Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


The Extrinsic Influence of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic Laminates to Strengthen Steel Structures

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-2008


The intrinsic advantages of strengthening the steel-based structures by the use of fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) material have not yet been fully exploited. In this paper, a succinct overview of recent studies made to enhance the strength of steel beams using FRP laminates is presented. The results presented and discussed in this paper were obtained by closely studying the behaviour of steel beams strengthened with carbon FRP material. An attempt is made to succinctly summarise the findings for two different types of strengthening of the steel beams using carbon FRP laminates. The first type of beams focuses on enhancing the strength of steel in flexure while the second focuses on increasing the shear strength of the beams. Three beams were designed so as to cause them to fail in flexure. Of the beams studied, two were strengthened using carbon FRP strips attached to the tension flange. One of the beams was tested to facilitate comparison of their behaviour to the two beams which are strengthened in flexure. Three other beams were designed such that they failed predominantly in shear. Of these three, two were strengthened with carbon FRP strips attached to the webs while the third beam was used as a control beam for the purpose of drawing comparisons. Preliminary results revealed a noticeable increase in the strength for both the flexure strengthened beams and the beams strengthened in shear. The observed increase in shear strength of the beams was 26% while the increase in strength for the beams tested in flexure was 15%. This study convincingly shows that it is possible to strengthen steel beams using carbon FRP laminates in both flexure and in shear.

Publication Title






First Page


Last Page