Structural Characterization of Hybrid FRP-Glulam Panels for Bridge Decks (2)
Publication Name: Journal of Composites for Construction
The structural characterization of hybrid fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP)Ðglued laminated (glulam) panels for bridge deck construction is examined using a combined analytical and experimental approach. The structural system is based on the concept of sandwich construction with strong and stiff FRP composite skins bonded to an inner glulam panel. The FRP composite material was made of E-glass reinforcing fabrics embedded in a vinyl ester resin matrix. The glulam panels were fabricated with bonded eastern hemlock vertical laminations. The FRP reinforcement was applied on the top and bottom faces of the glulam panel by wet layup and compacted using vacuum bagging. An experimental protocol based on a two-span continuous bending test configuration is proposed to characterize the stiffness, ductility, and strength response of FRP-glulam panels under simulated loads. Half-scale FRP-glulam panel prototypes with two different fiber orientations, unidirectional (0¡) and angle-ply (±45¡), were studied and the structural response correlated with control glulam panels. A simple beam linear model based on laminate analysis and first-order shear deformation theory was proposed to compute stiffness properties and to predict service load deflections. In addition, a beam nonlinear model based on layered moment-curvature numerical analysis was proposed to predict ultimate load and deflections. Correlations between experimental results and the two proposed beam models emphasize the need for complementing both analytical tools to characterize the hybrid panel structural response with a view toward bridge deck design.