarding four design guidelines with 4.1 in the first expression by Richart et al. [27].
for FRP confined members of both circular and Usually, f0 is computed from the lateral pressure
prismatic cross sections. f and from the effectiveness coefficient ke:
In the present paper, the results of simple compres-
f 0 ke f 2
sion and triaxial experimental tests carried out on
wrapped or unwrapped concrete cylinders are this represents the part of the compressed cross-
reported. Small scale concrete specimens were real- sectional region; it depends on the transverse and
ized with a reduced amount of binder to produce low longitudinal distribution of the reinforcement and on
strength members, in order to simulate columns the shape of the cross-section.
requiring a retrofitting intervention. Different amounts f is related to the FRP circumferential force by
of fiber were used aiming to observe the variation of means of the formula:
strength, ductility and failure mode of the specimens. N f R 3
The research study reported in this paper prosecutes
a previously published study focused on FRP confined obtained by simple equilibrium relationships on a
masonry members [1]. circular confined cross-section where R is the radius
Materials and Structures

and N is the normal force along the FRP wrap specimens wrapped by FRP sheets or encased in FRP
direction. tubes is presented by Rousakis et al. [32].
Richart et al. [27] found that Eq. (1) applies Other formulations were proposed by Legeron and
generally to concrete pillars confined by steel spirals Paultre [20] and by Fahmy and Wu [14]. The former
which are in an axial tension and provide a continuous report the following formula:
confining pressure around the cylinder. In Richarts
formula f0 is not the confining pressure corresponding  0 23
fcc f
to the fiber strength, but the effective confining 1 2:6 6
fco fco
pressure at the moment of pillar collapse.
Other experimental investigations employed the Legeron and Paultre [20] specify that the f0 value
formulation proposed by Richart et al. to predict the has to be adopted equal to the ultimate fiber strength
FRP reinforced member strength, assigning to f0 the only when the ratio of the concrete strength to the fiber
meaning of the confinement pressure corresponding to strength is lower than a fixed limit value. The Italian
the ultimate strength of the fiber. Having assumed this Guide Instructions (Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche,
meaning, they demonstrated that a value of k0 equal to CNR-DT200 2004) [6] employ the formula (6) but
4.1 in Eq. (1) does not well reproduce the strength of assuming f0 is equal to the fiber ultimate strength.
FRP confined elements; for this reason a halved value Fahmy and Wu [14] proposed the following
of the k0 coefficient was proposed by Campione and formulas:
Miraglia [5]. Toutanji and Deng [46] obtained a value
fcc f 00:7
for the k0 coefficient as a function of the confinement 1 4:5 7
fco fco
pressure corresponding to the ultimate strength of the
fiber f0 and the unconfined concrete compression fcc f 00:7
1 3:5 8
strength fco as follows: fco fco
 0 0:15
f where the k0 coefficient assumes different values when
k0 3:5 4 the unconfined concrete compressive strength fco is
higher than 40 MPa (Eq. 8) or not (Eq. 7).
Substituting Eq. (4) in Eq. (1), it can be written as
Mander et al. [23] reported a relationship able to
evaluate the compression strength fcc of reinforced
 0 0:85 concrete elements confined with an effective pressure
fcc f
1 3:5 5 obtained from steel spirals or circular hoops:
fco fco
s !
In the successive literature, various estimates for 7:94f 0 f0
the k0 coefficient were proposed, based on Eq. (4), fcc fco 1:254 2:254 1 2
fco fco
where 3.5 and -0.15 values are varied. More specif-
ically, Karbhari and Gao [16] substituted these values 9
respectively with 2.1 and -0.13; Saaman et al. [35] This formula, as reported by Rocca et al. [28], was
substituted them with 6.0 and -0.3, Saafi et al. [34] included in the American Concrete Institute Guide in
substituted them with 2.2 and -0.15. Other values are 2002 [2].
reported, for example, by Wu and Zhou [49]. Lam and At the same time, this formulation was revised by
Teng [19], proposed a k0 coefficient value equal to 3.3, Spoelstra and Monti [38], to consider the confinement
on the basis of a large database of tests on FRP- effect produced by FRP materials:
confined circular concrete cylinders. Two modified s!
and more accurate versions of this model are presented f0
by Teng et al. [45]. A critical comparative review of fcc fco 0:2 3 10
existing models is illustrated by Teng and Lam [44]
and by De Lorenzis and Tepfers [9]. A recent In this form, the relationship was included in the
comparative study referred to 20 existing empirical Design Recommendations provided by fib (2001) [15]
models over an extended database of 471 cylindrical as a practical formula.
Materials and Structures

