Eric Jacques
M.A.Sc. Thesis, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada, pp. 288
Publication year: 2011

Abstract: Mitigation of the blast risk associated with terrorist attacks and accidental explosions threatening critical infrastructure has become a topic of great interest in the civil engineering community, both in Canada and abroad. One method of mitigating blast risk is to retrofit vulnerable structures to resist the impulsive effects of blast loading. A comprehensive re-search program has been undertaken to develop fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) retrofit methodologies for structural and non-structural elements, specifically reinforced concrete slabs and walls, subjected to blast loading. The results of this investigation are equally valid for flexure dominant reinforced concrete beams subject to blast effects. The objective of the research program was to generate a large volume of research data for the development of blast-resistant design guidelines for externally bonded FRP retrofit systems. A combined experimental and analytical investigation was performed to achieve the objectives of the program. The experimental program involved the construction and simulated blast testing of a total of thirteen reinforced concrete wall and slab specimens divided into five companion sets. These specimens were subjected to a total of sixty simulated explosions generated at the University of Ottawa Shock Tube Testing Facility. Companion sets were designed to study one- and two-way bending, as well as the performance of specimens with simply-supported and fully-fixed boundary conditions. The majority of the specimens were retrofitted with externally bonded carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets to improve overall load-deformation characteristics. Specimens within each companion set were subjected to progressively increasing pressure-impulse combinations to study component behaviour from elastic response up to inelastic component failure. The blast performance of companion as-built and retrofitted specimens was quantified in terms of measured load-deformation characteristics, and observed member behaviour throughout all stages of response. The results show that externally bonded FRP retrofits are an effective retrofit technique to improve the blast resistance of reinforced concrete structures, provided that debonding of the composite from the concrete substrate is prevented. The test results also indicate that FRP retrofitted reinforced concrete structures may survive initial inbound displacements, only to failure by moment reversals during the negative displacement phase. The experimental test data was used to verify analytical techniques to model the behaviour of reinforced concrete walls and slabs subjected to blast loading. The force-deformation characteristics of one-way wall strips were established using inelastic sectional and member analyses. The force-deformation characteristics of two-way slab plates were established using commonly accepted design approximations. The response of all specimens was computed by explicit solution of the single degree of freedom dynamic equation of motion. An equivalent static force procedure was used to analyze the response of CFRP retrofitted specimens which remained elastic after testing. The predicted maximum displacements and time-to-maximum displacements were compared against experimental results. The analysis indicates that the modelling procedures accurately describe the response characteristics of both retrofitted and unretrofitted specimens observed during the experiment.

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