CFRP Repaired Welded Thin-Walled Cross-Beam Connections Subject to In-Plane Fatigue Loading
|Published in:||International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics, January 2012, n. 1, v. 12|
Cracked cross-beam connections made of thin-walled rectangular hollow sections (RHS) are repaired with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets. Constant amplitude fatigue experiments are conducted on the repaired specimens. A pilot test is conducted on a T-connection of square hollow sections (SHS) to explore the effective method of applying CFRP. Due to the peeling effect at the corner region of the SHS-to-SHS connection, early debonding happens in the pilot test that only results in a slight extension in fatigue life. In the following experiments of repairing RHS-to-RHS cross-beam connections, circumferential or transverse restraining CFRP patches are applied in the corner region that prevents early debonding successfully and leads to significant increase in fatigue life. Finally, an improvement is made with the addition of steel strengthening plates that increase both the flexural stiffness and fatigue life of the cracked specimens significantly. The proposed retrofitting method may be useful for repairing other similar fatigue-cracked welded tubular connections.
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