Modelling of an unbonded CFRP strap shear retrofitting system for RC beams
A retrofitting technique has been developed that uses carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) straps to increase the shear capacity of reinforced concrete beams. The vertical straps are not bonded to the beam but are instead anchored against the beam, which makes this technique potentially more effective than bonded FRP retrofitting techniques. However, it also means that models for bonded FRPs are not appropriate for use with the straps. Instead, a model based on a shear friction approach has been developed where the strain in the straps is calculated based on a term that accounts for the effects of prestress and additional strain in the strap due to shear crack opening. The model can either consider the shear reinforcement to be smeared along the length of the beam or discrete elements. The “smeared” model was checked against an experimental database consisting of rectangular, T-, and deep beams, both in terms of predicted capacity and predicted strain in the straps. Overall the smeared model predicted the capacity of the specimens and, with some adjustments, the strains quite accurately. There were, however, cases when it was more appropriate to use the “discrete” model such as when the transverse reinforcement ratio was low or when the transverse reinforcement spacing was high. Further experimental data are required to fully validate the models and to determine appropriate limits on the use of the smeared model and the discrete model. However, the initial results are promising.