Research Activities: 2002

Micro-Macro Modeling of the External Strengthening of Concrete with Fiber Reinforced Polymer: Phase III




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Sequential Number


Matching Research Agency

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics (MAEEM)

Principal Investigator

Lokesh R. Dharani
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics
University of Missouri-Rolla
201 ME Bldg.
Rolla, Missouri 65409

Student Involvement

One (1) graduate student

Project Objective

Two main objectives available to the US Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Transportation are to (a) replace, or (b) retrofit existing structures. Retrofitting, where feasible, is the option of choice because of its cost benefits.

Project Abstract

The objective of the project is to develop innovative short-term tests that would allow the development of analytical models for accurate prediction of long-term performance of retrofitted highway bridge structures. Specifically, the interfacial bond between the concrete substrate and the FRP composite material used for external strengthening must remain durable for the specified lifetime over a range of mechanical loads, temperature cycles, moisture diffusion and de-icing salt ingress. The technical approach for developing a bond durability prediction methodology consists of understanding the fundamental mechanisms of degradation at the bond interphase using nano-scale fractograhic inspection and incorporating these in analytical models using global-local substructuring to bridge length.

Task Description

It is envisioned that the proposed research will lead to field-useable design guidelines that would prevent, or at least delay, the onset of brittle failure so that the full strengthening potential of FRP plates may be realized.

Anticipated Benefits

The transition from short-term nano-scale material behavior in interphase regions, through meso-scale and macro- behavior into long term structural system response. To establish proof of concept, the study will focus -- experimentally as well as through analytical modeling and under ramp and cyclic loads -- on delamination in the presence of an aggressive environment.


Project Start Date:07/01/2001
Project End Date:06/30/2002

Relationship to other Research/Projects


Technology Transfer Activities

Reports submitted to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Retrofitting, flexural members, and load capacity