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Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering

ISSN 2095-2430 (Print)
ISSN 2095-2449 (Online)
CN 10-1023/X
Postal Subscription Code 80-968
2019 Impact Factor: 1.68

, Volume 13 Issue 6

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Global sensitivity analysis of certain and uncertain factors for a circular tunnel under seismic action
Nazim Abdul NARIMAN, Raja Rizwan HUSSAIN, Ilham Ibrahim MOHAMMAD, Peyman KARAMPOUR
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1289-1300.
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There are many certain and uncertain design factors which have unrevealed rational effects on the generation of tensile damage and the stability of the circular tunnels during seismic actions. In this research paper, we have dedicated three certain and four uncertain design factors to quantify their rational effects using numerical simulations and the Sobol’s sensitivity indices. Main effects and interaction effects between the design factors have been determined supporting on variance-based global sensitivity analysis. The results detected that the concrete modulus of elasticity for the tunnel lining has the greatest effect on the tensile damage generation in the tunnel lining during the seismic action. In the other direction, the interactions between the concrete density and both of concrete modulus of elasticity and tunnel diameter have appreciable effects on the tensile damage. Furthermore, the tunnel diameter has the deciding effect on the stability of the tunnel structure. While the interaction between the tunnel diameter and concrete density has appreciable effect on the stability process. It is worthy to mention that Sobol’s sensitivity indices manifested strong efficiency in detecting the roles of each design factor in cooperation with the numerical simulations explaining the responses of the circular tunnel during seismic actions.

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Performance of a novel bent-up bars system not interacting with concrete
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1301-1315.
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Increasing the bending and shear capacities of reinforced concrete members is an interesting issue in structural engineering. In recent years, many studies have been carried out to improve capacities of reinforced concrete members such as using post and pre-tensioning, Fiber Reinforced Polymer and other techniques. This paper proposes a novel and significant technique to increase the flexural capacity of simply supported reinforced concrete beams. The proposed method uses a new reinforcement bar system having bent-up bars, covered with rubber tubes. This technique will avoid interaction of bent-up bars with concrete. They are located in the zone where compressive and tensile forces act against one another. The compressive force in the upper point of the bent-up bars is exerted to the end point of these bars located under neutral axis. Moreover, the tensile stress is decreased in reinforcements located under the neutral axis. This will cause the Reinforced Concrete (RC) beam to endure extra loading before reaching yield stress. These factors may well be considered as reasons to increase bending capacity in the new system. The laboratory work together with finite element method analysis were carried out in this investigation. Furthermore, bending capacity, ductility, strength, and cracking zone were assessed for the new proposed system and compared with the conventional model. Both the FEM simulation and the experimental test results revealed that the proposed system has significant impact in increasing the load bearing capacity and the stiffness of the RC beams. In the present study, an equation is formulated to calculate bending capacity of a new reinforcement bar system beam.

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Investigating the influence of delamination on the stiffness of composite pipes under compressive transverse loading using cohesive zone method
Sattar MALEKI, Roham RAFIEE, Abolfazl HASANNIA, Mohammad Reza HABIBAGAHI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1316-1323.
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The effect of delamination on the stiffness reduction of composite pipes is studied in this research. The stiffness test of filament wound composite pipes is simulated using cohesive zone method. The modeling is accomplished to study the effect of the geometrical parameters including delamination size and its position with respect to loading direction on stiffness of the composite pipes. At first, finite element results for stiffness test of a perfect pipe without delamination are validated with the experimental results according to ASTM D2412. It is seen that the finite element results agree well with experimental results. Then the finite element model is developed for composite pips with delaminated areas with different primary shapes. Thus, the effect of the size of delaminated region on longitudinal and tangential directions and also its orientation with respect to loading direction on delamination propagation and stiffness reduction of the pipes is assessed.

