Short and long-term cracking behaviour of GFRP reinforced concrete beams

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A total of ten simply supported beams reinforced with different amounts of GFRP and steel bars were subjected to two consecutive test phases in order to evaluate their short and long-term cracking behaviour. The beams were initially tested up to service load and subjected to two additional load cycles. Subsequently, the specimens were subjected to two different levels of sustained load for 250 days. The effect of cyclic load during short-term tests resulted in an increase in crack width up to 25% more than the initial value. The sustained load led to an increase in crack width up to 2.9 times larger than that measured under the corresponding short-term load. A similar cracking behaviour was observed when reinforcing solutions with similar stiffness (GFRP or steel bars) were used. Existing models to estimate crack spacing and crack width for FRP and steel reinforced concrete elements, including ACI 440.1R-06, Eurocode 2 and Model Code 2010 are discussed and their performance is assessed against the experimental results. Model Code 2010 was found to yield more accurate predictions of the cracking behaviour of the test specimens under both short-term and long-term loading ​
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