Recently, a new mathematical form for strength We can assume that strain corresponding to failure
modeling of compressed confined members was for concrete is smaller than strain corresponding to
employed by Wu and Zhou [49], based on the Hoek failure for carbon fiber:
Brown failure criterion. Hoek and Brown developed
ect \ef 14
this failure criterion in 1980 for hard rock materials as
a result of an experimental campaign carried out by where ect and ef are respectively the maximum strain of
means of a Hoek cell. Successively, the criterion was the concrete and of the fiber. Based on a limit
extended to damaged rock materials and to concrete condition where we reach the maximum positive
with existing cracks. strain in concrete when the FRP wrap is still
s undamaged:
fcc f0 16:7 fco 0:42 f P0
 1 11 eh er ect 15
fco fco fco 16:7 fco mEct R2 p
The formulations proposed by Legeron and Paultre where P0 is the maximum axial load of the unconfined
[20] and by Fahmy and Wu [14], follow a new approach, compression test; due to compatibility of strains, the
different from the Richart classical approach, based on lateral pressure corresponding to the fracture of the
the effective material properties of constituents. inner core can be computed as follows:
Equation (11), unlike previous formulas, allows the
P0 fR
maximum strength of confined elements, adding a 16
term that depends on confinement pressure f0 , to a mEct R2 p sEf
constant quantity that represents the same confinement The value of lateral strain that leads concrete to
pressure rather than the unconfined specimen strength. fracture (and is expressed by (15)) is produced in the
wrapped cylinder by the super positioning of axial
2.1 Stress state in the wrapped cylinder stress state and circumferential lateral pressure, so,
equating the second of Eq. (12) to the left term of Eq.
In order to expound the physical meaning of these (16), it follows:
formulas, let us assume a cylindrical reference system
P0 P f f
for the description of the strain field inside the concrete 2
mEct R p mEct R p Ect mEct
elements: axis z is taken along the main cylinder
dimension and r and h represent polar coordinates on a that is simplified as:
transverse cross-sectional plane. The strain field on
P P0 f m  1R2 p 18
axially loaded wrapped cylinders may be represented
by means of the following expressions: where f is obtained by Eq. (16):
ez Erctz  rmE
r rh
 EctPR2 p mE ct f
P0 sEf
er eh Erctr  rmE
z rh
 Efct mEctPR2 p mEf ct mEct R3 p

12 Equation (18) is formally equal to Eq. (1); f does not

represent the confinement value corresponding to the
where P is the axial load; f is the lateral pressure maximum fiber strength but the confinement pressure
produced by the confining wrap; Ect is the Youngs produced by FRP reinforcement when the inner core
modulus of inner concrete; m = 1/m where m is the fractures.
Poissons ratio of concrete, R is the cylinder radius. On Obviously, the hypothesis of linear elastic behav-
the other hand, the strain field inside the FRP wrap, iour for concrete is an approximation.
considering Eq. (3), can be written as: A second limit condition can be assumed supposing
fR that, successively, concrete reduces to a disintegrated
eh 13 granular mass confined by FRP wrap. In this case, we
neglect the residual strength of fractured material
where s is the nominal fiber thickness and Ef is the within the wrapped cylinder, and suppose that the FRP
fiber Youngs modulus. wrap fails when a hydrostatic or volumetric stress state
Materials and Structures

