Bond durability of epoxy and cement- bonded CFRP reinforcement to concrete interfaces subject to water immersion


Durability is a critical concern for concrete structures externally bonded with fiber-reinforced polymer reinforcement. This paper presents the results from an experimental study which compared the bond durability of epoxy-bonded CFRP sheets and cement-bonded CFRP grids to concrete interfaces subjected to water immersion. Totally twelve groups of CFRP sheet or grid-strengthened concrete beams with a notch at their midspan were carefully fabricated through epoxy- and cement-based bonding systems and tested under monotonic loading before and after water immersion exposure, respectively. The cement binder included polymer cement mortar (PCM) and ductile engineered cementitious composite (ECC). The CFRP grids and sheets were designed with the similar tensile stiffness. The duration of water immersion ranged from 0 to 6 months. The test results indicated that debonding in concrete adjacent to the concrete-adhesive interface in accompany with a diagonal concrete crack near the notch was the main failure mode of the beams strengthened with epoxy-bonded CFRP sheet and ECC-bonded CFRP grid, while the tearing off of CFRP grids from the PCM matrix was the main failure mode of the beams strengthened with PCM-bonded CFRP grids. After water immersion exposure, the ultimate loads of the beams with cement-based CFRP grids were at least 50% higher than their epoxy-bonded counterparts, confirming the superior moisture durability of cement based bond to epoxy-bonded ones. The interfacial fracture energy was found to exhibit an exponential decline trend with water immersion duration.

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This research was supported financially by the National Key R&D Program (Grant No. 2017YFC0702900) and Hong Kong RGC General Research Fund (Project code: 15219919).

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Correspondence to Zhuolin Wang.

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Zhang, F., Dai, JG., Wang, Z. et al. Bond durability of epoxy and cement- bonded CFRP reinforcement to concrete interfaces subject to water immersion. Mater Struct 54, 53 (2021).

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  • CFRP reinforcement
  • Concrete
  • Water immersion
  • Bond durability
  • Interfacial fracture energy