Second-Generation Implants for Load Introduction into Thin-Walled CFRP-Reinforced UHPC Beams: Implant Optimisation and Investigations of Production Technologies

Materials (Basel). 2019 Nov 30;12(23):3973. doi: 10.3390/ma12233973.


Combining two high-performance materials-ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) as the matrix and carbon-fibre-reinforced composites (CFRP) as the reinforcement-opens up new possibilities for achieving very lightweight thin-walled concrete elements. This strategy, however, leads to a higher degree of material utilisation, resulting in the generation of higher forces around load introduction points and supports. The authors present a solution for increasing the performance of supports of very slender CFRP-reinforced UHPC beams by using metal implants. Implants are used in place of concrete in regions of stress concentrations and significant deviation forces. These are able to transfer high stresses and forces efficiently due to their ability to sustain both tension and compression in equal measure. A key issue in their development is the interface between the reinforced concrete and metal implant. Building on previous research, this paper deals with the conceptual design of three types of implants manufactured from different metals and with three different types of automated production technologies (water-jet cutting, metal casting with a 3D-printed plastic formwork and binder jetting of steel components). For this paper, tests were carried out to determine the load-bearing behaviour of beams with the three different types of support implants used for load introduction at the supports. A carbon rod served as bending reinforcement and a pre-formed textile reinforcement cage served as shear and constructive reinforcement.

Keywords: CFRP; CFRP reinforcement; UHPC; load introduction in thin-walled concrete elements; metal implants for engineering structures; sustainable construction; thin-walled concrete.