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CICE 2010 - The 5th International Conference on FRP Composites in Civil Engineering

September 27-29, 2010 Beijing, China

Flexural behavior of FRP reinforced glubam beams

Quan Zhou ( )
Institute of Modern Bamboo, Timber and Composite Structures (IBTCS), Hunan University, Changsha,
410082, Hunan, China.
Yan Xiao(
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA.
Institute of Modern Bamboo, Timber and Composite Structures (IBTCS), Hunan University, Changsha,
410082, Hunan, China.

ABSTRACT: A new type of rectangular glued laminated bamboo (glubam) beam had adopted in the world
first truck-safe modern bamboo bridge in Leiyang, Hunan, by the authors. The glubam beams can further be
enhanced by FRP. This paper analyzes the effect of some parameters, such as FRP thickness, span-depth ratio,
strengthen measures, types of node on bending properties. The basic mechanical model is established to pre-
dict the failure. Through the experimental work, the flexural stiffness and ultimate load of FRP reinforced
beams are compared with those of unreinforced beams. The result show that the analytical model can forecast
the flexural behavior of FRP reinforced glubam beams well.

1 INSTRUCTIONS mechanical properties to structural Colombian wood.

In some case, the mechanical properties of the GLG
From the beginning of last century, due to the en- are better than those of the best structural wood in
ergy-saving, environmental protection, excellent Colombia.
structural performance, etc., wood has been widely The Institute of Modern Bamboo, Timber and
used in building structures. However, because of the Composite Structure (IBTCS) conducted a compre-
shortage of domestic timber resources, wood struc- hensive research program, with the goal to develop
ture has been developed slowly in China. Despite modern bamboo structures for building and bridge.
the high tariffs for imports of timber, a large number A modern bamboo pedestrian bridge had been com-
of Europe, the United States, Japan's wooden houses pleted, using glued bamboo (glubam) as the main
have been brought in as a result. But, most of timber material. The bridge had much lighter superstructure
is used only for the expensive villas. and was easier to construct compared with conven-
The research on wood and timber structures also tional steel or concrete in terms of same load condi-
falls behind, while the national wood-structure stan- tion. After the successful completion of the first
dard often referring to foreign standards. For the modern bamboo pedestrian bridge in 2006 [Zhou et
limitations of traditional wooden structures, some al. 2007], the authors were given the opportunity to
experts and scholars began to research the bamboo design and construct a truck loaded 10 m long
as a substitute of wood, which would alleviate the bridge in the Village of Daozi, Leiyang, Hunan
shortage of fine structural timber. China is in Province. The bridge was a single lane bridge to
abounding with bamboo, but most of it remains in cross the Xunjiang river and connect the rural road-
the original bamboo stage. In recent years, research- way network in the local region, as a part of the ag-
ers continue to explore new types of manufactured riculture infrastructure development by the local
bamboo production all over the world. S.Rittironk & government. Different from the former bridge, the
M. Elnieiri investigate Laminated Bamboo Lumber girders of this bridge were glubam beams with FRP
as an alternative structural material. It takes a differ- reinforcement.
ent approach from conventional raw bamboo struc- In this paper, flexural behaviors of glubam beams
ture, which is an alternative manufactured bamboo. were studied through tests, compared with those of
They proposed that LBLs structural properties and FRP reinforced beams, which could be taken as a
superior quality compared to wood lumber in terms reference of production, design and application of
of higher strength, higher density, lower shrinkage, this kind of structure.
and dimension stability, have been proven through
many studies. J. Correal & L. Lopez introduced an-
other type of structural bamboo material, glued
laminated Guadua (GLG), which has comparable
2 EXPERIMENT DESIGN ness, and bond connects bamboo sheets well, 3) FRP
was considered a linear-elastic material, 4) the theo-
The glubam was made from Phyllostachys edulis, retical value mentioned in this paper was base on the
which was sourced from Yiyang city of Hunan prov- hypothesis of ideal joint in bamboo beams
ince. The resin used in glubam was domestic glue This paper analyzes the effects of several parame-
named ESA-T, particular for FRP bonding. Some ters, such as FRP reinforcement, span to depth ratio,
small clear specimens of glubam had been tested to strengthen measures, types of node and so on, on
obtain the main physical and mechanical properties bending properties. Table 2 shows the details of the
of glubam, in which the values was the mean tested former group, all of which were large scale beams
value, while the other materials referring to litera- ranged from B1 to B13, while another group stating
tures (see Table 1). In addition, Elastic modulus of the small scale beams ranged from S1 to S15. And
CFRP was 220Gpa and tensile strength was 2.6Gpa then, qualitative analysis of large specimens is car-
as obtained by test. ried out.

