Flexural behavior of beams reinforced with either steel bars, molded or pultruded GFRP grating
This paper investigates the flexural behavior of concrete beams reinforced longitudinally with either steel bars, molded glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) grating mesh or pultruded glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) grating mesh, under four-point bending. The variables included in this study were the type of concrete (normal weight concrete, perlite concrete and vermiculite concrete), type of the longitudinal reinforcement (steel bars, molded and pultruded GFRP grating mesh) and the longitudinal reinforcement ratio (between 0.007 and 0.035). The influences of these variables on the load-midspan deflection curves, bending stiffness, energy absorption and failure modes were investigated. A total of fifteen beams with a cross-sectional dimension of 160 mm X 210 mm and an overall length of 2400 mm were cast and divided into three groups. The first group was constructed with normal weight concrete and served as a reference concrete. The second and third groups were constructed with perlite concrete and vermiculite concrete, respectively. An innovative type of stirrup was used as shear reinforcement for all beams. The results showed that the ultimate load of the beams reinforced with pultruded GFRP grating mesh ranged between 19% and 38% higher than the ultimate load of the beams reinforced with steel bars. The bending stiffness of all beams was influenced by the longitudinal reinforcement ratio rather than the type of concrete. Failure occurred within the pure bending region which means that the innovative stirrups showed a significant resistance to shear failure. Good agreement between the experimental and the analytical ultimate load was obtained.