Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Steel Fibers on the Flexural Behavior of Corroded Prestressed Reinforced Concrete Beams
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMaterials. 2023, 16 (4), . 10.3390/ma16041629
Rebar corrosion and its consequences are one of the most common damages to reinforced concrete (RC) structures. In structures with greater sensitivity, such as prestressed reinforced concrete (PRC) structures, where steel elements, including prestressed tendons, play a more significant role in supporting the structure, the importance of this issue increases. Methods for repairing and reinforcing such structures have been developed, including incorporating fibers into the concrete mixture to improve its mechanical properties, particularly its bending resistance. This paper presents the results of an experiment that studied the influence of steel fibers on the flexural behavior of PRC beams subjected to accelerated corrosion. Twelve beams with a rectangular cross-section of 150 mm × 300 mm and a length of 2000 mm were fabricated. The steel fibers used in the experiment were corrugated and hooked-end types, with volume fractions of 0.5% and 1.0% in the concrete. Nine beams were subjected to accelerated corrosion testing, with three of them being without fibers and the remaining six being reinforced with steel fibers at volume fractions of 0.5% and 1.0%. Each group of three beams was exposed to three different levels of corrosion, namely 5%, 10%, and 15%. The specimens were tested after exposure to corrosion through a four-point bending load. The accelerated corrosion was induced using an electric current on the prestressing tendons. The results indicated that different levels of corrosion reduced the final bearing capacity and other behavioral characteristics of the specimen, including the amount of energy absorption, effective hardness, and midspan displacement. Adding fibers to the concrete mixture positively affects the compensation of these reduced capacities. Moreover, the amount of this compensation was directly correlated with the volume fraction of used fibers.