Time-Dependent Behavior of RC Beams Retrofitted with CFRP Straps
A retrofitting technique that uses prestressed unbonded carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) straps to provide additional shear capacity has previously been shown to be successful under short-term static loading conditions. The current study explores the longer-term behavior of this retrofitting technique through two experiments (a sustained load and a cyclic load experiment) and the development of a model based on the modified compression field theory. The experiments indicated that the strain in the CFRP straps changes with time due to changes in the load sharing with the concrete (caused by creep) and the steel stirrups (caused by yield of these elements). The predictive model was initially validated against static experimental results before being applied to the longer-term experiments. The model predicts the trends in behavior well although it is conservative in its estimates of strap strain. The model was then used to determine the influence of stirrup yielding, the load level before and after retrofitting, and the duration of loading on the CFRP strap strains. The initial results suggest that the largest increases in long-term strap strain will occur when the straps are installed early in the structure’s service life although further experimental validation is required.