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Truss-arch model for shear strength of seismic-damaged SRC frame columns strengthened with CFRP sheets
Sheng PENG, Chengxiang XU, Xiaoqiang LIU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1324-1337.
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Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials are important reinforcing substances which are widely used in the shear strengthening of seismic-damage steel reinforced concrete (SRC) frame structures. To investigate the shear strength of SRC frame columns strengthened with CFRP sheets, experimental observations on eight seismic-damaged SRC frame columns strengthened with CFRP sheets were conducted at Yangtze University and existing experimental data of 49 SRC columns are presented. Based on the existing experiments, the theories of damage degree, zoning analysis of concrete, and strengthening material of the column are adopted. To present the expression formula of the shear strength of SRC frame columns strengthened with CFRP sheets, the contributions of strengthening material and transverse reinforcement to shear strength in the truss model are considered, based on the truss-arch model. The contribution of arch action is also considered through the analysis of the whole concrete and that of the three zones of the concrete are also considered. The formula is verified, and the calculated results are found to match well with the experimental results. Results indicate that the proposed whole analysis model can improve the accuracy of shear strength predictions of shear seismic-damaged SRC frame columns reinforced with CFRP sheets.

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Effect of fiber hybridization on energy absorption and synergy in concrete
Ahmadreza RAMEZANI, Mohammad Reza ESFAHANI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1338-1349.
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In the present study, steel and polypropylene (PP) fibers have been utilized with the intent of obtaining hybrid fiber-reinforced concrete (HFRC) with desirable mechanical properties. An attempt has been made to scrutinize the properties of HFRC with the main concentration being on energy absorption characteristics of concrete and the efficacy of fiber hybridization in producing synergy. Accordingly, a total of 180 specimens, representing 20 different mixtures have been cast and evaluated through compressive, split tensile, and flexural tests. The relevant flexural toughness of the specimens was calculated using ASTM C1018, ASTM C1609, JSCE, and PCS methods, and the effectiveness of these methods was evaluated based on the experimental results. It was observed that steel fibers are more effective in the improvement of flexural toughness in the presence of PP fibers. Furthermore, synergy associated with the combination of fibers at different stages of deflection of the beam specimens was observed and analyzed.

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Centrifuge experiment and numerical analysis of an air-backed plate subjected to underwater shock loading
Zhijie HUANG, Xiaodan REN, Zuyu CHEN, Daosheng LING
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1350-1362.
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In this study, systematic centrifuge experiments and numerical studies are conducted to investigate the effect of shock loads due to an underwater explosion on the dynamic responses of an air-backed steel plate. Numerical simulations with three different models of pressure time history generated by underwater explosion were carried out. The first model of pressure time history was measured in test. The second model to predict the time history of shock wave pressure from an underwater explosion was created by Cole in 1948. Coefficients of Cole’s formulas are determined experimentally. The third model was developed by Zamyshlyaev and Yakovlev in 1973. All of them are implemented into the numerical model to calculate the shock responses of the plate. Simulated peak strains obtained from the three models are compared with the experimental results, yielding average relative differences of 21.39%, 45.73%, and 13.92%, respectively. The Russell error technique is used to quantitatively analyze the correlation between the numerical and experimental results. Quantitative analysis shows that the simulated strains for most measurement points on the steel plate are acceptable. By changing the scaled distances, different shock impulses were obtained and exerted on the steel plate. Systematic numerical studies are performed to investigate the effect of the accumulated shock impulse on the peak strains. The numerical and experimental results suggest that the peak strains are strongly dependent on the accumulated shock impulse.

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Prediction of shield tunneling-induced ground settlement using machine learning techniques
Renpeng CHEN, Pin ZHANG, Huaina WU, Zhiteng WANG, Zhiquan ZHONG
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1363-1378.
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Predicting the tunneling-induced maximum ground surface settlement is a complex problem since the settlement depends on plenty of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. This study investigates the efficiency and feasibility of six machine learning (ML) algorithms, namely, back-propagation neural network, wavelet neural network, general regression neural network (GRNN), extreme learning machine, support vector machine and random forest (RF), to predict tunneling-induced settlement. Field data sets including geological conditions, shield operational parameters, and tunnel geometry collected from four sections of tunnel with a total of 3.93 km are used to build models. Three indicators, mean absolute error, root mean absolute error, and coefficient of determination the (R2) are used to demonstrate the performance of each computational model. The results indicated that ML algorithms have great potential to predict tunneling-induced settlement, compared with the traditional multivariate linear regression method. GRNN and RF algorithms show the best performance among six ML algorithms, which accurately recognize the evolution of tunneling-induced settlement. The correlation between the input variables and settlement is also investigated by Pearson correlation coefficient.

