University of Minho

Research Group on Composite Materials for Structural Strengthening

and Fiber Reinforced Concrete

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RESEARCH PROJECTS
 
Project Title: CUTINSHEAR - Performance assessment of an innovative structural FRP strengthening technique using an integrated system based on optical fibre sensors
Reference no.:  
Financing institution: Portuguese Foundation for science and technique
Promoting institution: University of Minho
Partners: INESC Porto
Period: March 2005 to March 2007
Objectives:
  1. Develop a novel shear strengthening technique using laminates of CFRP, which, in comparison to the existent CFRP-based shear strengthening techniques, is simpler and faster to apply and is more efficacy in terms of provide higher increase of beam load carrying capacity and deflection at beam ultimate load

  2. Develop equipment for saw-cutting the slits where the CFRP laminates will be bonded by epoxy adhesive. This equipment should allow cutting slits of regulated width and deepness, and desired longitude

  3. Develop a unit control and acquisition system for measuring the strains in the CFRP laminates using optical fibers. These sensors will introduce marginal interference in the CFRP-concrete bond conditions. This device will be implemented into a servo-loop system to assure stable tests, controlling the test by the signal registered in the optical fiber sensors

  4. Develop design guidelines for this shear strengthening technique

 
Project Title: FICOFIRE - High performance fiber reinforced concrete of enhanced fire resistance
Reference no.:  
Financing institution: Portuguese Foundation for science and technique
Promoting institution: University of Minho
Partners: University of Coimbra
Period: March 2005 to March 2007
Objectives: Develop a Fibrous Concrete of 50-70 MPa compression strength, of Enhanced Fire Resistance and high ductility (FRCEFR). Distinct types of fibers will be used. One type has very low degree of polymerization, which in presence of a very high temperature will sublime. Cellulose fibers with fire retardants products which, in presence of very high temperature, will be transformed, by pyrolise, into carbon, shrinking, is an alternative solution. Both types of fibers, under the action of fire will create a network of micro channels for the escape of the water vapor. These types of fibers have also the purpose of decrease the crack propagation during the concrete plastic shrinkage phase. The other type of fiber has the purpose of providing high ductility for the concrete post-cracking behavior. For the alveolar concrete slab application the FRCEFR has also the purpose of being possible the production of slabs of larger span and thickness without the use of steel stirrups. In the swells for tunnel application, the FRCEFR should replace totally the conventional reinforcement.
 
Project Title: Cost competitive steel fibre reinforced concrete for industrial pavements
Reference no.: 34793/99
Financing institution: Programa operacional Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovação (POCTI)
Promoting institution: University of Minho
Partners:

CiviTest - Pesquisa de novos materiais para a Engenharia Civil, Lda.

Pisonort - Pavimentos Industrias, Lda.

Period: September 2000 to September 2003
Objectives:
  1. Develop a cost competitive steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) for industrial pavement applications

  2. Characterize the concrete and the bending behavior of SFRC by experimental tests

  3. Cost analysis of traditional and SFRC solutions

  4. Assess the structural behavior by tests in real scale

  5. Develop numerical models to analyze SFRC industrial pavements and setup design guidelines for this application

 
Project Title: PABERFIA - Painéis sandwich prefabricados de betão reforçado com fibras
Reference no.:  
Financing institution: Supported under the operational programs of science, technology, innovation - POCTI, by Society of information (POSI), FEDER and MCT
Promoting institution: PréGaia SA
Partners: CiviTest - Pesquisa de novos materiais para a Engenharia Civil, Lda.
Period: January 2003 to July 2005
Objectives:
  1. Develop rational strategies to design self compacting steel fiber reinforced concrete (SCSFRC) for applications in prefabricated elements

  2. Assess the durability of the SCSFRC by experimental tests

  3. Characterize the mechanical behavior of the SCSFRC by experimental tests

  4. Develop a manufacture system based on the prefabrication techniques, for producing lightweight panel elements of adjusted ductility, stiffness and strength for the demands of the real application

  5. By experimental tests, assess the behavior of the panels when submitted to the main load cases

  6. Develop numerical strategies to simulate the panel behavior up to its failure

 
RESEARCH FACILITIES
 
Numerical:
  • Software based on the finite element techniques, able of simulating the nonlinear behavior of concrete structures
 

Experimental:

   
Biaxial servo-controlled test machine (2000 kN in compression and 400 kN in tension)   Compression servo-controlled test machine (2500kN and 5000 kN in manual control)  
       
   
Test system for displacement or force servo-controlled tests with structural elements   Reaction frame and servo-controlled system for tests with concrete, masonry and timber small specimens  
       
     
Flexible reaction frame (including a reaction RC wall) for biaxial cyclic tests