Finite element modelling of CFRP-strengthened rectangular steel tubes subjected to end bearing loads
Recent tests undertaken at Monash University have shown that externally bonded carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) plates are effective in enhancing the end bearing load capacity of steel rectangular hollow section (RHS) tubes. This paper reports the first stage of the authors' work on the finite element modelling of the behaviour of CFRP-strengthened steel rectangular hollow section (RHS) tubes under end bearing forces. A finite element model is presented and is shown to provide close predictions of the initial part of the experimental loaddisplacement behaviour of CFRP-strengthened RHS tubes obtained using a test set-up that allows the bearing plate to rotate about a transverse axis. However, the finite element model significantly overestimated the ultimate load because debonding of the CFRP plates from the steel section was not considered in the finite element model. In order to accurately model the behaviour of CFRP-strengthened RHS tubes, it is necessary to simulate the debonding behaviour appropriately. Further research should thus focus on the accurate simulation of this debonding behaviour.