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Glulam beams reinforced with FRP externally-bonded: theoretical and experimental evaluation

Materials and Structures
Springer - RILEM Publishing
Publication Date
  • Glulam
  • Frp
  • Reinforcement


The glued- laminated lumber (glulam) technique is an efficient process for the rational use of wood. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRPs) associated with glulam beams provide significant improvements in strength and stiffness and alter the failure mode of these structural elements. In this context, this paper presents guidance for glulam beam production, an experimental analysis of glulam beams made of Pinus caribea var. hondurensis species without and with externally-bonded FRP and theoretical models to evaluate reinforced glulam beams (bending strength and stiffness). Concerning the bending strength of the beams, this paper aims only to analyze the limit state of ultimate strength in compression and tension. A specific disposal was used in order to avoid lateral buckling, once the tested beams have a higher ratio height-to-width. The results indicate the need of production control so as to guarantee a higher efficiency of the glulam beams. The FRP introduced in the tensile section of glulam beams resulted in improvements on their bending strength and stiffness due to the reinforcement thickness increase. During the beams testing, two failure stages were observed. The first was a tensile failure on the sheet positioned under the reinforcement layer, while the second occurred as a result of a preliminary compression yielding on the upper side of the lumber, followed by both a shear failure on the fiber-lumber interface and a tensile failure in wood. The model shows a good correlation between the experimental and estimated results.

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