Ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) is an advanced cementitious composite with high compressive strength and low permeability. Due to its excellent mechanical properties and superior durability, UHPFRC is considered promising for strengthening of the existing concrete bridges. In order to examine its strengthening efficiency for shear capacity, an experimental study is carried out on shear-deficient beams without stirrups. Strengthening method comprising precast UHPFRC laminates being glued with epoxy resin on two lateral sides of the reinforced concrete beams, is examined. To investigate the robustness of the system under severe exposure conditions, some beams are subjected to freeze-thaw (FT) cycles. Beams are tested to failure under three-point bending configuration. Test results show that for epoxy resin bonding, UHPFRC shear strengthening is a promising method to increase the load and deformational capacity, and to limit the crack openings. The load capacity is doubled, and the deformational capacity is increased by around 60%. After exposure to 30 FT cycles, the strengthening efficiency and fracture behaviour of UHPFRC composite beams seem not to be affected. It seems that the interfacial bond strength is sufficient to prevent premature debonding between UHPFRC and NC, which under combined action of environmental exposure (e.g. FT) and mechanical loading might become a challenge. Finally, a finite element model is developed to predict and understand the shear behaviour of the reference and strengthened beams. In general numerical results show good agreement with the experimental results in terms of failure pattern and peak load prediction once the perfect bond model is used for the interface between UHPFRC and NC. In order to better understand the role of governing parameters on the shear capacity of the composite member, parametric studies are conducted focusing on the role of varying UHPFRC softening behaviour and UHPFRC-concrete interface properties.
- Composite member
- Finite element model
- Interfacial bond strength
- Shear strengthening
- Ultra-high performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC)