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FLEXURAL STRENGTHENING OF REINFORCED

CONCRETE BEAM WITH FERROCEMENT



S. P. Shang*, Hunan University, China
L. O. Zeng, Hunan University, China
H. Peng, Hunan University, China

28th Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES: 28 - 29 August 2003,
Singapore

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28
th
Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES: 28 - 29 August 2003, Singapore
FLEXURAL STRENGTHENING OF REINFORCED
CONCRETE BEAM WITH FERROCEMENT
S. P. Shang*, Hunan University, China
L. O. Zeng, Hunan University, China
H. Peng, Hunan University, China
Abstract
Ferrocement is a type of thin layer to reinforce concrete construction, where
usually hydraulic cement is reinforced with layers of continuous and relatively small
diameter steel wire mesh. Recently ferrocement technology is becoming more and
more attractive in housing construction. This paper deals with the response of
ferrocement thin plates reinforced with wire meshes as flexural strengthening material
for reinforced concrete beams. Experiments in the study involve testing of 16 RC
beams strengthened in flexure with ferrocement and 2 control specimens without
being strengthened. Strengthening results of ferrocement reinforced with U-shape
(ferrocement cast onto the tension face and two profile faces) have been analyzed.
Mid-span deflection, crack width and strains in the steel are measured during the
course of the tests. Performance of the tested beams is presented and discussed in
this paper. The test results confirm that ferrocement contributes greatly to increase of
the flexural capacity, raise of crack-resisting capacity and improvement of the bending
stiffness of RC beams. This paper uses nonlinear analysis method to obtain the whole
load-deflection curves for RC beams. The theoretical curves show a good agreement
with the experimental curves of the tested beams.
Keywords: R C beams; Ferrocement; Strengthening; Flexural strength; Nonlinear analysis
1. Introduction
Deterioration of reinforced concrete structures due to corrosion of the steel rebars or continual
upgrading of service lodas (increase of the traffic load on bridges for example) has resulted in a large
number of structures requiring repairing or strengthening. A number of techniques have been used in
the past. In the case of concrete structures, these techniques include: strengthening with steel
reinforcing plate, bonding with carbon fiber and strengthening with prestressed. These methods have
showed that post build strengthening can be successfully achieved and is usually feasible and
economical. Recently, Ferrocement technology is becoming more and more attractive in housing
construction, which is made of high grade mortar reinforced with layers of fine steel wire meshes[1
l
. The
use of precast ferrocement elements in construction will reduce the cost and labor force substantially.
With the industrialized building systems, the components can be mass-produced and hence, the
method reduces the overall construction time. Principal advantages of ferrocement over FRP sheets
include fireproof without epoxy-bonded and flexibility in its use. Another significant advantage of this
repair technique is that overall repair cost in terms of labor, material and equipment is low and can
offset the high material cost. A global perspective of research on ferrocement has recently been
501
presented.
The work of Logan[2] et al. dealt with flexural strengthening with ferrocement. The results show that
ferrocement has obvious effects on raising the load-bearing capacity and crack-resisting capacity. The
model for the contribution of composites to flexural capacity is based on methods used for
reinforced concrete.
Basnnbnl ] et al. tested retangular beams using ferrocement, and observed that beams exhibited
superior cracking behavior, increased rigidity and had enhanced structural capacity. However, ductility
was reduced.
Ong[4] et al. investigated the flexural behavior of retangular beams strengthened with 20-mm-thick
ferrocement laminates. Methods of attachment of the ferrocement laminate using epoxy resin dahesive,
anchor bolts, and power-driven concrete nails were examined. The strengthened beams show greater
stiffness, higher ultimate flexural capacity, and reduced crack spacings and widths at all load levels.
In another study, P.Paramasivam[5] et al. carried out an extensive series of experiments on RC
T-beams strengthened with ferrocement laminates attachment to the tension face. The results show
that use of closely spaced shear connectors and proper surface preparation leads to improved
serviceability and flexural capacities.
Mothana Ahmed AI-Kubaisy[6] et al. carried out an experimental investigation to furnish additional
information on the flexural behavior of ferrocement-strengthened RC beams. In that study, it can be
seen that strengthening or repairing with ferrocement applied to the tension face can significantly
increase the ultimate strength of RC beams, and reduce the crack width and spacing.
This study focuses on the application of ferrocement in the strengthening of reinforced concrete
beams with U-shape (ferrocement cast onto the tension face and two profile faces) strengthened form.
Total pieces of 18 specimens have been studied and their results have been analyzed and reported.
Performances of the beams were compared and assessed with particular emphasis on cracking
behavior, mid-span deflection, and ultimate strength capacity. Compared with the conventional
reinforced concrete, ferrocement is reinforced in two directions; therefore, it has
homogenous-isotopicproperties in two directions. Compared with the specimens without being
strengthened, the strengthened specimens are significant in reduction of crack spacing and crack width,
prevention of cover spalling even at large deflection, increase of the toughness, and considerable
improvement in flexural capacity.
2. Experimental Program
A total of eighteen reinforced concrete beams (100 x 180 x 2200-mm) were cast in the laboratory
with the reinforcement. The beams were divided into two series, labeled A and B. Series A consisted of
thirteen beams. In these beams, the bottom flexural reinforcement consisted of three 8-mm-diameter
bars providing a total cross section of 151-mm
2
. Series B consisted offive beams. This series consisted
of three 10-mm-diameter bars providing a total cross section of 256-mm
2
. All beams were reinforced
with two 6-mm-diameter bars top. Stirrups made of 4-mm-diameter rods were used at a spacing of
100-mm in series A and 80-mm in series B to provide adequate shear reinforcement. Fig 1 shows the
test arrangement and reinforcement details. The beams were cast in molds made of steel plate sides.
Three 150mm concrete cubes and four 70mm mortar cubes were cast with each beam determining the
compressive strength of the concrete and ferrocement mortar, respectively.
@j
38
P/2
Il 700 1 300 1 300 1 700 l j100 I I 3<,610 I I

