Untitled Document
| Participants Login |
European Network for Composite Reinforcement
Shared Left Border
level1_r2_c1.gif (1788 bytes) The Network Partners Research Training Meetings En-Core Activities

Overall Approach and Research Methodology

The consortium will achieve the overall objectives through the Work Packages shown below.

WP1 (Material standards, Testing and Characterisation)

will deal with short and long-term material characteristics. Another task of this WP is to keep a technology watch for new materials and processes that may have applications in construction. A report will also be made on environmental aspects, including recyclability. All ESRs/ERs will be trained to have an awareness of new developments in this field.
The mechanical characteristics of composites for construction are still difficult to evaluate, since their strength is affected by their interaction with the concrete through bond and anchorage. In particular, standard tests and models describing accurately the mechanical characteristics of round bars will be developed based on experimental work and numerical modelling. These tests will be used to undertake International Round Robin tests. These tests will be open to participants from outside the consortium, aiming to get information from as diverse sources as possible.
The long-term characteristics of FRP will be studied using accelerated tests. Of particular interest is the development of models simulating the behaviour of FRP in concrete, in view of the high alkalinity of concrete. An attempt will be made to couple these models with models for short-term characteristics to derive improved safety factors for design.
The deterioration of polymers at relatively high temperatures is still of concern to many engineers in practice and models simulating behaviour in fire or at elevated temperatures will be developed.
Concrete confinement models will be developed that relate the axial strain of concrete to the lateral strain on FRP jackets. Other parameters that will be considered include the jacket material and the column geometry. Comparisons of the new models will be made against existing models and experimental results.

WP2 (New Structures with FRP reinforcement)

will deal with research in reinforced and prestressed concrete. A new philosophy proposed during the ConFibreCrete TMR network will be examined for the design of concrete structures with FRP reinforcement, since all the constituent materials are inherently brittle. The new philosophy will be examined further and adopted in the next generation of design guidelines, by taking into account models for long-term characteristics. Improvements on current models for shear (and curved FRP) and comprehensive design guidelines will be developed for bond and anchorage. Anchorage will also be investigated for prestressed concrete applications and other concerns in this field include the effects of long-term stress, fatigue, relaxation and stress rupture characteristics of the tendons.

WP3 (Strengthening and Rehabilitation of Existing Structures)

deals with externally bonded reinforcement (EBR) on concrete and masonry. Research will concentrate on validating models and improving the existing design guidelines to make them less conservative. Standard tests to evaluate the bond characteristics of plates are not universally accepted and after studying the merits of existing tests, International Round Robin tests will be organised to examine the suitability of these tests using different materials.
Three areas where more research effort will be allocated are NSR, joint strengthening and strengthening of statically indeterminate structures. In all cases the scientific challenge is to understand the effectiveness of bonding and anchoring FRP. This research will rely primarily on parametric experimental research to help develop new behavioural models.
The approaches and techniques adopted by each Scientific work package vary depending on the nature of the task and include literature search, material technology, characterisation, standardisation of test set-ups, non-linear FEA, other numerical techniques, structural testing, assessment of anchorages, assessment of construction techniques, assessment of experimental data, development and testing of design guidelines and information technology.
The research methods required are both interdisciplinary and intersectorial and the ESRs/ERs working in this field will be specifically trained to cope with this approach.

WP4 (Training and Transfer of Knowledge)

will offer both continuous and discrete training activities. All participants in the consortium have expertise in post-graduate and post-doctorate research training and ESRs/ERs will be fully integrated in the existing research teams and activities. To help cultivate the network spirit, but also to provide a more harmonized education, Intensive Research Training courses will be delivered each year. To help assess, but also to develop general and professional skills, ESRs/ERs will prepare and present posters and presentations at special Conferences.

WP5 (Proactive Knowledge Dissemination and Industrial Liaison)

will deal with proactive dissemination and intersectorial collaboration. Proactive dissemination will be undertaken through the publications of scientific papers in journals, conferences and bulletins, articles newsletters and trade news. Participants in the network will proactively disseminate information to the numerous national and international networks they participate and support actively the work of Task Group 9.3 of the International Federation of Concrete.
An assessment of industry needs will be undertaken through the use of questionnaires. This will help guide the network as to what information needs to be communicated, as well as identify research needs from a different perspective. Two special dissemination seminars aimed specifically at the European Construction Industry will be delivered during the length of the network aiming to make them aware of developments, as well as encourage more to get involved in the field.

WP6 (Information Management and Passive Dissemination)

will ensure the efficient management and flow of information of the network. Networking is primarily a meeting of minds, hence regular meetings of the network will be undertaken to ensure that communication lines remain open and problems are resolved at an early stage. The regular meetings of the network will be coordinated to coincide with Management group meetings, seminars/conferences/training courses offered by the network, as well as with meetings of TG 9.3 of the fib and other international committees/conferences in the field.
A web based management site will be developed. The web site will provide general information to the public, but also have a secure area where the network correspondence is kept, including documents under development.
The web site will also provide an information service through the establishment of several databases dealing with composite materials, construction projects using composites and scientific papers/publications. These databases will be developed in collaboration with national and commercial networks.