Kenaf fiber reinforced polymer composites for strengthening RC beams
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This paper presents the findings of an experimental study to investigate the structural behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) beams externally strengthened with various types of kenaf fiber reinforced polymer composite laminates with 50% fiber volume content. The experimental parameters including flexural strength, stress-strain relationship, deflection, tensile stress and young modulus of beams strengthened by different kenaf fiber reinforced polymer composites are discussed. In order to test the flexural strength of the RC beams, a total of eight beams divided into two series were used. In each series, every two of the beams were strengthened with kenaf/epoxy, kenaf/polyester, and kenaf/vinyl ester composite laminates respectively. The remaining two were kept as control specimens. The experimental moment capacity of each beam was calculated using tensile strength and young modulus of the composites. Comparisons were made on the load-deflection, strain behavior and failure mode. Moreover, theoretical moment capacity of each beam was calculated using conventional formulation to verify experimental results. The research findings indicated that all strengthened beams improved structural performance where the maximum flexural strength increase by 40% and maximum deflection reduced by 24%.
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