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Submitted in partial fulfillment of

the requirement for the award of B.Tech. Degree in
Civil Engineering
of the University of Kerala

Submitted by

Roll No.17322

Guided by

Department of civil Engineering
College of Engineering




This is to certify that this Report entitled “CARBON FIBRE

ELEMENTS” is a bonafide record of the seminar presented by MENA G
PILLAI towards the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award
of B. Tech. Degree in Civil Engineering of the University of Kerala during
the year 2007-2008

Guided by U G Professor


Lecturer Professor
Department of Civil Engineering Department of Civil Engineering.
College of Engineering College of Engineering
Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram
I hereby express my deep and sincere gratitude to my guide Mrs.Deeparaj S
Lecturer,Department of Civil Engineering, College of
Engineering,Thiruvananthapuram,for the expert guidance creative suggestions and advice
in presenting this seminar.

I express my sincere thanks to Dr.R Sathikumar, Head of the Department of Civil

Engineering,College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram for all necessary help extended
by him in the fulfillment of this work.

I also express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Dr. V Syamprakash, U.G

Professor, Dr. S Latheswary,Dr.Ruby Abraham, Seminar Co-ordinators and
Mr.K G Jaiprakash JainAssistant Professor,Mrs Jeenu G Lecturer Mr Mithra D C
Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering,Thiruvananthapuram
for their sincere help and valuale suggestions.

I am also grateful to all my friends and classmates for their help and support in
carrying out this work successfully.

Last but not the least I would wish to record my gratefulness to The Almighty God
who had given me the strength to prepare this and who made this work flawless.

Concrete is a building material with a high compressive strength and poor

tensile strength. A structure with out any form of reinforcement will crack and fail
when subjected to a relatively small load. The failure occurs in most cases suddenly
and in a brittle manner. Structural weakness, overloading, design and construction
faults, vibration settlements, change of structural system etc can cause failure of
concrete structures. Hence arises the need for strengthening of concrete structures in
flexure as well as in shear. Epoxy plate bonding with Carbon Fibre Reinforced
Polymers (CFRP) has been shown to be a competitive method for strengthening of
existing structures so as to enhance the load carrying capacity.

By bonding CFRP to a structure in sawn grooves, some advantages

compared to traditional plate bonding may be achieved The reinforcement will get
some protection, installation may be easier and quality may be improved. The rods
can also be bonded by grout. Normally in strengthening application CFRPs are used
as additional tensile reinforcement. This paper presents a discussion on Carbon
Fiber Reinforced Polymers and its application in strengthening of concrete










3.2.1 Fibres

3.2.2 Matrices


3.3.1 Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer

3.3.2 Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer

3.3.3 Aramid Fibre Reinforced Polymer






4.4.1 CFRP Strips

4.4.2 CFRP Wraps

4.4.3 CFRP Laminates











5.5.1 Failure modes of externally bonded FRP reinforcements

5.5.2 Failure modes of Near Surface mounted FRP reinforcement



Fig. 2.1 Performance history of a structure

Fig. 2.2 Deterioration and strategies for strengthening

Fig. 3.1 Properties of different fibres and typical reinforcing steel

Fig. 3.2 Glass fibre reinforced polymer sheet

Fig. 3.3 Carbon fibre reinforced polymer

Fig. 4.1 Carbon fibre reinforced polymers used in launch vehicles

Fig. 5.1 Near surface mounted FRP,rectangular shapes and rods.

Fig. 5.2 Strengthening techniques

Fig. 5.3 Spacing of NSM reinforcement

Fig. 5.4 Shear strengthening

Fig. 5.5 Procedure for strengthening with NSMR

Fig. 5.6 Strengthening of a concrete joint with NSMR

Fig. 5.7 Interface bond failure modes for EBR FRP strips

Fig. 5.8 Failure at epoxy concrete interface

Fig. 5.9 Cover splitting failure of NSM round bars


Table 3.1 Mechanical properties of common strengthening material

Table 3.2 Properties of matrix materials

Table 5.1 Characteristics and aspects of externally bonded FRP reinforcement


Since the first structures were formed, whether by nature or early human beings,
they have been plagued by detonation and destruction. Deterioration and destruction are
laws of nature that affects even the most modern structures. Modern structures, like
skyscrapers and bridges are costly to build and the construction period may sometimes be
disturbing to people and society. Therefore it is of interest to have with long life and low
maintenance costs. Maintenance is not only about costs but also a necessity to keep a
structure at a defined performance level. The definition of performance includes load
carrying capacity, durability, function and aesthetic appearance. A structure that fulfils all
demands of load carrying capacities might at the same time not satisfy durability demands.
Absence of, or incorrect maintenance will in most cases increase the speed of the
degradation process and therefore lower the performance of the structure. If the
performance level has become too low, then repair is needed to restore the structure to its
original performance. Structures with long lifespan, which most of the civil and building
should have, will meet changed demands placed on them from the owners, users or
surrounding society. A structure with satisfactory load bearing capacity, aesthetic
appearance and durability might not fulfill the function demands. A bridge can be for
instance too narrow. To meet changed demands; a structure may be upgraded, which
furthermore can be a way to increase life, durability and reliability of the structure.