occurs in the column; in this case, the axial stress is strength of a damaged element, or to improve the
equal to the confinement pressure: mechanical performances of a structural element made
of material which strength is not adequate to the
f 20 demand of codes; this is the case when concrete was not
A well manufactured or when codes have been modified
The maximum load of the column is reached when after the construction of the building. For this reason it
the radial stress of the reinforcement reaches the was decided to use a low strength concrete and the
maximum value: cement amount was reduced by about 15 % maintain-
ing the same quantity for the other components of the
P fmax R2 p 21
mixture. Considering a standard mixture (1:2:4,
In this formula fmax represents the confinement cement: sand: coarse aggregates), the new mixing was
value corresponding to the fiber ultimate strength. For 1:2.5:5. The size of the coarse aggregates was chosen in
this reason, in Eq. (11), proposed by Wu and Zhou order to reproduce the scale factor of the specimens.
[49], the first summand contains the confinement The concrete was mixed uniformly in the mixer and
pressure value: it can be noted that the minimum value poured into a prismatic mould where it was manually
of the strength of the confined cylinder fcc represents compacted and vibrated.
the strength of the unconfined cylinder when f0 is equal After 28 days of curing, every prismatic specimen
to zero and the strength of the confined granular mass was cored with a laboratory coring machine (Controls
when fco is equal to zero. Mod-45 C0330) to attain cylindrical elements of
The value of P attained by Eq. (18) is not very 5.4 cm in diameter and 8.5 cm high (Fig. 1). Both the
useful in practice, as it represents neither the maxi- small size and the height to diameter ratio of the
mum strength of the wrapped cylinder nor the load specimens are due to the necessity of testing some of
corresponding to the maximum confinement transmit- them by means of a triaxial compression device (Hoek
ted by the FRP wrap to the inside. Similarly, the value cell). Small size of specimens can induce scale effect
of P attained by Eq. (21) represents a non realistic on the mechanical properties of specimens. In partic-
result because, as observed during experimental tests, ular the small ratio between aggregate diameter and
specimens extracted after wrap failure were damaged specimen diameter can induce higher values of
but they still had a low residual strength. It is also average strength and higher scattering of experimental
confirmed by an experimental investigation on the results. For this reason coarse aggregates of 6 mm
strength of concrete elements after wrap failure maximum size were used. It cannot be excluded that
presented by Valdmanis and Tepfers [47]. the test results were in some way influenced by size
In Alecci et al. [1], some considerations concerning effect (the specimens reproduce a 1:4 scaled concrete
the failure modes of scaled reinforced and unrein- column). However, Matthys et al. [20] observed that
forced masonry cylinders are reported, and the effec- some existing models for the evaluation of confined
tive contribution of FRP confinement is studied, based compressed columns strength, based on small size
on the mechanical properties of component materials. cylinder tests, predict fairly accurately the ultimate
In order to fully understand these aspects and to verify strength of large scale confined columns.
the validity of such considerations on concrete mate- The small slenderness (height to diameter ratio is
rial, in a similar manner the Authors carried out less than 2) affects the strength of cylinders (cubic
experimental tests on plain and FRP wrapped scaled strength is usually believed about 20 % higher than
concrete cylinders. cylindrical strength obtained on cylinders with height
to diameter ratio equal to 2); for this reason, for the
sake of comparison, all tests were performed on
3 Experimental program 5.4 cm in diameter and 8.5 cm high specimens. In so
doing, both concrete compression strength and com-
45 concrete specimens were realized for the experi- pression strength of reinforced concrete elements will
mental campaign. Composite wraps are used as a be affected in the same extent.
reinforcement of compressed member in the emergency A CFRP composite produced by BASF Construc-
(for example after a seismic damage) to increase the tion Chemicals Italia Spa was used as reinforcement,
Materials and Structures

Fig. 1 Concrete cylindrical

specimens before testing

made of carbon fiber embedded in a matrix constituted the load path; kinematic available ductility was taken
by primer and epoxy resin adhesive. as the ratio of the ultimate displacement to the
displacement at the peak load. Kinematic ductility
3.1 Tests on concrete unconfined members and kinematic available ductility are not mechanical
parameters of materials but structure properties,
Six of the 45 concrete specimens were axially representing the capability of the specimen to generate
compressed without making use of strengthening residual strength. They can be influenced by the
reinforcement. Tests were carried out using an Instron fracture path and by the material homogeneity, so
Model 4400 universal testing machine with displace- ductility parameters can suffer size effect. However, in
ment control system. The use of the displacement a comparison between specimens of the same shape
control system permitted us to observe the whole and dimensions, they are proportional to the capability
loading history, up to the point of a conventional test- of material to dissipate mechanical energy up to the
end corresponding to a residual strength equal to half point where the given specimen preserves its own
of the peak load. Displacement was applied so that the shape.
maximum stress rate, in the linear ascending branch of Dealing with brittle materials, the value of the
the load path, was 0.2 MPa/sec. The displacement of kinematic available ductility higher than 1 reveals the
the upper load plate was recorded by the testing presence of the softening branch, that is the capability
machine sensor. of the structural element to exhibit equilibrium states
As it could be expected, the fracture path is even for load values lower than the peak load; in this
characterized by vertical cracks. The results are shown case the failure is highlighted by the fracture path and
in Table 1, where r is the stress corresponding to the the softening branch can be considered a safety
peak load, K is the stiffness, lc is the kinematic warranty.
ductility and lcd is the kinematic available ductility.
Stiffness was determined in the linear range of the 3.2 Triaxial compression tests
loaddisplacement curve, in order to avoid the influ-
ence of the non linear start of the load path produced Twenty-one of the 45 concrete specimens were tested
by the contact between load plates and specimen by triaxial compression by means of a Hoek cell. The
surfaces. Kinematic ductility was calculated as the Hoek cell (Fig. 2) works like a soil triaxial test
ratio of the displacement measured at the peak load, to machine. A uniform stress is produced and controlled
the displacement corresponding to the linear part of by a hydraulic pressure generator, and it is applied, in

