Reinforced concrete (RC) beams and slabs can be strengthened by bonding fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites to their tension face. The performance of such flexurally strengthened members can be compromised by debonding of the FRP, with debonding initiating near an intermediate crack (IC) in the member away from the end of the FRP. Despite considerable research over the last decade, reliable IC debonding strength models still do not exist. The current paper attempts to correct this situation by presenting a local deformation model that can simulate IC debonding. The progressive formation of flexural cracks, and the associated crack spacings and crack widths are modelled from initial cracking to the onset of debonding. The bond characteristics between the longitudinal steel reinforcement and concrete, and the FRP and concrete, as well as the tension stiffening effect of the reinforcement and FRP to the concrete, are considered. The FRP-to-concrete bond-slip relation is used to determine the onset of debonding. The analytical predictions compare well with experimental results of FRP-strengthened RC cantilever slabs.
Smith, ST & Gravina, RJ 2007, 'Modeling debonding failure in FRP flexurally strengthened RC members using a local deformation model', Journal of Composites for Construction, vol. 11, no. 2, p. 184-191.
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