The society around us is changing and so are the demands on existing structures.
Transportation has become heavier and more frequent during the last decades and will
probably continue that way in the future. The vehicle speed has increased which also leads
to higher loads by dynamic effects. The knowledge in structural behavior has also increased
and sometimes led to awareness of unreliable structures. Structures are sometimes damaged
by accidents. Ships cars or for example trucks can collide with bridges and the structure
may be damaged. Some times structures are insufficient to carry loads either due to
incorrect design or mistakes during construction. Further more reasons for repairing or
upgrading a structure may be widening of bridges or problems initiated by temporary over
load. If the performance level of a structure becomes inadequate, it might be possible to
keep it in service with the restrictions of use. Other wise the structure has to be upgraded or
replaced. One way to upgrade, the performance level is by strengthening.

Maintenance repair and strengthening of old concrete structures are becoming

increasingly common. If one considers the capital that has been invested in existing
infrastructures, there is not always economically viable to replace an existing structure with
a new one. The challenge must be taken to develop relatively simple measures to keep
increase a structure performance level throughout its life. In comparison to building a new
structure, strengthening an existing one is more complicated since the structural conditions
are already set. In addition, it is not always easy to reach the areas that need to be
strengthened; often there is also limited space. Traditional methods such as different kinds
of overlays, shortcrete or post tensioned cables placed on the outside of the structure
normally needs much space. Existing structures have an intended lifespan and are supposed
to fulfill a certain function during that time. Strengthening can make it possible to extend
the life span of the structure to an optimum. This may be reached by an administrative
upgrading where refined calculation models are used in connection with higher exactness
for material parameters to show that the existing structure has a higher load carrying
capacity than what was earlier assumed. This can also in some cases be used to show that
the structure can fulfill new demands.

If strengthening is needed there exists a variety of methods, for example adding on

new structural material, or changing the structural system. These methods have been proven
to work well in many situations. However they may, in some cases have draw backs that
make the method too expensive to use or not as effective as wanted in terms of time and
structural behavior. Due to different advantages and draw backs of strengthening methods,
designers must closely evaluate all alternatives including the possibility that upgrading may
not be the best choice and replacement is the alternative. During the last decade, it has
become more and more customary to strengthen concrete structures by bonding advanced
composite materials to their surfaces. The method involves a material with high tensile
strength and relatively high stiffness being bonded to the surface of a structural element to
serve as additional reinforcement. The most common material used is carbon fiber fabric or
laminate. In the future it will probably be even more common with strengthening as new
methods are developed and as the knowledge on environmental aspects and lifecycle cost


For an uninitiated person an upgrade must be considered to be a small and simple

alteration of an existing structure. Concerns must be taken to existing materials, often in
deteriorated condition, loads during strengthening and to existing geometry. In some
cases it can also be difficult to reach the areas that need to be strengthened.

When strengthening is going to be undertaken all failure modes must be evaluated.

Strengthening a structure for flexure may lead to shear failure instead of giving the
desired increased load bearing capacity. It should also be noted that not only the failure
mode of the strengthened member is important. If a critical member in a structure is
strengthened, another member can become the critical one. Because of changed stiffness
in an undetermined structural system the whole structure must be investigated. The
strengthening should also designed with consideration to minimize the maintenance and
repair needs. When a strengthening is designed the consequences from loss of
strengthening effectiveness by fire, vandalism, collision etc. must in addition be

Furthermore, the existing documentation of the structure is often very poor and
sometimes even wrong. It might be necessary to redesign the structure with the probable
former codes that were active when the structure was built. This can give enough
knowledge about the structural mode of action, otherwise field investigations must be
undertaken to provide an understanding of the structure. The design of a strengthening
however must fulfill requirements in the codes of today.

It is not only the financial and structural aspects that should form the basis for
decisions of strengthening method, but environmental and aesthetic aspects must also be

Most fibre composites are linear-elastic material without any defined yield point.
Structures on the other hand should be designed to fail in a ductile way or atleast with
adequate warning signals preceding a potential collapse. Ductility can be defined as
capability of a structure to deform while still carrying the load even when the maximum
load bearing capacity is exceeded. It is important to distinguish between material ductility
and structural ductility. Steel bars with short anchorage can be an example of brittle failures
even though steel is considered to be a ductile material. Material properties and structural
ductility are not directly dependent, and linear-elastic materials may increase the ductility
of a structure.

A concrete beam reinforced in bending with steel bars is often considered to have a
very ductile behavior. However, consider the same beam subjected to a fatigue load that
causes high strains in the steel both in compression and tension. The loading will make the
structure to fail in a brittle way, but even worse the normal behavior of the structure.
Consider the same beam, with fatigue load, and strengthened with a linear elastic material,
due to strengthening the stresses in the steel bars will decrease and it will not fail in fatigue,
instead the ductile behavior is regranted.

