Stress Intensity Factor Assessment for the Reinforcement of Cracked Steel Plates Using Prestressed or Non-Prestressed Adhesively Bonded CFRP

Materials (Basel). 2021 Mar 26;14(7):1625. doi: 10.3390/ma14071625.


The use of adhesively bonded carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials to reinforce cracked steel elements has gained widespread acceptance in order to extend the lifespan of metallic structures. This allows an important reduction of the stress intensity factor (SIF) at the crack tip and thus a significant increase of the fatigue life. This paper deals with the assessment of the SIF for repaired cracked steel plates, using semi-empirical analysis and finite element analysis. Metallic plates with only one crack originating from a center hole were investigated. Virtual crack closure technique (VCCT) was used to define and evaluate the stress intensity factor at crack tip. The obtained modeling results are compared with experimental investigations led by the authors for different reinforcement configurations including symmetrical and non-symmetrical reinforcement, normal modulus and ultra-high-modulus CFRP plates, and pre-stressed CFRP plates. Results show that finite element model (FEM) analysis can obviously simulate the fatigue performance of the CFRP bonded steel plates with different reinforcement configurations. Moreover, a parametric analysis of the influence of the pre-stressing level was also conducted. The results show that an increase of the pre-stressing level results in an increase of the fatigue life of the element.

Keywords: CFRP bonded reinforcement; finite element analysis; mild steel; pre-stressed CFRP; stress intensity factor.