Fig 1. Geometric Details and Configuration of Test Beams
Ferrocement was cast onto the tension face and two profile faces of the beams, and which is
called U-shape. Square welded wire mesh was used to strengthen the beams. There were two kinds of
steel wire mesh, which were different in the diameter of the wire. The wire mesh details are shown in
Table 1. Thickness of the ferrocelllent laminate was 20mm, as seen in Fig 2(a). Denotation of cross
section can be seen from Fig 2(b).
502
Table 1-Wire Mesh Properties
Mesh Name
Wire Diameter
(mm)
Weld mesh 1 0.8
Weld mesh 2 1.0
o
co
,-
o

20 20
Mo ar H 100 H
(a)
Aperture Yield Stren- Ultimate Str-
(mm)
oth (MPa) enoth (MPa)
12.5 286 352
12.5 303 371
b
1






h
Asml
I /i "---
Wire mesh Asm L-.!l-l As
I I
/'
"'-..
(b)
Fig 2. Typical section of beams
Modulus of
Elasticity (MPa)
1.8x10
5
1.8x10
5
Table 2 gives the details of the tested beams. The varying parameters were determined by the
layers of wire meshes, diameter of wire meshes and compressive strength of mortar. A1 and 81 were
the control specimens, to which no ferrocement strengthening was applied. All beams were simply
supported over a 2000mm and tested under monotonic loading. The load was applied using a 32-ton oil
jack and spread into two point loads on the beams. The oil jack was placed under the mid-span of the
beams. Three dial gauges were installed at two load pOints and mid-span of the beams to measure the
deflections. Cracks were carefully observed and measured with the aid of a magnifying glass. To
facilitate crack detection, the beams surfaces were painted white.
Table 2-Detail of Test Beams
Series Beams
Flexural
Weld Mesh
Mortar Cube Concrete
No. No.
Reinforcement Mesh Name
No.
Strength Cube Strength
Diameter (mm) (MPa) (MPa)
A1 8 - - - 35.3
A2 8 Weld mesh 1 1 21.6 35.3
A3 8 Weld mesh 1 2 21.6 35.3
A4 8 Weld mesh 1 3 21.6 35.3
A5 8 Weld mesh 2 1 22.7 37.5
A6 8 Weld mesh 2 2 22.7 37.5
A A7 8 Weld mesh 2 3 22.7 37.5
A8 8 Weld mesh 2 1 29.6 34.6
A9 8 Weld mesh 2 2 29.6 34.6
A10 8 Weld mesh 2 3 29.6 34.6
A11 8 Weld mesh 2 2 32.4 34.6
A12 8 Weld mesh 2 3 32.4 34.6
A13 8 Weld mesh 2 4 32.4 34.6
81 10 - - - 35.7
82 10 Weld mesh 2 2 29.6 35.7
B 83 10 Weld mesh 2 3 29.6 35.7
B4 10 Weld mesh 2 2 32.4 35.7
B5 10 Weld mesh 2 3 32.4 35.7
3.Results And Discussion
Generally, the structural behavior of the strengthened beams is similar to the control beams.