Work has been carried out on many different types of structures to restore or
increase the flexural capacity, which gives that the structure will be loaded close to its
maximum shear capacity. One of the chief concerns is that shear failures are often very
brittle with no, or only small warnings preceeding the failure because of the higher elastic
energy built up compared to what it had before strengthening. On the other hand, a
structure with a brittle failure in shear may be strengthened so that the failure mode will
change to a more ductile and friendly mode.


Concrete structures need to be strengthened for any of the following reasons:

• .Load increases due to higher live loads, increased wheel loads, installations of
heavy machinery, or vibrations.
• .Damage to structural parts due to aging of construction materials or fire damage,
corrosion of steel reinforcement, and/or impact of vehicles.

• .Improvements in suitability for use due to limitation of deflections, reduction of

stress in steel reinforcement and/or reduction of crack widths.

• .Modification of structural system due to elimination of walls/columns and/or

openings cut through slabs.

• .Errors in planning or construction due to insufficient design dimensions and/or

insufficient reinforcing steel.


When a structure is going to be strengthened there are several aspects to consider. The
figure shows a schematic example of a structure that had inadequate load bearing capacity
due to a design fault already present before it was taken into service. It was then
strengthened slightly above the desired performance level. After some time the structure
was damaged due to an accident, collision, fire or overload that damaged the system to a
level where performance requirements were not fulfilled. The damages were then repaired
to a new satisfactory performance level. Later, the demands on the structure were changed,
higher load bearing capacity was required, and the structure needed to be strengthened to a
higher performance level to meet these demands By a third strengthening it was possible to
meet the new demands and keep the structure in service.
Fig 2.1 Performance History of a Structure

Without considering the deterioration the need for strengthening may not be that
complicated. Insufficient performance due to a design fault, accident or increased demands
can quite clearly be identified. When deterioration is significantly prevalent it becomes
more complicated. For a new structure that is inadequate due to a design or constructional
fault, the size of the problem is more or less well known and the desired life of the structure
can also be quite clearly expressed. The selection of suitable strengthening methods can
nevertheless be complicated. For older structures in need of strengthening, the situation
becomes even more complex. One important issue is the remaining life of the structure. It is
not always valid to strengthen a structural part to give it 50 years remaining life if the
foundations, for instance, will only function for another 10years.For example a road
network may be changed within 5 years due to a larger infrastructure project. If a bridge on
the existing road needs to be repaired to provide satisfactory reliability in the meantime, it
would be very cost ineffective to replace the old bridge with a new. In this case the bridge,
if possible, should be repaired and the repaired bridge does not need to have a life span
longer than 5 years.
Fig 2.2 Deterioration and Strategies for Strengthening

With deterioration in mind the strategy for strengthening becomes more

complicated. This is schematically illustrated in the figure 2.The performance level of the
structure is slowly decreasing, but it still fulfills its performance requirements. New
demands are placed on the structure, but the time being it still fulfills the performance
requirements. The decrease of performance will in the nearby future result in the structure
being inadequate, marked by X.The rate of degradation can be different in different cases.
However, the structure must be upgraded, in this case by strengthening.


An FRP composite is defined as a polymer that is reinforced

with a fibre. The primary function of fibre reinforcement is to carry
load along the length of the fiber and to provide strength and
stiffness in one direction. FRP represents a class of materials that
falls into a category referred to as composite materials. Composite
materials consist of two or more materials that retain their
respective chemical and physical characteristics when combined
together. FRP composites are different from traditional construction
materials like steel or aluminium. FRP composites are anisotropic
(properties apparent in the direction of applied load) whereas steel
or aluminium is isotropic (uniform properties in all directions,
independent of applied load). Therefore FRP composites properties
are directional, meaning that the best mechanical properties are in
the direction of the fibre placement.


3.2.1 Fibres

The composite’s properties are mainly influenced by the

choice of fibres. In civil engineering three types of fibres dominate.
These are carbon, glass, and aramid fibres and the composite is
often named by the reinforcing fibre, e.g.CFRP for Carbon Fibre
Reinforced Polymer. They have different properties. For
strengthening purposes carbon fibres are the most suitable. All
fibres have generally higher stress capacity than the ordinary steel
and are linear elastic until failure.The most important properties
that differ between the fibre types are stiffness and tensile strain.
The three fibre types are schematically presented in figure3-1 in
comparison with an ordinary steel bar and a steel tendon.

