Numerical modelling of braided fibres for reinforced concrete

Cortis, Michael (2016) Numerical modelling of braided fibres for reinforced concrete. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Fire has been always a major concern for designers of steel and concrete structures. Designing fire-resistant structural elements is not an easy task due to several limitations such as the lack of fire-resistant construction materials. Concrete reinforcement cover and external insulation are the most commonly adopted systems to protect concrete and steel from overheating, while spalling of concrete is minimised by using HPFRC instead of standard concrete. Although these methodologies work very well for low rise concrete structures, this is not the case for high-rise and inaccessible buildings where fire loading is much longer. Fire can permanently damage structures that cost a lot of money. This is unsafe and can lead to loss of life.

In this research, the author proposes a new type of main reinforcement for concrete structures which can provide better fire-resistance than steel or FRP re-bars. This consists of continuous braided fibre rope, generally made from fire-resistant materials such as carbon or glass fibre. These fibres have excellent tensile strengths, sometimes in excess of ten times greater than steel. In addition to fire-resistance, these ropes can produce lighter and corrosive resistant structures. Avoiding the use of expensive resin binders, fibres are easily bound together using braiding techniques, ensuring that tensile stress is evenly distributed throughout the reinforcement. In order to consider braided ropes as a form of reinforcement it is first necessary to establish the mechanical performance at room temperature and investigate the pull-out resistance for both unribbed and ribbed ropes. Ribbing of ropes was achieved by braiding the rope over a series of glass beads. Adhesion between the rope and concrete was drastically improved due to ribbing, and further improved by pre-stressing ropes and reducing the slacked fibres. Two types of material have been considered for the ropes: carbon and aramid.

An implicit finite element approach is proposed to model braided fibres using Total Lagrangian formulation, based on the theory of small strains and large rotations. Modelling tows and strands as elastic transversely isotropic materials was a good assumption when stiff and brittle fibres such as carbon and glass fibres are considered. The rope-to-concrete and strand-to-strand bond interaction/adhesion was numerically simulated using newly proposed hierarchical higher order interface elements. Elastic and linear damage cohesive models were used effectively to simulate non-penetrative 'free' sliding interaction between strands, and the adhesion between ropes and concrete respectively. Numerical simulation showed similar de-bonding features when compared with experimental pull-out results of braided ribbed rope reinforced concrete.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: The research work disclosed in this publication is partially funded by the Strategic Educational Pathways Scholarship (Malta). This scholarship is part-financed by the European Union - European Social Fund (ESF) under Operational Programme II - Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, "Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life".
Keywords: finite element method, braid, fibres, reinforced concrete, p-refinement, computational modelling.
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Supervisor's Name: Pearce, Professor Christoper and Lukasz, Dr. Kaczmarczyk
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Dr Michael Cortis
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7763
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 10:02
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2016 08:55

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