Table 1 Results of tests on confined and unconfined (first data line) specimens; standard deviation in brackets
Fiber nominal thickness s (mm) K (N/mm) r (MPa) lc lcd

0 45441 (12096) 11.14 (2.30) 1.29 (0.05) 1.69 (0.09)

0.02063 56496 (8318) 30.66 (2.87) 1.27 (0.18) 1.13 (0.14)
0.02750 52575 (9043) 30.89 (3.89) 1.27 (0.15) 1.14 (0.19)
0.04125 55764 (15076) 38.04 (2.52) 1.46 (0.24) 1.05 (0.05)
Materials and Structures

the Hoek cell, to the lateral surface of a cylindrical probably damaged by lateral pressure, as it exhibited
specimen contained in a rubber tube. The device is very low axial strength. For this reason, in order to reach
able to produce cell pressure at a constant rate increase higher lateral pressure values, some of the concrete
and is able to maintain it constant for the set-up time. specimens were alternatively subjected to axial load and
The triaxial device was not conceived to produce the lateral pressure. Results of triaxial tests are reported in
collapse of the specimen for increasing lateral Table 2 and plotted in Fig. 3 where fcc is the normal
pressure, as, in this case, when the rubber tubing stress corresponding to the axial peak load and f0 is the
breaks, oil leaks out and the reading of the effective confinement lateral pressure produced by the Hoek cell.
breaking pressure is not reliable. After reaching the
desired value of the circumferential stress, the spec- 3.3 Tests on concrete confined members
imen is successively loaded to failure by means of an
increasing axial load. Eighteen of the 45 concrete specimens were wrapped
It is important to point out that the Heak cell just with a CFRP composite (Mbrace produced by BASF
gives the values of limit triaxial stress states of Construction Chemicals Italia Spa) with a different
concrete; it does neither reproduce the failure mode of amount of unidirectional carbon fiber. MBrace carbon
a fiber confined compressed member, nor of a steel fiber is a dry fabric composed of high strength carbon
confined compressed member. fibers held in a unidirectional alignment with
The specimens tested by triaxial compression were 0.165 mm of nominal thickness as reported by the
initially compressed by an axial load ranging from 500 to manufacturer data sheet.
20000 N in order to prevent oil leaks from the rubber In Table 3 the tensile strength rr and tensile
tubing and, subsequently, subjected to a lateral pressure Youngs modulus E of fiber and matrix as provided
different for each specimen, ranging from 1.5 to by the manufacturer are shown.
31.4 MPa. While maintaining the lateral pressure con-
stant, the axial load was increased with a stress rate of Table 2 Results of triaxial tests by Hoek cell
0.2 MPa/s, until failure occurred. After reaching the
rupture of the specimen, both axial load and lateral Specimen fcc f0
(MPa) (MPa)
pressure were released and the specimen was easily
extracted from the Hoek cell. Specimen P32 was P34 29.53 0.50
P12 33.08 1.00
P11 34.26 2.00
P13 39.03 3.00
P14 45.73 4.00
P15 49.38 5.00
P21 59.41 6.00
P22 59.03 7.00
P23 63.68 8.00
P24 67.76 9.00
P25 73.03 10.00
P31 77.95 12.00
P33 77.39 12.50
P35 78.23 12.75
P32 0.59 13.00
P16 78.88 13.00
P17 82.16 14.00
P26 83.53 14.00
P27 87.57 15.00
P36 96.02 18.20
P37 151.32 30.40
Fig. 2 Hoek Cell
Materials and Structures

180 followed by one layer of spiral fibers was applied.