Fig. 3.1 Properties of different fibres and typical reinforcing steel. ACI
Committee 440(1996) and Dejke (2001)

Table 3.1 Mechanical properties of common strengthening


Modulus of Compressiv Tensile Density

elasticity[G e Strength[M
Material [kg/m³]
Pa] Strength[M Pa]

Concret 20-40 5-60 1-3 2400


Steel 200-210 240-690 240-690 7800

200-800 NA 2500-6000 1750-1950
3.2.2 Matrices

The matrix should transfer forces between the fibres and

protect the fibres from the environment. In civil engineering,
thermosetting resins (thermosets) are almost exclusively used. Of
the thermo sets vinyl ester and epoxy are the most common
matrices. Epoxy is mostly favoured above vinyl ester but is also
more costly. Epoxy has a pot life around 30 minutes at 20degree
Celsius but can be changed with different formulations. The curing
goes faster with increased temperature. Material properties for
polyester and epoxy are shown in table 3-2. Epoxies have good
strength, bond, creep properties and chemical resistance.

Table 3.2 Properties of matrix materials

Material Density Tensile strength Tensile modulus Failure strain

[kg/m³] [MPa] [GPa] [%]

Polyester 1000-1450 20-100 2.1-4.1 1.0-6.5

Epoxy 1100-1300 55-130 2.5-4.1 1.5-9.0


The different types of fibre reinforced polymer are : glass

fibre, carbon, aramid, ultra high molecular weight polyethylene,
polypropylene, polyester and nylon. The change in properties of
these fibres is due to the raw materials and the temperature at
which the fibre is formed.

3.3.1 Glass fibre reinforced polymer

Glass fibres are basically made by mixing silica sand,
limestone, folic acid and other minor ingredients. The mix is heated
until it melts at about 1260°C. The molten glass is then allowed to
flow through fine holes in a platinum plate. The glass strands are
cooled, gathered and wound. The fibres are drawn to increase the
directional strength. The fibres are then woven into various forms
for use in composites.

Fig 3.2 Glass fiber reinforced polymer sheet

Based on an aluminium lime borosilicate composition glass

produced fibres are considered the predominant reinforcement for
polymer matrix composites due to their high electrical insulating
properties, low susceptibility to moisture and high mechanical
properties. Glass is generally a good impact resistant fibre but
weighs more than carbon or aramid. Glass fibres have excellent
characteristics equal to or better than steel in certain forms.
3.3.2 Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer

Carbon fibres have a high modulus of elasticity, 200-800 GPa.

The ultimate elongation is 0.3-2.5 % where the lower elongation
corresponds to the higher stiffness and vice versa.Carbon fibres do

not absorb water and are resistant to many chemical solutions . They

with stand fatigue excellently, do not stress corrode and do not

show any creep or relaxation, having less relaxation compared to
low relaxation high tensile prestressing steel strands.

Carbon fibre is electrically conductive and, therefore might

give galvanic corrosion in direct contact with steel.

Fig 3.3 Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer

3.3.3 Aramid Fibre Reinforced Polymer

Aramid is the short form for aromatic polyamide. A well known

trademark of aramid fibres is Kevlar but there exists other brands
too,e.g Twaron, Technora and SVM.The modulli of the fibres are 70-
200 GPa with ultimate elongation of 1.5-5% depending on the
quality.Aramid has a high fracture energy and is therefore used for
helmets and bullet-proof garments.Aramid fibres are sensitive to
elevated temperatures, moisture and ultraviolet radiation and
therefore not widely used in civil engineering applications.Further
aramid fibres do have problems with relaxation and stress corrosion.


The advantages of FRP are

• FRP can provide a maximum material stiffness to density ratio

of 3.5 to 5 times that of aluminum or steel.

• It has high fatigue endurance limits

• It can absorb impact energies

• The material properties can be strengthened where required

• The corrosion potential is reduced

• Joints and fasteners are eliminated or simplified.



The main impetus for development of carbon fibres has come from the aerospace

industry with its need for a material with combination of high strength, high stiffness and

low weight. Recently, civil engineers and construction industry have begun to realize that

this material (CFRP) have potential to provide remedies for many problems associated with

the deterioration and strengthening of infrastructure. Effective use of carbon fibre

reinforced polymer could significantly increase the life of structures, minimizing the

maintenance requirements.

Carbon fibre reinforced polymer is a type of fibre composite material in which

carbon fibres constitutes the fibre phase. Carbon fibre are a group of fibrous materials

comprising essentially elemental carbon. This is prepared by pyrolysis of organic fibres.

PAN-based (PAN-poly acrylo nitrile) carbon fibres contains 93-95 percentage carbons, and

it is produced at 1315°C (2400°F). Carbon fibres have been used as reinforcement for

albative plastics and for reinforcements for lightweight, high strength and high stiffness

structures. Carbon fibres are also produced by growing single crystals carbon electric arc

under high-pressure inert gas or by growth from a vapour state by thermal decomposition

of a hydrocarbon gas.

