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Microstructure, flexural properties and durability of coir fibre reinforced concrete beams externally strengthened with flax FRP composites

: Yan, L.; Su, S.; Chouw, N.


Composites. Part B, Engineering 80 (2015), pp.343-354
ISSN: 1359-8368
ISSN: 1879-1069
Journal Article
Fraunhofer WKI ()

This study investigated the flexural behaviour of plain concrete (PC) and coir fibre reinforced concrete (CFRC) beams externally strengthened by flax fabric reinforced epoxy polymer (FFRP) composites. PC and CFRC beams without and with FFRP (i.e. 2, 4 and 6 layers) reinforcement were tested under three- and four-point bending. The microstructures of coir fibre, coir/cement matrix, flax/epoxy matrix, and FFRP/concrete interfaces were analysed using scanning electronic microscope (SEM). Test results indicated that the peak load, flexural strength, deflection and fracture energy of both PC and CFRC specimens enhanced proportional to an increase of FFRP layers. Coir further increased load, strength and energy of the specimens remarkably. It was also found that the thickness and coir influenced the failure modes while the test method influenced the load and energy of the specimens remarkably. SEM studies showed effective bond at coir/cement, flax/epoxy and FFRP/concrete interfaces. Therefore, it concluded that natural FFRP composites can be used to repair or retrofit existing concrete structures.