Use of FRP for RC Frames in Seismic Zones: Part II. Performance of Steel-Free GFRP-Reinforced Beam-Column Joints

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Abstract

The use of FRP as reinforcement in concrete structures has been growing rapidly due to its advantages over conventional steel reinforcement (e.g., corrosion resistance, light weight, magnetic neutrality). A potential application of FRP reinforcement is in structural concrete frames. However, current seismic design standards and detailing criteria for beam-column joints were established for steel reinforcement and may be unsuitable for FRP reinforcement due to its different mechanical properties. During recent earthquakes, many structural collapses were initiated or caused by beam-column joint failures. Since there are no detailed specifications for the application of FRP reinforcement in seismic zones, research is needed to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of FRP-reinforced concrete under seismic loading. In this study, two full-scale beam-column joint specimens reinforced with steel and GFRP, respectively, were tested in order to investigate their performance in the event of an earthquake. The control steel-reinforced specimen is detailed according to the Canadian Code (CSA A23.3-94) recommendations. The GFRP-reinforced specimen is detailed in a similar scheme but using a GFRP grid. The behaviour of the two specimens under reversed cyclic loading, their load-storey drift envelope relationship and energy dissipation ability were compared. The GFRP-reinforced specimen showed a predominantly elastic behaviour up to failure. While its energy dissipation was low, its performance was acceptable in terms of total storey drift demand.

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