y = 4,5082x + 14
160 R = 0,9757 Ribbons were extracted from the unidirectional fabric
140 and distributed over one ribbon 2 cm wide. Particular
120 care was taken in handling fibers as it could affect
fcc (MPa)

100 reinforcement strength. One ribbon 2 cm wide was

80 realized with the proper fiber weight as to reproduce
60 the scaled amount of reinforcement previously set; a
40 precision balance was used to evaluate the weight of
20 the fiber extracted from the unidirectional fabric. A
0 spiral winding technique was preferred to cylindrical
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
f' (MPa) winding in order to reduce the anchorage length in
small scale specimens. The inclination of the wrap was
Fig. 3 Axial strength versus confinement pressure curve for about 6 degrees and slightly reduces the efficiency of
concrete specimens: diamond experimental results; dash regres-
the reinforcement. However, this angle is neglected in
sion line; square results by Eq. (5); times results by Eq. (6);
triangle results by Eq. (7); circle results by Eq. (10); plus results the calculations as it produces a deviation lower than
by Eq. (11) 0.7 % on the evaluation of tensile fiber stress. The
concentration of fiber with respect to matrix was
As concrete cylinders reproduce a 1:4 scaled approximately 45 % and was determined measuring
concrete column, the amount of fiber was, then, the thickness of composite wrap after the tests.
reduced to , in order to take into account the scale Mechanical tests were carried out on confined
factor. In fact, due to formula (3), maintaining the specimens not earlier than one week after their
same confinement pressure, on small scale specimens assemblage, following the same procedure adopted
the force on the wrap is reduced as a linear function of for unconfined columns. The failure was characterized
the scale factor. In order to obtain the same values of by the rupture of the composite wrap in the central
stress on fiber and, then, the same failure mechanism, zone of the specimen height while the concrete inner
the nominal thickness of fiber was reduced as a core, although damaged, seemed to show a residual
function of the scale factor. Six specimens were structural capacity. Test results are shown in Table 1,
confined with of the fiber of the commercial product as a function of different fiber nominal thickness.
(nominal thickness 0.04125 mm, corresponding to
0,165 mm in full scale columns), six specimens were
confined with 1/6 (nominal thickness 0.02750 mm 4 Results and comparisons
corresponding to 0,11 mm in full scale columns) of the
fiber and six specimens were confined with 1/8 In Table 1, some data are shown for a comparative
(nominal thickness 0.02063 mm corresponding to analysis between the achieved results. In the first data
0,0825 mm in full scale columns) of the fiber, so that line the results obtained by unconfined specimens are
the specimen collapse was due to fiber failure rather reported.
than to debonding between components. Specimen As it can be observed, concrete specimens increase
surfaces were firstly cleaned and then the primer was their strength when confined, even when fiber weight
applied in order to obtain a good surface preparation is reduced to a nominal thickness of 0.02063. This is
and to improve the adhesion. Finally an adhesive confirmed by the observation of the loaddisplace-
ment paths shown in Fig. 4, concerning four repre-
sentative specimens. Note that the specimen
Table 3 Mechanical characteristics of reinforcement compo- reinforced with 0.04125 mm nominal thickness is
nent materials
equivalent, from the point of view of collapse
rr (MPa) E (MPa) mechanism, to a real scale element confined with
0,165 mm nominal thickness and that the displace-
Primer 12 700
ment reported in Fig. 4 diagrams is not representative
Adhesive 50 3000
of the displacement obtained in tests on full scale
Carbon fiber 3430 230000
specimens. However, it can be noted that the
Materials and Structures

