PurposeMost existing studies are confined to model beam tests, which cannot reflect the actual strengthening effects provided by prestressed carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) plates to existing bridges. Hence, the actual capacity for strengthening existing bridges with prestressed CFRP plates is becoming an important concern for researchers. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachStatic load tests of in-service prestressed concrete hollow slabs before and after strengthening are conducted. Based on the results of the tests, the failure characteristics, failure mechanism and bending performance of the slabs are compared and analyzed. Nonlinear finite element method is also used to calculate the flexural strength of the strengthened beams prestressed with CFRP plates.FindingsTest results show that prestressed CFRP plate strengthening technology changes the failure mode of hollow slabs, delays the development of deflection and cracks, raises cracking and ultimate load-carrying capacity and remarkably improves mechanical behavior of the slab. In addition, the nonlinear finite element analyses are in good agreement with the test results.Originality/valueStrengthening with prestressed CFRP plates has greater advantages compared to traditional CFRP plate strengthening technology and improves active material utilization. The presented finite element method can be applied in the flexural response calculations of strengthened beams prestressed with CFRP plates. The research results provide technical basis for maintenance and reinforcement design of existing bridges.
International Journal of Structural Integrity – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2018
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