Experimental characterization of FRP composite-wood pile structural response by bending tests
Publication Name: Marine Structures
A special prefabricated fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite shield or jacket was developed to repair wood piles in the field. Two types of load-transfer mechanisms between the wood pile and the FRP composite shield were developed and tested: (1) cement-based structural grout; and (2) steel shear connectors with an expanding polyurethane chemical grout. The objective of this paper is to characterize the structural response of full-size pre-damaged wood piles repaired with the FRP composite shield system. A three-point bending test procedure was used to simulate the response of a pile subjected to lateral loads. The load-deformation response, deflected shape profile, relative longitudinal displacements (slip), strain distribution, ultimate bending moment capacity and mode of failure were evaluated. Wood piles were pre-damaged by reducing approximately 60% of the cross-section over a portion of the pile. It was found that a pre-damaged wood pile repaired using the FRP composite shield with cement-based grout exceeded the bending capacity of a reference wood pile. The repair system using the FRP composite shield with steel shear connectors and polyurethane grout did not fully restore the bending capacity of a reference wood pile; however it can be used for marine borer protection when wood damage is not critical.