ascending branches of confined specimens coincide

until load value exceeds about a half of the maximum
strength of unconfined concrete so as to suggest that
wraps scarcely collaborate with the concrete speci-
mens. It is possible that the rupture of concrete within
the wrapping occurs when load values are slightly
higher than P0.
It is important to note the reduction of the E
modulus when the unconfined strength level is
surpassed: the strengthening effect and the possible
problems related to slenderness of the concrete
columns, not analyzed in the present study, have been
specifically studied by some researchers [10, 42].
Formulas for the determination of the E modulus
when unconfined concrete strength is surpassed and
CFRP confinement is activated are provided by
Tamuzs et al. [43]. Fig. 5 Confined specimen after failure
All wrapped specimens reduced kinematic avail-
able ductility when increasing the amount of rein- specimens axial compressive strength) and represents
forcement, as is highlighted by the abrupt rupture of the confinement pressure necessary to reproduce the
the wrap (Fig. 5), therefore, the softening branch experimental strength of wrapped specimens. It is
disappears and, consequently, any warning of the known that f* value is lower than fmax.
impending collapse. In Table 5 the experimental values of maximum
In Table 4, confinement pressure values are compressive stress are compared with the values
reported for reinforced specimens, computed accord- deduced by Eqs. (5), (6), (7), (10), (11) and (18). r0 is
ing to three different relations: f was obtained by the unconfined specimen experimental peak stress;
Eq. (19) and represents the confinement pressure rexp is the confined specimen experimental peak
produced by FRP reinforcement when the inner core stress; r (5) is the maximum stress obtained according
breaks because of exceeding transversal limit strain; to Toutanji and Deng [46]; r (6) is the maximum stress
fmax represents the confinement corresponding to obtained according to Legeron and Paultre [20] by
maximum fiber strength, that is the confinement value Eq. (6) later included in Italian Guide Instructions [6];
usually denoted as f0 in the formulations available in r (7) is the maximum stress obtained according to
the literature; f* is determined as a linear interpolation Fahmy and Wu [14]; r (10) is the maximum stress
of the triaxial test results (corresponding to wrapped obtained according to Spoelstra and Monti [38] by
Eq. (10) included in Design Recommendations pro-
100000 vided by fib [15] as a practical formula; r (11) is the
90000 maximum stress obtained according to Wu and Zhou
[49]; r (18) is the load corresponding to the failure of
60000 the confined inner core. This last value, computed by

50000 Eq. (18), highlights that the concrete inner core fails
0 Table 4 Confinement pressures
0 1 2 3
(mm) Fiber (%) s (mm) f (MPa) fmax (MPa) f* (MPa)
unconfined specimen confined specimen 0.02063
confined specimen 0.02750 confined specimen 0.04125 12.5 0.021 0.143 2.620 0.658
16.7 0.028 0.191 3.494 0.692
Fig. 4 Load displacement curves for confined and unconfined 25.0 0.041 0.287 5.240 2.793
Materials and Structures

when the stress value is considerably lower than the small slenderness ratio on concrete strength and from
ultimate stress value of the whole confined specimen. the influence of small reinforcement density. How-
In Fig. 3, the diagrams describing the axial com- ever, these parameters are not directly taken into
pressive strength variation versus the confinement account in the analyzed formulas, where only con-
pressure for triaxial tests are shown. When the finement pressure f0 and compressive concrete strength
confinement pressure value is equal to zero, the fcc are introduced. While testing wrapped and
average compression value fco, as determined exper- unwrapped masonry specimens [1], we observed a
imentally on the unconfined specimens, was intro- higher discrepancy between experimental and analyt-
duced, but it was adjusted so as to balance the ical results obtained through Eq. (5) and Eq. (6). All
discrepancy of cement ageing. The other values on the the curves reported in Fig. 3, representing the formu-
graphs represent the strength of eighteen concrete lations available in the literature, faithfully reproduce
specimens, tested by the Hoek cell, as a function of the the non linear trend of experimental results but
different confinement pressure applied. The graph lies underestimate their values; however, the triaxial
on the plane r1 = r2 in the principal stress space. collapse mechanism produced by a Hoek cell is
A linear regression was carried out on data reported substantially different from the collapse mechanism of
in Fig. 3, the result is: axially compressed confined specimens, where failure
happens at first because of reaching the limit of
fcc fco 4:508f 0 22
transversal strain in the inner concrete core and
it is represented as a straight line on the graph. The successively because of the rupture of the wrap
initial value was imposed equal to fco; the regression reinforcement.
was modified because of the data concentration near to The collapse fracture path is qualitatively different:
the initial value. Specimen P32 was excluded from the specimens extracted from the Hoek cell are reduced to
statistic. Eq. (22) is formally equal to Eq. (1) and the granular mass, while axially compressed wrapped
value of the term corresponding to k0 falls within the specimens, although fractured, still exhibit a coherent
range determined by the first researchers that dealt inner core (Fig. 5).
with steel hoop confined concrete members. These We can assert that it is erroneous to use the first
points represent axial compressive strength values formulation proposed by Richart et al. [27], misun-
obtained applying Eqs. (5), (6), (7), (10) and (11) derstanding the significance of the f0 term, even if
respectively. coefficients have been adapted to fit experimental
All proposed formulations underestimate experi- results, because it is not consistent with the failure
mental results, except Eq. (7) that, however, slightly mode of reinforced compressed members.
overestimates specimens with a low concentration of
reinforcement. Moreover, these formulas give back
strength values quite different from each other; they 5 Discussion
are able to fit a definite sample of data, but cannot fit
well the whole of available experiments. The exper- What we have evidenced is that the formulas available
imental results reported in the present research may in literature for the calculation of FRP reinforced
suffer, in some extent, from the influence of scale masonry [1] or concrete columns are based on the
effect on concrete strength, from the influence of the formal adaptation of the formula proposed by Richart

