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Title: Fatigue Performance of Real-Scale Precast GFRP Reinforced Lightweight Concrete Arches

Author(s): Bartosz Piątek and Tomasz Siwowski

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 360


Appears on pages(s): 729-743

Keywords: fatigue, lightweight concrete, GFRP reinforcement, concrete arch, bridge

DOI: 10.14359/51740659

Date: 3/1/2024

Due to a dynamic development of infrastructure, engineers around the world are looking for new materials and structural solutions, which could be more durable, cheaper in the life cycle management, and built quickly. One of prospective solutions for building small-span bridges can be precast lightweight concrete reinforced with glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebars. Thanks to prefabrication, it is possible to shorten the construction time. Using lightweight concrete affects structure weight as well as transportation costs. GFRP rebars can make the structure more durable and also cheaper in terms of life cycle management costs. The paper focuses on the fatigue performance of a real-scale arch (10.0 m (33 ft) long, 1.0 m (3.3 ft) wide, and 2.4 m (7.9 ft) high) made of lightweight concrete and GFRP rebars (LWC/GFRP) in comparison with an arch made of normal weight concrete and typical steel reinforcement (NWC/steel). The fatigue loads ranging from 12 to 120 kN (2.7 to 27 kip) were applied in a sinusoidal variable manner with a frequency of 1.5 Hz. This research revealed that the NWC/steel arch exhibited significantly better fatigue resistance when compared to the LWC/GFRP arch. Differences in the behavior of the NWC/steel and LWC/GFRP models under fatigue load were visible from the beginning of the research. The LWC/GFRP model was exposed to fatigue loads, resulting in gradual deterioration at an early stage. This degradation was evident through stiffness being progressively reduced, leading to increased displacements and strains as the number of load cycles increased. The model did not withstand the fatigue load and was destroyed after approximately 390 thousand load cycles, in contrast to the NWC/steel model, which withstood all 2 million load cycles without significant damages or the stiffness being decreased. However, the prefabricated lightweight concrete arches with composite reinforcement seem to be an interesting alternative of load-bearing elements in infrastructure construction.