Failure in both cases was typical tension failure. Experimental results obtained from the tests for all the
beams are summarized in Table 3. The table gives the loads at first cracking, at yielding of flexural
reinforcement and at ultimate of beams. In Table 3, R1 is the ratio of the strengthened beam's first
503
cracking load to control beam's first cracking load, and R2 is the ratio of the strengthened beam's
ultimate load to control beam's ultimate load.
From table 3, it can be seen that strengthening the beams with ferrocement laminate improves the
flexural strength by 18% to 68% in series A, and by 34% to 46% in series B, respectively. The results
show that ferrocement has the obvious effects on raising the load-bearing capacity. Cracking load of
beams in series A varied 1.25 and 2.25 times of that of the control beam. In series B, results of
ferrocement-strengthened beams show that first-crack loads increase by 33% to 67% compared with
control beam. In Fig 3, it is shown that the crack width and spacing of strengthened beams with
U-shape ferrocement were reduced.
"Ii bl S f I a e 3- ummary 0 test resu ts
Beams No.
First Cracking
R1
Yielding of Flexural Ultimate Load
R2
Load (kN) Reinforcement Load(kN) (kN)
A1 4.0 1.0 16.0 19.5 1.0
A2 5.0 1.25 20.0 23.1 1.18
A3 6.0 1.50 22.0 25.8 1.32
A4 6.0 1.50 24.0 28.1 1.44
A5 6.0 1.50 23.0 26.2 1.34
A6 7.0 1.75 25.0 29.3 1.50
A7 8.0 2.00 26.0 31.2 1.60
A8 6.0 1.50 23.0 26.7 1.37
A9 7.0 1.75 25.0 29.6 1.52
A10 8.0 2.0 26.0 32.1 1.65
A11 8.0 2.0 26.0 30.4 1.59
A12 8.0 2.0 27.0 32.8 1.68
A13 9.0 2.25 28.0 32.0 1.64
81 6.0 1.0 24.0 27.7 1.0
82 8.0 1.33 33.0 37.2 1.34
83 10.0 1.67 35.0 39.8 1.44
84 9.0 1.50 34.0 37.8 1.36
85 10.0 1.67 35.0 40.5 1.46
A1 AS
A6 A7
Fig 3. Modality of some beams
504
Load-Deflection Curves for beams are shown in Fig. 4. The figure shows that mid-span deflection
for all strengthened beams was lower than that of the control beams at given loads. And slope of curve
for ferrocement-strengthened beams was smaller than that of the control beams. It is shown that
ferrocement contributes greatly to improvement of the bending stiffness of RC beams.
35
2 30
::::.
25

o
.....I
--A1
--A2

o 5 10 15 20 25
Mid-span Deflection (mm)
35 --A1
" --------'"
---A11
2
30

fY"
-A.--A12
::::.
25
... .-..... .
"0
f
----Y- A13
tl$ r
0
20
.:I
.....I Iii .----. _____________
15
J.,f,/ __ ---
,l; ./
t//
10
5
,.
0
0 5 10 15 20 25
Mid-span Deflection (mm)
35
230
.!o::
--- 25

.3 20
--A1
---A5
,._" -A.--A6
-.-A7
9/ .-- --.

