Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Students retrofit concrete beam with composites

Students in MAE593R "STRUCTURAL COMPOSITES DESIGN course" work in the CONCRETE LAB strengthening REINFORCED CONCRETE beams with carbon composite. On the sides of the beam you can see the beam has been primed (clear color). On the top you see a layer of longitudinal reinforcement impregnated with (blue) resin. The students are applying resin to the sides in preparation for adding the shear reinforcement (vertical strips). It was a gorgeous spring day with temperatures in the low 70's. It was fun. Students designed the strengthening previously by hand, then checked it with a custom computer program developed by a graduate student here. The final check will be when we break the beams in the STRUCTURES LAB to see what their moment capacity is. EJB.

On the last class of the course, strengthened beams were loaded to failure; deflections monitored with LVDT, strains with strain gauges; we could see the cracks in the concrete, the load---deflection behavior on the computer screen; everything we said in class, it happened there in front of our eyes, on the beams the students prepared. It has been great to teach Chapter 13 as part of this course. A great conclusion for the course.  


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