CFRP materials possess good rigidity, high strength, low density, corrosion

resistance, vibration resistance, high ultimate strain, high fatigue resistance, and low

thermal conductivity. They are bad conductors of electricity and are non-magnetic.
Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) is currently used world wide to retrofit and

repair structurally deficient infrastructures such as bridges and buildings. Using CFRP

reinforcing bars in new concrete can eliminate potential corrosion problems and

substantially increase a member’s structural strength. When reinforced concrete (RC)

members are strengthened with externally bonded CFRP, the bond between the CFRP and

RC substrate significantly affects the members load carrying capacity.

Strengthening measures are required in structures when they are required to

accommodate increased loads. Also when there are changes in the use of structures,

individual supports and walls may need to be removed. This leads to a redistribution of

forces and the need for local reinforcement. In addition, structural strengthening may

become necessary owing to wear and deterioration arising from normal usage or

environmental factors.

The usage of composite materials like CFRP is still not widely recognized. The lack

of knowledge of technology using CFRP and the simplicity of it will make some people

hesitant to use it.


There are different methods of manufacturing polymer composites. They are listed as


• Continuous reinforcement process

• Filament winding
• Pultrusion
• Hand lay-up processes
• Moulding processes
• Matched-die moulding
• Autoclave moulding
• Vacuum bagging
• Resin injection processes
• Resin transfer moulding
• Reaction injection moulding
• Integrated manufacturing systems
Carbon fibre reinforced polymer strip is mainly manufactured by the process called
pultrusion. . The pultrusion principle is comparable with a continuous press. Normally
24,000 parallel filaments are pulled through the impregnated bath, formed into strips under
heat, and hardened. These strips are uni-directional; the fibres are oriented only in the
longitudinal direction. Correspondingly, the strip strength in this direction is proportional to
the fibre strength and, thus, very high.

The composite materials are very difficult to machine due to anisotropic, non-

homogenous and reinforcing fibres tend to be abrasive. During machining defects tend to

be abrasive. During machining defects are introduced in work piece and tools wear rapidly.

Traditional machining techniques like drilling and screwing can be used with modified tool

design and operating conditions. Also some sophisticated processes like laser and

ultrasonic machining and electric discharge techniques are also used. For unidirectional

CFRP, the tools are of PCD (poly crystalline diamond) and carbide. For multidirectional

CFRP, the tools used are made of carbide.


• Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) is alkali resistant.

• Carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) are resistant to corrosion; hence they are
used for corrosion control and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete structures.

• Carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite (CFRPC) has low thermal conductivity.

• CFRPC has high strength to weight ratio and hence it eliminates requirements of
heavy construction equipment and supporting structures.

• CFRPC is available in rolls of very long length. Therefore, they need very few
joints, avoiding laps and splices, and its transportation is also very easy.

• CFRPC has a short curing time. Therefore, the application takes a shorter time. This
reduces the project duration and down time of the structure to a great extent.

• Application of CFRPC does not require bulky and dusty materials in a large
quantity; therefore, the site remains tidier.

• CFRPC possess high ultimate strain; therefore, they offer ductility to the structure
and they are suitable for earthquake resistant applications.

• CFRPC has high fatigue resistance. So they do not degrade, which easily alleviates
the requirement of frequent maintenance.

• CFRPC is bad conductor of electricity and is non-magnetic.

• Due to the lightweight of prefabricated components in CFRPC, they can be easily

transported. This thus encourage prefabricated construction, reduce site errection,
labour cost and capital investment requirements.


4.4.1 CFRP Strips

CFRP strips or laminates are used for strengthening of structures. The performance
of CFRP strips depends on the strength of the adhesive used to bond the strips to the
concrete surface and the degree of stress at the interface of the concrete and strips, which
governs the onset of delamination. Critical modes of failure, such as, debonding of strips
from the concrete (due to failure at the concrete adhesive interface) and shear-tension
failure (delamination of concrete cover), can limit improvements in structures strengthened
with CFRP. Also, these structures may require a higher factor of safety in their design.
Minimizing the chances of potential failure can optimize the benefits of CFRP strips,
allowing a strong, ductile, and durable structural system to be achieved. One possible
solution to minimizing failure problems is an efficient mechanical-interlocking-anchorage
system for bonding CFRP strips to the concrete surface. Experiments have been done and it
is found that deep grooves are cut (6mm) in the top surface of beam, perpendicular to the
beam length and 150mm intervals, and filling the grooves with epoxy adhesive. The
grooves are intended to provide a better interlocking mechanism between the concrete
surface and CFRP strips. To create a stronger surface at the ends of the beam for proper
bonding of strips, CFRP fabric sheets are attached at both ends before strip application.

CFRP is used to strengthen steel road bridges more easily and cheaply. The CFRP
strips are only 20% of the weight of the strips of similar products made from high-strength
steel but are at least four times as strong. Their high-strength-to- weight ratio makes the
CFRP strips easily to handle and reduces installation costs.

4.4.2 CFRP Wraps

CFRP wrapping is used for rehabilitation of masonry columns. CFRP wraps are
used for corrosion control and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete columns. They are also
used for construction of earthquake resistant structures.

