Development of FEA Models to Investigate the Shear Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams



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Retrofitting RC beams with FRP composites has become a popular trend for external strengthening. However, the utilization of FRP composites for shear strengthening is troublesome. This due to the fact some parameters affect the effectivity of the strengthening. Most of these parameters have been left out of design guidelines or analytical models, leading to conservative or scattered predicted values of the strengthen beam. Experimental investigation into these parameters are somewhat troublesome. Therefore, the use of Finite Element Models is employed to investigate these parameters.

For this work, the use of the Finite Element program ABAQUS is used to develop numerical models capable of accurately predicting the shear behavior of RC beams. In addition, the numerical models are used to investigate an influential parameter (size effect) of FRP shear strengthening. The validation of the numerical models developed in ABAQUS were done against the experimental work of Tann (2011), Matthys (2000) and Qu et al. (2005). The numerical unstrengthen models obtain 4% to 8% error range to Tann (2011) experimental work. While for Matthys (2000) and Qu et al. (2005), the numerical models achieved 37% and 82% error repeseticvely. The poor behavior of these numerical unstrengthen models is attributed to that sensitivity analysis and calibration was done for the numerical models for Tann (2011) but not for the models of Matthys (2000) and Qu et al. (2005). The parameters found to be most influential from the sensitivity analysis conducted were the dilation angle, mesh size, and lastly concrete strength and model. As for the numerical strengthen models, the models obtain 22% to a 35% error range to Tann (2011) work. The numerical strengthened models poor behavior is attributed to further refinement to the unstrengthen model crack pattern, and poor material definitions of the FRP part. Due to the poor behavior of the numerical strengthen models the investigation of the size effect was not achieved



FRP shear strengthening, Finite element models