Numerical and experimental investigations of vibration-based assessment of timber beams rehabilitated by fibre-reinforced polymer

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Timber has been traditionally used all over the world as a construction material. Built timber structures may require repair and/or strengthening because of a number of factors such as age-related deterioration, fungus or termite attacks and damage caused by overloading. In recent years, a great deal of research and development has been focused on utilizing vibration based methods to detect structural damage and use of fibre reinforce polymer (FRP) on timber for strengthening or repair damaged timber structural members in various types of structures. Although the application of FRP for repair and/or strengthening of structures has been researched for a decade, anon-destructive evaluation of the effectiveness and reliability of the FRP repaired or strengthened structure are yet to be investigated. In this study, the damage index method, i.e. a robust vibration-based damage detection method, is proposed to localize and quantify damage in timber beams and to evaluate the effectiveness of repair for the damaged timber beams, in which the damaged timber beams are repaired by applying carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP). In addition to numerical investigation using Finite Element (FE) analysis, an experimental program comprising of static and dynamic testing was carried out on five laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beams. Different damage cases (severe, moderate, minor) are introduced on these beams. The experimental results indicate that the use of CFRP was effective in repairing the damaged timber beams. Both numerical and experimental investigations have also shown that the proposed damage index method is able to accurately detect damage location and severity, and evaluate the repair effectiveness for damaged timber beam after repairing with CFRP.
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