The mechano-sorptive creep behaviour of basalt FRP reinforced timber elements in a variable climate
Harte, Annette M.
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O'Ceallaigh, Conan, Sikora, Karol, McPolin, Daniel, & Harte, Annette M. (2019). The mechano-sorptive creep behaviour of basalt FRP reinforced timber elements in a variable climate. Engineering Structures, 200, 109702. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2019.109702
The use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement has been shown to improve the short-term flexural behaviour of timber elements. This is particularly important when reinforced elements are subjected to a variable climate condition, which is known to accelerate long-term or creep behaviour. In this paper, both unreinforced and Basalt FRP reinforced beams are subjected to creep tests at a common maximum compressive stress of 8 MPa over a 75-week period. Results demonstrated a significant reduction in total creep deflection due to the FRP reinforcement. Using matched groups, experimentally measured total strain behaviour is decomposed into the elastic, viscoelastic, mechano-sorptive and swelling/shrinkage strain components. Analysis has shown that the mechano-sorptive component is similar in unreinforced and reinforced beams. The reduction in creep behaviour of the reinforced members was primarily due to the restrained swelling/shrinkage response of the reinforced beams and was independent of the mechano-sorptive effect. This finding demonstrates the positive influence of FRP reinforcement on the long-term behaviour of timber elements and indicates a potential to describe the long-term deflection performance of FRP reinforced elements from short-term swelling/shrinkage tests.
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