Considerable research has been conducted in recent years into the reliability of reinforced concrete structures subjected to time dependent changes in resistance and loading. The use of braided Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) rebar offers potential performance benefits as they are not subjected to the corrosion issues that frequently add uncertainty to reliability calculations. However the structural safety associated with this composite material is still not fully understood. FRP is an inherently brittle material, a feature that fundamentally changes the approach required in assessing reliability of structures manufactured using FRP rebar. TRUSS will propose models that will allow reducing the uncertainty associated to the response of Braided FRP. Experimental testing programmes at UCD (scanning electron microscopy and X-ray Photoelecton Spectroscopy, etc.) planned in collaboration with Burgmann Packings will be utilised by the ESR to develop reliability models that will determine structural safety.
The objective is to investigate the influence of FRP on structural reliability and develop tools to quantify the robustness of this material. This will be achieved through experimental testing programmes to determine the influence of deterioration mechanisms such as freeze-thaw action and sulphate attack on the interaction between the FRP and the concrete. This will be supported by advanced analytical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy and X-ray Photoelecton Spectroscopy to characterise the interactions at the concrete-rebar interface.
This project involves a secondment of some months to BurgmannPackings (supervised by Mr. Byrne). Burgmann will provide the ESR with experience in the design and manufacture of braided composites that will be key for the reliability assessment of their performance. There is also a secondment in University of Nottingham gaining expertise in composite modelling using finite elements.