Ductility Estimation for Flexural Concrete Beams Longitudinally Reinforced with Hybrid FRP-Steel Bars

Polymers (Basel). 2022 Mar 3;14(5):1017. doi: 10.3390/polym14051017.


An experimental study was conducted to evaluate the ductility of reinforced concrete beams longitudinally reinforced with hybrid Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP)-steel bars. The specimens were fourteen reinforced concrete beams with and without hybrid reinforcement. The test variables were bar positions, ratio of longitudinal reinforcement, and type of FRP. The beams were loaded until failure using a four-point bending test. The performance of the tested beams was observed using the load-deflection curve obtained from the test. Numerical analysis using the fiber element model was carried out to examine the growth of neutral axis due to the effects of the test variables. The neutral axis curves were then used to estimate the neutral axis angles and displacement indices. The test results showed that the reinforcement position did not significantly affect the flexural capacity of beams with a higher ratio of hybrid reinforcement, but was quite significant in beams with a lower ratio of hybrid reinforcement. It was observed from the test that the flexural capacity of beams with hybrid reinforcement was 15-45% higher than that of beams with conventional steel bars, depending on bar positions and the ratio of longitudinal reinforcement. The ductility of beams with hybrid reinforcement was significantly increased compared to that of beams with FRP, but decreased as the hybrid reinforcement ratio (Af/As) increased. This study also showed that the developed numerical model could predict the flexural behavior of beams with hybrid reinforcement with reasonable accuracy. Based on the test results, parametric analysis, and data obtained from the literature, the use of the neutral axis angle and displacement index value to evaluate the ductility of cross-sections with hybrid reinforcement is proposed.

Keywords: ductility; fiber element; hybrid FRP–steel reinforcement; hybrid reinforcement ratio; neutral axis.