4.4.3 CFRP Laminates

Low Thermal Expansion CFRP Laminates Are Used For Structural Strengthening.


Although, the technology of using CFRP for strengthening of structures has been
used successfully in Japan and Europe the usage of composite materials like CFRP is still
not widely recognized in the industry. The lack of knowledge of the technology and the
simplicity of it will make some people hesitant to use it. The technology of CFRP is still to


Recently, CFRP is used to strengthen structural parts of RC bridges. CFRP is used

to strengthen steel road bridges more quickly, cheaply and easily. Strips of CFRP
measuring just 8 mm in thickness have been used to strengthen a road bridge in Rochdale,
UK. Worldwide research development work, the use of CFRP strips to rehabilitate
structures is already routine for many firms in Western Europe and Japan. In the US, Sika
has introduced Sika CarboDur, which is a CFRP laminate used to strengthen concrete,
steel, or wooden structures. CFRP materials will not replace traditional construction
materials, but will be used increasingly to supplement them as needed.

A research team led by Dr.Abdul-Hamid Zureick, professor of civil and

environmental engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, has performed
an integrated field/laboratory approach to rehabilitate the Lee Road Bridge over Interstate
20 in Douglas County, GA, using CFRP. This project is funded by Georgia Department of
Transportation (GDOT) in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The project took workers less than a day to complete what could have taken several weeks
to do traditionally and, so far, laboratory tests have determined that CFRP can make
bridges 30 to 40 percent stronger than the original design.

Results obtained from current experimental research at Carleton University have

demonstrated the feasibility and the advantages of using carbon fiber reinforced plastic
(CFRP) sheets as external reinforcements in the repair and strengthening of concrete shear
wall structures. The addition of CFRP sheets greatly increases the ultimate flexural moment
capacity of the retrofitted shear wall. However, in order for the FRP sheet to carry the high
axial loads resulting from the bending moment imposed on the shear wall, the CFRP sheets
must be adequately anchored at the base of the wall.

In India CFRP composites are mainly used in launch vehicles (for example in
GSLV and PSLV) for making them much lighter.
Fig. 4.1 CFRP in launch vehicles


“ALBIS” have developed an exceptional range of high performance compounds

under the name “ALCOM”. Carbon fibre reinforcement promotes strength and rigidity
coupled with dimensional stability. They are characterized by high abrasion resistance and
available as hybrid modifications with technical fillers and fibers.

“SGL Carbon group” has come with three products:

• PANOX - The oxidized fiber, for textile applications.

• SIGRAFIL T – A partially carbonized fibre ideally suited for industrial gaskets and

• SIGRAFIL C – heavy tow carbon fibre- it is an essential component to make

materials electrically conductive or mechanically reinforce. E.g. thermoplastics,
thermosetting resins, cement systems and floorings.


The use of Near Surface mounted Reinforcement for concrete structures are not a
new invention. A type of NSMR has been used since the 1940s, where steel reinforcement
is placed in slots in the concrete cover or in addition concrete cover that is cast onto the
structure. Here steel bars are placed in slots in the concrete structure and then the slots are
grouted. It has also been quite common to use steel bars, fastened to the outside of the
structure covered with shotcrete. However in these applications it is often difficult to get a
good bond to the original structure and in some cases, it is not always easy to cast the
concrete around the whole steel reinforcing bars. From 1960s the development of strong
adhesives such as epoxies, for the construction industry moved the method further ahead by
bonding the steel bars in sawed slots in the concrete cover. However, due to the corrosion
sensitivity of steel bars an additional concrete cover is still needed. For these applications,
epoxy coated steel bars are not always corrosion resistant for various reasons that will not
be discussed here. The use of steel NSMR cannot be said to have shown great success.
Nevertheless, by using CFRP NSMR some of these drawbacks that steel NSMR posses can
be overcome.
Fig. 5.1. Near surface mounted FRP, rectangular shapes and

Firstly, CFRP NSMR does not corrode, so thick concrete covers are not needed.
Secondly, the CFRP laminate can be tailor made for near surface applications and moreover
the lightweight of the CFRP laminates makes them easy to mount. Finally, depending on
the form of the form of the laminate air voids behind the laminates can be avoided. Both
epoxies and systems using high quality cement mortar can be used. However, before
proceeding, a short description of how to undertake a strengthening work with NSMR will
be given. In practical execution the following steps must in general be performed during

• Sawing slots in the concrete cover, with the depth depending upon product used and
the depth of concrete cover.
• Careful cleaning of the slots after sawing using high-pressurized water,
approximately 100-150 bars is recommended. No saw mud is allowed in the slot.
• If an epoxy system is used, the slot must be dry before bonding. If a cement system
is used it is generally recommended that the existing surfaces are wet at the time of
concrete mortar casting.
• Adhesive is applied in the slot, or with a cement system, cement mortar is applied in
the slot.
Table 5.1 Characteristics and aspects of externally bonded FRP reinforcement.