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Predicting resilient modulus of recycled concrete and clay masonry blends for pavement applications using soft computing techniques
Mosbeh R. KALOOP, Alaa R. GABR, Sherif M. EL-BADAWY, Ali ARISHA, Sayed SHWALLY, Jong Wan HU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1379-1392.
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To date, very few researchers employed the Least Square Support Vector Machine (LSSVM) in predicting the resilient modulus (Mr) of Unbound Granular Materials (UGMs). This paper focused on the development of a LSSVM model to predict the Mr of recycled materials for pavement applications and comparison with other different models such as Regression, and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Blends of Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) with Recycled Clay Masonry (RCM) with proportions of 100/0, 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 55/45, 40/60, 20/80, and 0/100 by the total aggregate mass were evaluated for use as UGMs. RCA/RCM materials were collected from dumps on the sides of roads around Mansoura city, Egypt. The investigated blends were evaluated experimentally by routine and advanced tests and the Mr values were determined by Repeated Load Triaxial Test (RLTT). Regression, ANN, and LSSVM models were utilized and compared in predicting the Mr of the investigated blends optimizing the best design model. Results showed that the Mr values of the investigated RCA/RCM blends were generally increased with the decrease in RCM proportion. Statistical analyses were utilized for evaluating the performance of the developed models and the inputs sensitivity parameters. Eventually, the results approved that the LSSVM model can be used as a novel tool to estimate the Mr of the investigated RCA/RCM blends.

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Quantitatively assessing the pre-grouting effect on the stability of tunnels excavated in fault zones with discontinuity layout optimization: A case study
Xiao YAN, Zizheng SUN, Shucai LI, Rentai LIU, Qingsong ZHANG, Yiming ZHANG
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1393-1404.
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Pre-grouting is a popular ground treatment strategy utilized to enhance the strength and stability of strata during the excavation of a tunnel through a fault zone. Two important questions need to be answered during such an excavation. First, how should the grouting size be determined? Second, when should excavation begin after grouting? These two questions are conventionally addressed through empirical experience and standard criteria because a reliable quantitative approach, which would be preferable, has not yet been developed. To address these questions, we apply a recently proposed numerical approach known as discontinuity layout optimization, an efficient node-based upper bound limit analysis method. A case study is provided utilizing a tunnel located in a stratum characterized by complicated geological conditions, including soft soil and a fault zone. The factor of safety is used to quantitatively assess the stability of the tunnel section. The influences of the grouted zone thickness and the time-dependent material properties of the grouted zone on the stability of the tunnel section are evaluated, thereby assisting designers by quantitatively assessing the effects of pre-grouting.

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Direct synthesis of carbon nanotubes on fly ash particles to produce carbon nanotubes/fly ash composites
Fangxian LI, Cheng ZHOU, Pengfei YANG, Beihan WANG, Jie HU, Jiangxiong WEI, Qijun YU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1405-1414.
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Fly ash was used as catalytic support for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) growth by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) due to having ideal compositions (SiO2, Al2O3, and Fe2O3). In this paper, CNTs were synthesized on Ni catalyst/fly ash substrate using CVD method. The influence of parameters (e.g., reaction temperature and gas flow rate) on the carbon yield and structure of the resulting CNTs was on the carbon yield and structure of the resulting CNTs was investigated by thermo-gravimetric analyses, Scanning electron microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy analysis. The results indicated that the growth temperature controlling had a significant effect on the diameter of CNTs. And the proper acetylene and hydrogen flow rate would decrease in defect density and increase in yield of as-grown CNTs on fly ash. Finally, the amorphous carbon on the surface of as-grown CNTs were removed by heating in air. Experimental results showed that the hydrophobic of the annealed CNTs was weak due to introducing functional groups to the surface of CNTs.

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Seepage failure by heave in sheeted excavation pits constructed in stratified cohesionless soils
Serdar KOLTUK, Jie SONG, Recep IYISAN, Rafig AZZAM
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1415-1431.
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In this study, experimental and numerical investigations are performed to clarify the seepage failure by heave in sheeted excavation pits in stratified cohesionless soils in which a relatively permeable soil layer (kupper) lies above a less permeable soil layer (klower) between excavation base and wall tip. It is shown that the evaluation of base stabilities of excavation pits against seepage failure by using Terzaghi and Peck’s approach leads to considerably lower critical potential differences than those obtained from the model tests. On the other hand, a relatively good agreement is achieved between the results of the model tests and the finite element (FE) analyses. Further investigations are performed by using axisymmetric excavation models with various dimensions and ground conditions, and a comparison between the results obtained from Terzaghi and Peck’s approach and finite element analyses is given.