Z'i ._. _____
,IV .--.-- ------.
15 1" /.--
,
yy /-
, .
10 /
Il
5 :0"
45
40
235
.!o::
5 10 15 20 25
Mid-span Deflection (mm)
--81
--82

.,....----
--A-83
/ /-"'.-
:;30 f' .
f i
e
.----.--_________

.....I
tV "--.
20 l
...
15
I. .'

, 'f'
10 'I

5
iF
0
0
l",'d 10 D 1m . 20( f5
I -span e ectlon mm
Fig. 4 Load-Deflection Curves of Some Beams
4.Non-linear analysis
Ferrocement beams are more likely to be over-reinforced, and the reinforcement is more evenly
dispersed as compared with conventionally reinforced beams[21. This paper uses nonlinear analysis
method to obtain the whole load-deflection curves for RC beams. It is computed using the following
assumptions:
1. The stain of reinforced, wire mesh and concrete are based on plane deformation assumption.
Strains were assumed to be linearly distributed
2. No slid between concrete and steel
3. The bending stiffness of RC beam is the same along the lognitudinal direction of beam
4. Wire mesh stress-strain relationship is
asm=Esm'Esm (Esm S Esm,u) , a
sm
=fsy (lOs S lOy)
5. Steel stress-strain relationship is
as=Es'Es (EsSEy)' as = fy (lOs >Ey)
6. Concrete stress-strain relationship is
a
e
= (0 SEe S Eo), a
e
=a
O
(Eo SEe S Eeu)
Eo Eo
where Eo=0.002, Ee,u =0.0033
7. The ferrocement onto the two profile faces uses the coefficient of fJ, whose expression is
fJ = from this study.
b
The analysis is outlined below:
505
h
Ee
W enEe <EO' E=-X
he
a = - = -
Eo Eo EOh
e
heEo
Fe = foe abldx =bIfoe 00 =bIao(ehe _ e;he)
eohe eohe eo 3e5
From equilibrium of internal forces, it can be got:
L N = 0 =>Fe = E sEsAs + {3E smEsmAsm
From plane deformation assumption, the following expressions are gained:
_
E
e
= he ho -he Ee he h -he
Es ho -he =>Es =TEe' Esm = h -he =>Esm = he Ee
The calculating as follows:
when E < Eo E < fy
e 's E
s
b (
Eehe E;he) E A {3 E A
laO -----2 = Es s s + Esm sm sm
Eo 3Eo
b1aO(se -3s
o
)h; -3s;(EsAs + f3EsmAsm)h
c
+3s;(h
o
EsAs + f3hEsmAsm) = 0
From above two equations, it can be got:
when
fy
ee > EO,Es <-
Es
- B + .J B 2 - 4AC
h =-------
c 2A
2AhO + B - .JB2 - 4AC
E s = _ B + .J B 2 _ 4AC e C
b100h
e
- b1a
O
sohc = EsEsAs + {3E smEsmAsm
3s
c
(1)
b
1
a
O
(
3E
e -eo)h
e
2
+3e
c
(EsAs + f3
E
smAsm)h
e
- 3Ec(h
o
EsAs + f3hEsmAsm) = 0
From above two equations, it can be got:
- B + .J B 2 - 4 AC
2A (2)
2 Ah 0 + B - .J B 2 - 4 AC
e s = --""'------,=====-- e C
- B + .J B 2 - 4 AC
506
when
b (Echc _ E;hc) =
1 0 2
Eo 3Eo
From above equation, it can be got:
when
he
e6 (fyAs + Pf syAsm )
fy
E >Eo,E >-,
c s Es
b10 ohc - b10 0 E ohc = fyAs + PfsyAsm
3e
c
From above equation, it can be got:
3E c (fyAs + f3fsy
A
sm )
h = ---"-------'---
c b
1
o
O
( 3Ec - 3Ec)
(3)
From (1)-(4), the relationship between mid-span deflection and load is clear. From Fig. 5, it can be
seen that the theoretical curves show a good agreement with the experimental curves of the tested
beams, especially before flexural reinforcement yielded.
25
30
Z
.------- z

