Bending Reinforcement of Full-Scale Timber Beams with Mechanically Attached GFRP Composite Plates

Tomas Pupsys, Marco Corradi, Antonio Borri, Leon Amess

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This paper presents the results of an experimental campaign aimed to evaluate the performance of timber beams strengthened in bending using GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) plates mechanically attached with high-strength metal screws. Modest ratios of GFRP composite reinforcement can increase beam load-carrying capacity and manipulate failure mode from the brittle tensile in the unreinforced beams to a more extensible failure in the strengthened timber beams. Application of mechanical reinforcement presents a solution of reversibility, compatibility and durability for reinforced timber. The experimental campaign focused on load-deflection relationship and failure modes in order to increase the bending capacity and stiffness of the timber beam. Oak beams with dimensions 145 x 145 x 2450 mm were reinforced with un-bonded pultruded GFRP plates. Hexagon head coach screws 16 mm diameter, 130 mm length, grade 8.8, were used to mechanically attach the reinforcement along with 34 mm outer diameter fender washers, distributing the fastening load away from the screw’s position. All beams were tested until failure under the four-point bending configuration. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the reinforcement method and ability to reversibly repair the timber, representing a capability to be utilised in the new constructions or restoration of timber structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-219
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Early online date20 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2017


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