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Development of dimensionless P-I diagram for curved SCS sandwich shell subjected to uniformly distributed blast pressure
Yonghui WANG, Ximei ZHAI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1432-1445.
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The curved steel-concrete-steel (SCS) sandwich shell was recently proposed to resist blast loading and it showed better blast resistant performance as compared to flat SCS sandwich shell via developing compressive force along the shell. In this paper, a dimensionless Pressure-Impulse (P-I) diagram was constructed as a convenient tool to predict the damage level of curved SCS sandwich shell subjected to uniformly distributed blast loading. The curved SCS sandwich shell was equivalent to a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) system and the equation of motion was established by employing the Lagrange’s equation. To construct the dimensionless P-I diagram, the energy balance method was utilized to yield the pressure and impulse asymptotes and the responses in the dynamic response regime were obtained via employing the SDOF method. Then, the finite element method was employed to validate the developed dimensionless P-I diagram. Finally, the procedures of using the constructed dimensionless P-I diagram to quickly conduct the blast resistant design of curved SCS sandwich shell were presented.

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Effect of wood dust type on mechanical properties, wear behavior, biodegradability, and resistance to natural weathering of wood-plastic composites
Sawan KUMAR, Ajitanshu VEDRTNAM, S. J. PAWAR
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1446-1462.
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The present work reports the inclusion of different proportions of Mango/Sheesham/Mahogany/Babool dust to polypropylene for improving mechanical, wear behavior and biodegradability of wood-plastic composite (WPC). The wood dust (10%, 15%, 20% by weight) was mixed with polypropylene granules and WPCs were prepared using an injection molding technique. The mechanical, wear, and morphological characterizations of fabricated WPCs were carried out using standard ASTM methods, pin on disk apparatus, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. Further, the biodegradability and resistance to natural weathering of WPCs were evaluated following ASTM D5338-11 and ASTM D1435-99, respectively. The WPCs consisting of Babool and Sheesham dust were having superior mechanical properties whereas the WPCs consisting of Mango and Mahogany were more wear resistant. It was found that increasing wood powder proportion results in higher Young’s modulus, lesser wear rate, and decreased stress at break. The WPCs made of Sheesham dust were least biodegradable. It was noticed that the biodegradability corresponds with resistance to natural weathering; more biodegradable WPCs were having the lesser resistance to natural weathering.

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Analysis of mobilization of inorganic ions in soil by electrokinetic remediation
Xiaojing LI, Lige WANG, Xueming SUN, Yuansheng CONG
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1463-1473.
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Saline soil has imposed a serious threat on many expressway engineering and agricultural areas. This paper describes the performance of saline soil treatment using electrokinetic remediation technology. Comparison study involving sample soil and in situ soil is carried out. Two different electric fields, i.e., uniform and non-uniform are utilized to promote the migration of inorganic ions contained in the soil toward the electrode area. The effects of different electric field types and potential gradient ion migration rate in soil are investigated. The test result reveals that a uniform electric field of a constant potential gradient of 1 V/cm drives the Cl through the sample soil at a rate of 1.36 cm/h. Moreover, larger potential gradients could make ions migrate faster, but more electrical energy is consumed in such a way. Compared with uniform electric field, the non-uniform process maintains the soil pH values more effectively and consumes less electrical energy. A desirable result of removing Na+ in soil is expected using electrokinetic remediation technology under four-times scaling up of soil volume.

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Investigation of the interior RC beam-column joints under monotonic antisymmetrical load
Fei GAO, Zhiqiang TANG, Biao HU, Junbo CHEN, Hongping ZHU, Jian MA
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1474-1494.
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The paper presents numerical findings of reinforced concrete interior beam-column joints under monotonic antisymmetrical load. The finite element models considered compression and tension damage were calibrated by test results in terms of the load-displacement, failure modes, and strains of longitudinal steel. The emphasis was put on studying the effects of hoop reinforcement ratio in joint core and the axial compression ratio on the responses of the joints. The results show that, in addition to the truss and strut-and-tie mechanisms, the confinement mechanism also existed in the joint core. A certain amount of stirrup is not only able to enhance the confinement in joint core, undertake a part of shear force and thus to increase the shear capacity, prevent the outward buckling of steel bars in column, improve the stress distribution in joint core, delay cracking and restrain the propagation of cracks, but also to increase the yield load, decrease the yield displacement of beam and improve the joint ductility. However, excessive horizontal stirrups contribute little to the joint performance. In a certain range, larger axial compression ratio is beneficial for the joint mechanical behavior, while it is negative when axial compression ratio is too large.

