Research Activities: 1999

Structural Integrity of RC Columns Retrofitted with FRP Wraps




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Sequential Number


Identification Number


Matching Research Agency

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

Principal Investigator

Abdeldjelil Belarbi, Associate Professor
Civil Engineering
University of Missouri-Rolla
Rolla, MO 65409
p(573) 341-4478
f(573) 341-4729

Student Involvement

Two (2) M.S. students

Project Objective

To study the durability performance and structural integrity of RC columns retrofitted with FRP jackets and subjected to harsh environmental conditioning.

Project Abstract

It is well known that properly designed FRP jackets can improve not only column strength in compression, flexure and shear, but also its ductility, so vital for resistance to ground motion during earthquake. However, before the full advantages of these techniques can be realized, modes of failure and environmental durability of the strengthened structures must be understood. The structural integrity monitoring of reinforced concrete (RC) columns confined with FRP wraps is the focus of the proposed research. The research will address on the following areas: (i) fabrication of FRP wrapped RC columns with integrated sensors; (ii) testing under compression loadings following different environmental conditions (temperature, moisture and salt spray, and ultraviolet rays); (iii) finite element modeling; and (iv) signal processing. The proposed strengthening and health monitoring approach, if successful, will lead to an economical and effective rehabilitation of RC columns. This will allow building on existing knowledge and further international cooperation.

Task Description

  1. Understand modes of failure and environmental durability of strengthened structures.
  2. Monitor structural integrity.
  3. Report results.

Anticipated Benefits

Improve existing design guidelines for bridge pier strengthening using FRP jackets, to include the durability factor and long-term exposure to environmental conditions.

Modal Orientation



Project Start Date:05/01/2000
Project End Date:08/31/2001

Relationship to other Research/Projects

The study of RC columns retrofitted with FRP composites is one of the many ongoing research projects carried by the investigator and his team under the Center for Infrastructures Engineering Studies (CIES).

Technology Transfer Activities

Findings will be published in structural, construction and FRP-related journals and will be also disseminated through seminars and workshops organized by UMR centers.

Transportation Research Board Keywords

FRP jackets, structural integrity and compression loadings