ABSTRACT

In recent decades, Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) have shown tremendous potential for retrofitting or repairing existing deficient or damaged concrete structural elements due to their superior properties such as high strength, corrosion resistance and ease of application. However, concern arises about the vulnerability of FRP material to combustion under fire condition, since they are usually applied to the exterior surface of structural members. Damage of the FRP strengthening layer due to high temperature is likely to decrease the load carrying capacity of the columns and threaten the safety of the structure. This paper presents numerical investigation of the behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) columns strengthened with FRP sheets and insulated by a thermal resisting coating under service load and fire conditions. The finite element numerical modelling and nonlinear analysis are made using the nonlinear finite element analysis software ANSYS 12.1 [1]. The numerical model is verified for several FRP confined and insulated RC columns that have been experimentally tested under service load and standard fire tests in the published literature. The obtained numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental ones regarding the temperature distribution and axial deformation response. Consequently, the presented modelling gives an economic tool to investigate the behaviour of loaded FRP strengthened RC columns under high temperatures occurring in case of fire, if the modelling is verified against experimental works. Furthermore, the model can be used to design thermal protection layers for FRP strengthened RC columns to fulfill fire resistance requirements specified in building codes and standards.