Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Shear capacity of FRP-prestressed structures

At a glance

Funding body: EPSRC £53,000
Principal investigator: Tim Ibell
Researcher: Paul Whitehead
Industry partners: Parsons Brinckerhoff
Dates: 1998-2002


Fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials have many advantages over the use of steel to prestress concrete structures. However, they can lead to catastrophically brittle behaviour if not used appropriately.

This project looked to use helically-wound FRP reinforcement in FRP-prestressed concrete beams. The FRP helices were present to confine the concrete in the compression zone and to provide significant ductility. But they also added shear strength, and this project quantified this using simple plasticity theory.

The results show that the appropriate and wise use of FRP can lead to higher-capacity and ductile concrete structures.