Properties NSMR

Shape Rectangular strips or laminates

Dimensions: Simple bonding of factory made profiles with adhesive

Thickness or cement mortar in presawed slots in the concrete
Width cover

Application aspects For flat surfaces

Depends on the distance to steel reinforcement
A slot needs to be sawn up in the concrete cover
The slot needs careful cleaning before bonding
Bonded with a thixotropic adhesive.
Possible to use cement mortar for bonding
Protected against impact and vandalism
Suitable for strengthening in bending
Minor protection against fire


In the design for strengthening with NSMR the following assumptions are made:

• Bernoulli’s hypothesis applies, i.e.; linear strain across the section varies
rectilinearly. This implies that the linear strain in the concrete, steel reinforcement
and laminate that occurring at the same level is of the same size. Composite action
applies between all the materials involved.
• Concrete stresses are obtained from the materials characteristic curve. Concrete
compression strain is limited to an approved failure strain of €=3.5%.
• For a cracked cross section, the concrete’s residual ensile strength is ignored.
• The stress in tensile and compression steel reinforcement are taken from the
reinforcement’s characteristics curve corresponding to the total strain. The total
strain in laminate may not exceed the failure strain.
• The laminate is assumed to be linearly elastic until breakage i.e.; Hooke’s law

In addition to this it is important to notice that if there exists a strain field on the
structure, due to for example the dead load, this must be considered in design.


The NSMR strengthening is based on fixing,by epoxy adhesive,Carbon Fibre

Reinforced Polymers into precut slits opened in the concrete cover of lateral surfaces of
beams.The EBR and NSM strengthening techniques are represented infig6 .

Fig.5.2 Strengthening techniques (a) external bonded,(b)near surface mounted

Detailing of the near surface mounted reinforcement is an
important issue; we need to select the most suitable FRP cross-section
and adhesive. In design there should be considered the minimum
distance between adjacent reinforcement to avoid horizontal
propagation of the splitting cracks, and the minimum distance from the
edge of the member to avoid edge splitting effect.

Application of near surface mounted FRP reinforcement consists

of the following working steps:

In the first step a groove is cut using a saw with one or two diamond
blades or a grinder with dimensions in function of the reinforcement size
and type. Further preparation of the groove consists of cleaning the
surface from dust and lose parts using vacuum or compressed air, then
the groove is filled halfway with adhesive, afterwards the FRP rod/strip is
inserted and lightly pressed to let the adhesive flow around the FRP.
Finally, the groove is filled with more paste and the surface is levelled
.The minimum dimension of the grooves should be taken atleast 1.5
times the diameter of the FRP bar. When a rectangularbar (strip) with
large aspect ratio is used, the minimum dimensionsmust be 3 times the
bar width and 1.5 times the bar height. In other instances, the minimum
groove dimension could be the result of installation requirements rather
thanengineering. For example the groove width may be limited bythe
minimum blade size and the depth by the concrete cover.We should
always avoid cutting of the existing steel reinforcement.Optimal
dimensions of the groove may depend on characteristicsof the adhesive,
surface treatment of FRP, and concrete tensile strength, surface
Fig. 5.3 Spacing of the NSM

Spacing of FRP shear reinforcement should not exceed lnet /2or 600 mm

Fig. 5.4 Shear Strengthening


Procedure for strengthening with NSMR

Fig.5.6 Strengthening of a concrete joint with NSMR


The advantages of Near Surface Mounted Reinforcements are:-

• a low weight of the fibre makes it easy to handle without lifting equipment at the
• negligible changes of crosssection, self weight and free height of a structure.
• quick to apply
There also exist disadvantages such as:
• Without protection the reinforcement is fire and impact sensitive.
• Design consultants, contractors and clients have limited experience.
Depending on the structure going to be strengthened, different aspects might arise. For
all strengthening methods it is of utmost importance to understand how the strengthening
will affect the final structure.


Several failure modes are known in general for elements

strengthened with FRP. Their understanding is important, because they
have significant effect on the ultimate load.

5.5.1 Failure Modes of Externally Bonded FRP Reinforcements

Bond is necessary to transfer forces from the concrete in to the FRP,

bond failure implies complete loss of composite action. Four different
bonding failures are discussed below:

• debonding in the concrete cover near the surface along a

weakened layer,
• debonding at the interface between concrete and adhesive,
• debonding in the adhesive, and
• debonding between adhesive and FRP
Peeling-off failure is associated with the propagation of the localized
debonding. Peeling-off failures can be distinguished according to the
initiation of debonding. Debonding can result in peeling-off at: flexural
cracks, shear cracks, unevenness of the concrete surface and in the
anchorage zones

Fig. 5.7 Interface bond failure modes for EBR FRP strips

5.5.2 Failure Modes of Near Surface Mounted FRP Reinforcement Interfacial Failure Modes

Interfacial failure modes can develop in two modes as a pure

interfacial failure or as a cohesive shear failure in the adhesive. Pure
interfacial failure can be identified by the absence of adhesive remained
at the FRP surface after failure. Cohesive shear failure can be identified
by the presence of adhesive on both FRPand concrete after failure.