:::..
20
.. ---. :::.. 25
\
"0 r( -. "0
co ..
co
20
.17
0
15
i
0
J! A__
...J , ...J

15 .. 1/
01
..
10

/1
. .
..
10
II
.. ..
..
II
1
-A--- A2-Experimental result
..
-A--- A4-Experimental result
5
.
---A2-Theoretical result
5 I
--- A4-Theoretical result
0 0
0 4 8 12 16 20 24 0 4 8 12 16 20
Mid-span Deflection (mm)
Mid-span Deflection (mm)
30
40
Z
.-.
35 .-.
25
.---
Z
.-
.---
30

:::..
e __r
e
:::><.., .----.
:::..
"0
20
...
25
p.-./'
co
.1.( "0
0
// co
( '&-6
Jt
0
20 ...J
15 ...J
I ,
15
" 10
J
"
if
Ii
i -----6- A5-Experimental result 10
".
---A7-Experimental result
5 :
---A5-Theoretical result 5 f
--- A7-Theoretical result
o
o 4 8 12 16 20 24 0 4 8 12 16 20 24
Mid-span Deflection (mm) Mid-span Deflection (mm)
Fig. 5 Theoretical Load-Deflection Curves of Some Beams
507
Calculation
An experimental investigation has been carried out to provide information on the flexural behavior
of RC beams strengthened with U-shape ferrocement. From the study, the following conclusions may
be drawn:
1. Strengthening with U-shape ferrocement applied to the tension face and two profile faces can
significantly increase the ultimate strength of RC beams.
2. Results show that ferrocement has obvious effects on raise of crack-resisting capacity, increase of
the number of cracks, and decrease of the crake width.
3. Ferrocement contributes greatly to improvement of the bending stiffness of RC beams. At given
loads, the mid-span deflection for strengthened beams was lower than that of the control beams.
4. Increasing the surface steel wire mesh increases the load at which the first cracks occur, increases
ultimate load, and increases bending stiffness of RC beams.
5. Through nonlinear analysis method to obtain the whole load-deflection curves for RC beams, the
theoretical curves agree well with experimental curves of the tested beams.
References
[1] ACI Committee. "A Guide for the Design Construction and Repair of Ferrocement". ACI Structural
Journal, 1988, 85(3): 323-351
[2] Logan D. and Shah S.P.,"Moment Capacity and Cracking Behaviour of Ferrocement in
Flexure".Journal of the American Concrete Institute, 1973,70(12):799-804
[3] Basaunbull A, Gubati A, AI-Sulaimani, et al. "Repaired Reinforced Concrete Beams". ACI Material
Journal, 1990,87(4): 345-354
[4] Ong, K. C., Paramasivam, P. & Lim, C.T.E. "Flexural strengthening of reinforced concrete beams
with using ferrocement laminates". J.Ferrocement, 1992,22(4): 331-42
[5] Paramasivam P, Ong K C G, Lim C T E. "Ferrocement Laminates for Strengthening RC T-beams".
Cement & Concrete Composites, 1994, 16(2): 143-152
[6] MothanaAhmed AI-Kubaisy, Mohd Zamin Jumaat. "Ferrocement Laminate Strengthens RC Beams".
Concrete International, 2000, 22(6): 37-43
Notation
b =the width of cross section
b
1
= the width of cross section after strengthened
h =the height of cross section
hi = the height of cross section after strengthened
he = the compressive depth of cross section
a
o
=the maximal compressive stress of concrete
E 0 = the maximal compressive strain of concrete when a = a 0
Ee =the given compressive strain of concrete
Fe =the composition of forces of compressive concrete
Asm = the area of steel wire mesh on tension face
Asm 1 = the area of steel wire mesh on two profile faces
Esm =the stains of steel wire mesh
E sm =the modulus of steel wire mesh elasticity
As = the area of steel tension reinforcement
E s =the strains at which tension reinforcement yielded
E s =the modulus of tension reinforcement elasticity
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