Cement-Based Mortar Panels Reinforced with Recycled Steel Fibers in Flexural Strengthening of Concrete Beams
The effectiveness of a strengthening technique devised for the concrete beams subjected to bending is presented in this study, where recycled-steel fiber-reinforced mortar (RSFRM) panels are used as an eco-friendly replacement for ordinary steel fibers. Different mix designs for RSFRM are first investigated experimentally by testing 160 × 400 × 400 mm3 notched beam-like specimens in 3-point bending, while 100 × 100 × 100 mm3 cubes are tested in compression, to optimize the mix design. Finite element (FE) analyses are carried out on strengthened and non-strengthened beams to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed strengthening technique based on RSFRM panels. Starting from the tests on notched beams, an inverse FE analysis is used to optimize the RSFRM’s parameters to be implemented into the numerical model. The results show that applying RSFRM panels not only markedly increases the load-bearing capacity of the beams (up to 3.19 times with 3% of fibers by volume), but also changes their fracture mechanism from brittle to ductile fracture.
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