Table 1. Basic material properties of laminated bamboo

Materials In-plane In- Bend- Elas- Den- 3 RESULT AND ANALYSIS
compres- plane ing tic sity
sive tensile strengt (GPa (kg/ 3.1 Experimental results
strength strength h ) m3)
(MPa) (MPa) (MPa) The length of pure bending zone is one meter in
Plybamboo 54 80 75 9.4 880 large tested beams. All of non-reinforced specimens
Typical 55 124 - 17 650 broke in the tensile zone when its tensile strain
Bamboo reached maximum. At the beginning of test, bamboo
Clum 880 was in elastic stage. With the load increasing, it
Douglas Fir 48 - 83 12 497
West White 35 - 64 10 398 showed some plastic behaviors and the flexural
Pine stiffness decreased. When bamboo beams cracked,
noises came from the bottom and deflection was ob-
Table 2. Details of large tested beams vious. The beams collapsed quickly at the moment
Cross- of failure. On the other hand, FRP reinforcement in-
section di- Span
ment rate a** / mm
creased the ultimate strength of the glubam beams.
mension / mm Moreover, cracking noises came later than former
( ) / %
/mmmm and the failure didnt happen only in the compres-
B1 100600 3500 0.037 1250
B2 100600 3500 - 1250
sive zone. Some crack came up in the top of beams,
B3 100600 3500 - 1250 and the deflection of mid-span was less than non-
B4 100600 4500 - 1750 reinforced beams.
B5 100600 4500 - 1750 The ultimate design condition was checked based
B6 100600 4500 - 1750 on the following simple procedure:
B7 100600 4500 - 1750
B8 100600 4500 - 1750 Mu f y S (1)
B9 100600 4500 0.037 1750
B10 100600 4000 - 1500 Pmax M u / a (2)
B11 100600 4000 - 1500 where Pmax = the ultimate design strength; Mu = mo-
B12 100600 4000 - 1500 ment of flexure subject to Pmax; a = length between
B13 100600 4000 - 1500 bending plate and nearest load point; fy = bending
* the cross-section rate of FRP to bamboo, strength of plybamboo.
** the length between bearing plate and nearest load point.