(1) Failure at reinforcement adhesive interface

The pure interfacial mode can be critical for bars with smooth or
lightly sand-blasted surfaces, when the bond relies on adhesion instead
of mechanical interlock between bar and adhesive.

(2) Failure at the epoxy concrete interface

Interfacial failure was found critical only in case of precast grooves

due to their even surface. When this type of failure develops the bond
stress is lower than usual, but failure is more ductile due to the residual
friction at adhesive and concrete interface. Cover Splitting

The mechanism of cover splitting in case of round bars is similar to the

splitting bond failure of steel deformed bars, but due to the softer
deformations of the FRP bars the splitting tendency is not as intense.
Splitting is caused by the radial component of the bond stress. Multiple
types of cover splitting were observed, incase of epoxy adhesive
concrete cracking and concrete cracking accompanied by longitudinal
splitting of the adhesive, in case of cementitious mortar adhesive
splitting of the adhesive was dominant influenced by the low tensile
strength of the filler material. However, in case of NSM strips the
perpendicular component of interactional stress acts towards the thick
lateral concrete (exception are reinforcements close to the edge) so
splitting failure is less likely to appear
Fig. 5.8 Failure at epoxy concrete interface

Fig. 5.9 . Cover splitting failure of NSM round bars a) concrete

cracking b)
concrete cracking accompanied by longitudinal splitting
of the adhesive c) splitting of the adhesive Edge Splitting

Edge splitting failure can be critical in elements where the

reinforcement is close to the edge of the concrete member. It is induced
also by the development of interactional stress. Edge splitting failure can
be avoided by keeping a minimum distance from the edge; this should
be considered in design Thermal expansion differences between epoxy
and concrete can influence edge splitting. FRP Tensile Rupture

Tensile rupture (it has been rarely observed by non prestressed

strengthening) should be avoided according to its explosive nature.
Structures strengthened with prestressed FRP more frequently fail by
fibre tensile rupture because by prestressing the FRP we use a portion of
its strain capacity .


Originally, developed for aerospace and defense applications (aircraft and missile
parts) CFRP materials now find wide spread use across a number of industries. Apart from
construction field, CFRP materials are used in sporting goods industry, such as golf club
shafts, fishing rods, fences, tennis rackets etc. What’s more, CFRP materials are now
almost indispensable in the field of medical equipment and general machine construction.
As composite materials find increasing use in infrastructure applications were the design
lives are typically long, the issue of durability becomes more critical. The most damaging
factor faced by CFRP reinforcement is the environment from which steel reinforcement in
concrete is shielded automatically. The various external factors such as quality of concrete
surface, temperature conditions, humidity effect, effect of dynamic response with the
movement of traffic, impact resistance of composites that affect the process of
strengthening of concrete structures using CFRP should be studied in detail before
commencement of work.

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers are a real boon in the field of

strengthening of structures and concrete repair owing to its good
rigidity, high strength, low density, corrosion resistance vibration
resistance and low conductivity. The application of carbon FRP laminates
is very effective for flexural strengthening of reinforced concrete beams,
provided proper anchorage of the laminate is ensured. As the amount of
steel reinforcement increases, the additional strength provided by the
carbon FRP external reinforcement decreases. Mechanical clamping or
wrapping with FRP fabric combined with adhesion is effective in
anchoring the FRP laminate and increases the anchorage capacity above
that expected for adhesive bond only. If proper anchorage is provided,
such as by wrapping or clamping, the effective strain limit (or stress
level) currently proposed informally-for FRP reinforcement by ACI 440 is
close to being achievable for this particular type of carbon FRP. For
lightly (steel) reinforced beams, this design stress level in the FRP can
add substantially and economically to the beam strength.
Debaiky, A. S., Green, M. F. and Hope, B. F., “Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Wraps
for Corrosion Control and Rehabilitation of Reinforced Concrete Columns”, journal of
ACI Materials, March-April 2002, pp.129-137.
2. Anders Carolin.,”Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers for strengthening of
Structural elements’.(Doctoral Thesis) 2003.

3. J.A.O Barros, S.J.E Dias.,” Near Surface Mounted CFRP Laminates for Shear
Strengthening of Concrete Beams”, journal of Cement and Concrete
Composites28 (2006) 276-292, January 2005.

4. Zsombor Kalman Szabo., Gyorgy.L .Balazs., ”Near Surface Mounted FRP

Reinforcement for Strengthening of Concrete Structures”,(Research
Article),Periodica Polytechnica April 2006,pp33-38

5. www.sciencedirect.com

6.. www.wikipedia.org