Strengthening an in-service reinforcement concrete bridge with prestressed CFRP bar
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Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) bars were prestressed for the structural strengthening of 8 T-shaped reinforced concrete (RC) beams of a 21-year-old bridge in China. The ultimate bearing capacity of the existing bridge after retrofit was discussed on the basis of concrete structures theory. The flexural strengths of RC beams strengthened with CFRP bars were controlled by the failure of concrete in compression and a prestressing method was applied in the retrofit. The field construction processes of strengthening with CFRP bars—including grouting cracks, cutting groove, grouting epoxy and embedding CFRP bars, surface treating, banding with the U-type CFRP sheets, releasing external prestressed steel tendons—were introduced in detail. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of this strengthening method, field tests using vehicles as live load were applied before and after the retrofit. The test results of deflection and concrete strain of the T-shaped beams with and without strengthening show that the capacity of the repaired bridge, including the bending strength and stiffness, is enhanced. The measurements of crack width also indicate that this strengthening method can enhance the durability of bridges. Therefore, the proposed strengthening technology is feasible and effective.
Key wordsCarbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) bar Reinforced concrete (RC) bridge Strengthening Construction procedure Field test T-shaped beam
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