Table 5 Comparison between predicted strength values according to Eqs. (5), (6), (7), (10), (11), (18) and experimental results
Fiber r0 rexp r Eq. (5) r Eq. (6) r Eq. (7) r Eq. (10) r Eq. (11) r Eq. (18)
(%) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa) (MPa)

25 11.14 38.04 31.68 28.66 37.96 25.15 26.89 13.72

16.7 11.14 30.89 25.69 24.51 34.41 20.94 22.30 12.86
12.5 11.14 30.65 22.53 22.18 32.18 18.44 19.84 12.43
Materials and Structures

et al. [27]. However, the failure mechanism driving the N srr

fmax 24
behavior of reinforced structural elements depends on R R
the ratio between strength and strain to failure of the
where s is the fiber nominal thickness. The comparison
materials, on the ductility of the inner core and on the
between strength data obtained by the experimental
amount of reinforcement. In fact, it was verified that
tests and the proposed formula is reported in the
tensile stress in FRP reinforcement is clearly lower
diagram plotted in Fig. 6, as a function of fiber
than the ultimate fiber stress. Recently, some authors
have pointed out this phenomenon, distinguishing the
It is to be pointed out that the proposed formula is
domain of proposed formulas according to the com-
empirical in nature, at least in the second term, as it
pressive strength of inner core material [14, 20]. Wu
uses a parameter that describes indirectly the capabil-
and Zhou [49], correctly, try to consider the contribu-
ity of a material to produce a residual strength. The
tion of the damaged concrete core as an addition to the
validation of the proposed model against experimental
strength of completely disintegrated concrete confined
results is very limited because the information about
by FRP. However, it is unlikely to define a simple
post peak behaviour and ductility of concrete com-
formula able to take into account the residual strength
pressed members are not reported in other experimen-
of the inner core that depends, in turn, on the
tal campaigns. Moreover, kinematic ductility cannot
variability of the fracture path and on the damage of
be considered a material parameter, as it suffers scale
the inner core, both empirically fitting experimental
effect; for this reason direct measurements have to be
results and making use of damage formulations. The
obtained from specimens equal to the wrapped com-
ability of the inner core to contribute to the global
pressed members. It would be correct to validate
compressive strength of the confined element, after
Eq. (23) against experimental results obtained from
concrete or masonry have fractured, depends on the
specimens with different shapes, dimensions and
capability of the material to produce a jagged and not
material properties, provided that experimental values
uniform fracture path, able to indent the contiguous
of kinematic ductility were known.
parts and to produce a residual strength. This property
can be highlighted in a compression test by the
available kinematic ductility lcd, which cannot be
6 Conclusions
considered, however, a material property but a prop-
erty of the structure, as it is heavily dependent on size
The main formulas developed to evaluate the ultimate
and shape.
compressive strength of confined compressed mem-
A formula that considers all these problems can be
bers, often included into recommendations and stan-
conceived adding two terms: the first term is the axial
dards, have been revised: the Richart formula,
compression load corresponding to the failure of the
inner concrete core, that is represented by Eq. (18),
where the term f is calculated by Eq. (19) and
represents the confinement pressure corresponding to
the failure of the inner core; the second term is the
fcc (MPa)

contribution of the wrap strength, which depends

linearly on the amount of fiber in the wrap, as can be
observed from the experimental results (Fig. 6), and it 15
depends, also, on the kinematic available ductility. 10
The exponent of the kinematic available ductility has 5
been determined while fitting the experimental results 0
obtained on concrete compressed elements: 0 10 20 30
  fiber (% of commercial product)
fcc fco 1 m  1 fmax l3cd 23
REc Fig. 6 Comparison between strength data obtained by the
experimental tests (dots) and the proposed formula (line) for
fmax is the maximum confining contribution that the concrete specimens. Vertical lines represent ranges of variation
wrap is able to perform and it is: for experimental results
Materials and Structures

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