The performance evaluation of bridge culverts reinforced with GFRP bars

Woolley, Reece (2016) The performance evaluation of bridge culverts reinforced with GFRP bars. [USQ Project]

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Many of the bridge culverts currently in service, made of corrugated metal or reinforced concrete, are deteriorating due to the corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials offer a solution to the erosion of steel and can be incorporated into rehabilitation programs and new designs. Currently in Australia there is no design code that relates to the use of FRP materials in concrete structures. Furthermore to this there is no acknowledgement in the Australian Bridge and Culvert Design Codes.

This research investigates the behaviour of GFRP bars used as reinforcement in Inconmat Australia’s concrete bridge culverts. An experimental culvert was constructed in collaboration with Inconmat Australia, the performance of the GFRP reinforced culvert was analysed with respect to the existing Australian Culvert Design Code AS1597.1 – 2010 and the ISIS Research Network FRP Design Manual. The culvert was subject to the W80 wheel loading under serviceability and ultimate limit state conditions and the deflection of the crown, and legs were recorded. In addition to this data, strain gauges were located on critical reinforcement within the culvert to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of these bars under loading.

It was found that the section achieved 135% of the required ultimate limit state wheel loading prior to failure. The culvert was heavily over-reinforced and as a result the failure mode was by shearing of the concrete. Strain gauge data indicated that all recoded bars are being under-utilised in the current design and that the design can be optimised.

A finite element analysis (FEA) was constructed in the Strand7 software package to analyse the behaviour of the culvert under the W80 wheel loading. Also, analytical calculations were undertaken to determine the flexural and shear capacity of the section under a simplified loading case, in addition to the cracking moment and crack width at serviceability. A combination of the FE analysis, test results and analytical calculation were used to make a recommendation to improve the current design.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Civil Engineering Project
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Supervisors: Manalo, Allan
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 03:09
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 03:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: bridge culverts; Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP); performance evaluation; composite materials; reinforced; GFRP bars; deteriorating; finite element analysis (FEA); Australian Bridge and Culvert Design Codes
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering

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