There were two groups of glubam beam, and first 3.2 Analysis of experimental results
group had 11 non-reinforced specimens and 2 FRP 3.2.1 Results of 3.5m span beam tests
reinforced specimens. All of those were produced by Ultimate strength of 3.5m span beam calculated
researched in laboratory under 25 centigrade, while from formula (1) and (2) was 360KN, and that of B1
heaters were employed to stabilify the temperature. was 340kN which was close to the theoretical value.
FRP reinforced beams were tested about one month Finger-zone prematurely approached to failure in
after they cohered. The specimens design was de- tension, resulting in the compression zone of bam-
veloped referring to the code ASTM D3737-03, boo quickly reached the limits of strain.
ASTM D7199-07, ASTM D7341-08 and GB/T
There were some assumptions in experiments: 1)
the cross-section of girder remain plane after bend-
ing, 2) the adhesive layer between FRP and bamboo
was linear-elastic body, without regard to its thick- Figure 1. Experiment equipments
Table3. Test results of 3.5m-span beams. force in compressive zone led to the crush of bam-
Joint- Initial Ulti- boo beam and specimen damage quickly and this
FRP stiffness mate behavior belongs to brittle failure. In the other hand,
(mm) (kN/mm) load the experiment data of 30mm finger-joint beam B7
B1 20 7.556 390 and B8 surpassed theoretical values by 26.98% -
B2 30 - - 7.096 260
B3 20 - 6.189 237.86 27.18% of initial stiffness and 16.1% - 28.53% of ul-
timate load.
Joint effect factor J was took into calculation, and
revision formula was showed below: Table 4. Test results of 4.5m-span beams
Bolt Initial Ultimate
Joint- length
PJ Pmax J (3) (mm)
Reinforce- FRP stiffness load
ment (kN/mm) kN
where J = 0.75 when there is two finger-area overlap B4 30 - 8.791 222.5
in bending zone, else J = 1 when other conditions. B5 20 - 6.220 168.5
The theoretical result of B2 multiplied 0.75 is 270, B6 30 - 4.722 242.5
B7 30 - 9.113 298.54
close to test result. Moreover, bearing capacity of B3 B8 30 - 9.128 330.5
was close to B2, but 20mm finger-joint lead to de- B9 20 7.556 195
flection increased quickly after cracking. However,
it presented good ductility when the specimen stiff- Through comparison of specimens, it could be seen
ness decreased gradually. that ductility of glubam beams of 30mm finger-joint
In addition, initial stiffness of B1 was was better than 20 mm finger-joint. In addition, the
7.556KN/mm, higher than other two beams, due to ductility of B5 was not poor but its bearing ability
the strengthening of FRP. As the cracks increasing, was worse than others and it destructed too early in
FRP reached the strain limit. When load reached the experiment, which attributed to short length of
340KN, a sudden failure occurred. The effect of FRP joint. B4, B6, B7, B8, with 30mm length joint, put
reinforcement was not obvious for capacity, but it out fine ductility, even better than the FRP rein-
could significantly improve the specimen stiffness. forced B9, and possessed higher ultimate load. Al-
B2, with 7.096KN/mm initial stiffness, implied that though joint-finger cracked early in B6, the crack
30mm length finger-joint performance was better exploded for a long time until it was crushed. To
than 20mm, also the cracks developed slower than sum up, all of above implied that longer finger-joint
B1, obviously. However, with no bolts to strengthen performed better ductility in the bending condition.
nodes, resistant ability to shear between sheets ex-
tremely decreased, and a sharp increase turned up in 3.2.3 Results of 4m span beam tests
the deflection. As a result, after the specimen had It is can be seen from the experiments that each of
been loaded exceed 200kN, stiffness was declining tested initial stiffness was similar to calculated re-
as the finger-joint cracks expanding. Finally when sults. In addition, as there was no joint-fault over-
the load reached 260KN, the cracks at the bottom lapped in this group of beams, we only took the fin-
suddenly expanded near the vicinity of the neutral ger length into consider. Then, the initial stiffness
axis. After that the specimen broke and the experi- and carrying ability of 30 mm beams exceeded
ment ended. The initial stiffness of B3 was 6.189, 20mm beams by 3.72%-9.96% and 60.4%-42%, re-
lowest in this group. spectively. Moreover, those of FRP reinforced
glubam beams surpassed non-reinforced by about
3.2.2 Results of 4.5m span beam tests 10% and 42%. Obviously, members which did not
Calculated load carrying capacity of 4.5 m clear reinforced with bolt and FRP had poor characteris-
span beam was 257.1kN. Because finger-zone ex- tics, extremely inappropriate to be adopted in prac-
isted in B4 and B6, their capacity reduced to tice and design, since their abilities were poorer than
192.9kN according to equation (1)(3). Initial stiff- others.
ness, damage loads and mid-span deflection of each
specimen's are listed in table 2. Specimens B5 and Table 5. Test results of 4 m-span beams
B9 were the counterpart testing cases with the main Bolt
difference being the existence of FRP reinforcement Joint- Initial Ultimate
Rein- FRP rein-
length stiffness load
in B9. As a result, initial stiffness of B9 exceeded (mm)
force- forcement
(kN/mm) kN
21.5% over B5 and 15.7% of ultimate load. Obvi- ment
ously, FRP played a significant role in improving the B10 20 - 10.462 212
B11 20 - 10.462 239.5
stiffness and slowing the destruction. B12 30 - 11.504 340
B5 held the lowest initial stiffness and load carry- B13 30 - - 10.851 170.5
ing ability due to short finger-joint. Moreover, De-
spite of FRP reinforcement enhanced the joint
strength in B9, stress-concentration subject to large
3.2.4 Small cross-section beam through the preliminary examination of the testing
A four point load method, was used to test speci- results.
mens. The clear distance between the edges of the Longer finger-length and bolt reinforcements con-
bearing plate and the nearest loading point was tributed to increase of the initial stiffness, load car-
about one-third of the length of beam, equal to those rying capacity and deformability of glubam beams.
between load points. Moreover at least a lateral sup- Through the analysis on FRP reinforced glubam
port located at space between the reaction and the beam, it was found that FRP reinforcement could ef-
load point. fectively improve the specimen stiffness. Appropri-
Deflectometers fixed at the position of load points, ate FRP thickness should be chosen while enhancing
reactions and mid-span, where five strain gauges lo- the load carrying capacity of glubam beam, in order
cated throughout the depth. All the measured data to avoid over-reinforcement.
were record simultaneously by the static strain Since different batches of specimens were pro-
measurement system. duced in different period and the process and gluing
Some parameters of small beams were listed in environment is not the same, resulting in their vari-
Table 6, such as cross-section dimension, span, rein- ous characteristics in bending, it is advised that the
forcement-rate and so on. Through Comparison with same process and quality control means should be
three types of beams, the quantitative reinforce ef- applied to ensure uniform performance in structure.
fects of FRP was obtained accurately. The results Due to the presence of finger-zone which may re-
showed that load carrying ability of FRP reinforced duce the load bearing capacity of glubam beams, the
beams were higher than non-reinforced beams with a joint effect factor J was adopted in the calculation of
range from 2.95%- 28.77%, and larger thickness re- load bearing capacity of components. However,
sulted in more increase of ultimate load. Further more studies are required to improve the accuracy of
tests are still underway in this testing series. prediction. Therefore, more researches and studies
are needed to be done in order to improve the factor
Table 6. Test results of small volume beams of J in future.
Cross-section Rein-
Beam dimen- Span / force- typ Fmax
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Loading tests were conducted on glue-laminated
bamboo (GluBam) beams with or without CFRP
strengthening. Some observations can be made