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Application of coupled XFEM-BCQO in the structural optimization of a circular tunnel lining subjected to a ground motion
Nazim Abdul NARIMAN, Ayad Mohammad RAMADAN, Ilham Ibrahim MOHAMMAD
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1495-1509.
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A new structural optimization method of coupled extended finite element method and bound constrained quadratic optimization method (XFEM-BCQO) is adopted to quantify the optimum values of four design parameters for a circular tunnel lining when it is subjected to earthquakes. The parameters are: tunnel lining thickness, tunnel diameter, tunnel lining concrete modulus of elasticity and tunnel lining concrete density. Monte-Carlo sampling method is dedicated to construct the meta models so that to be used for the BCQO method using matlab codes. Numerical simulations of the tensile damage in the tunnel lining due to a real earthquake in the literature are created for three design cases. XFEM approach is used to show the cracks for the mentioned design cases. The results of the BCQO method for the maximum design case for the tunnel tensile damage was matching the results obtained from XFEM approach to a fair extent. The new coupled approach manifested a significant capability to predict the cracks and spalling of the tunnel lining concrete under the effects of dynamic earthquakes.

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Probabilistic seismic response and uncertainty analysis of continuous bridges under near-fault ground motions
Hai-Bin MA, Wei-Dong ZHUO, Davide LAVORATO, Camillo NUTI, Gabriele FIORENTINO, Giuseppe Carlo MARANO, Rita GRECO, Bruno BRISEGHELLA
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1510-1519.
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Performance-based seismic design can generate predictable structure damage result with given seismic hazard. However, there are multiple sources of uncertainties in the seismic design process that can affect desired performance predictability. This paper mainly focuses on the effects of near-fault pulse-like ground motions and the uncertainties in bridge modeling on the seismic demands of regular continuous highway bridges. By modeling a regular continuous bridge with OpenSees software, a series of nonlinear dynamic time-history analysis of the bridge at three different site conditions under near-fault pulse-like ground motions are carried out. The relationships between different Intensity Measure (IM) parameters and the Engineering Demand Parameter (EDP) are discussed. After selecting the peak ground acceleration as the most correlated IM parameter and the drift ratio of the bridge column as the EDP parameter, a probabilistic seismic demand model is developed for near-fault earthquake ground motions for 3 different site conditions. On this basis, the uncertainty analysis is conducted with the key sources of uncertainty during the finite element modeling. All the results are quantified by the “swing” base on the specific distribution range of each uncertainty parameter both in near-fault and far-fault cases. All the ground motions are selected from PEER database, while the bridge case study is a typical regular highway bridge designed in accordance with the Chinese Guidelines for Seismic Design of Highway Bridges. The results show that PGA is a proper IM parameter for setting up a linear probabilistic seismic demand model; damping ratio, pier diameter and concrete strength are the main uncertainty parameters during bridge modeling, which should be considered both in near-fault and far-fault ground motion cases.

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Investigation on modeling parameters of concrete beams reinforced with basalt FRP bars
Jordan CARTER, Aikaterini S. GENIKOMSOU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (6): 1520-1530.
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Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars are widely used as internal reinforcement replacing the conventional steel bars to prevent from corrosion. Among the different types of FRP bars, basalt FRP (BFRP) bars have been used in different structural applications and, herein, three already tested concrete beams reinforced with BFRP bars are analyzed using three-dimensional (3-D) finite element analysis (FEA). The beams were tested in four-point bending. In the FEA the behavior of concrete is simulated using the “Concrete-Damaged Plasticity” model offered in ABAQUS software. The research presented here presents a calibrated model for nonlinear FEA of BFRP concrete beams to predict their response considering both the accuracy and the computational efficiency. The calibration process showed that the concrete model should be regularized using a mesh-dependent characteristic length and material-dependent post-yield fracture and crushing energies to provide accurate mesh-size independent results. FEA results were compared to the test results with regard to failure load and crack patterns. Both the test results and the numerical results were compared to the design predictions of ACI 440.1R-15 and CSA S806-12, where CSA S806-12 seems to overestimate the shear strength for two beams.

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18 articles