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Structural Concrete, Vol. 8, no. 1, March 2007

Metallic fabric jackets: an innovative method for seismic retrofitting of substandard RC prismatic members

G. E. Thermou, Demokritus University of Thrace, Greece 
S. J. Pantazopoulou, Demokritus University of Thrace, Greece 

This paper presents the results of a recent experimental research study where metallic (high-strength steel cord) fabric jackets (MF jackets) were utilised for the seismic upgrading of substandard reinforced concrete members. The proposed intervention method and its practical application are described in detail. Specimens were cantilevers with a square cross-section, representing a typical building column at half scale. The length of the test region corresponded to half the span of a typical storey building column under lateral sway. Due to lack of adequate seismic detailing the specimens were susceptible to various modes of failure such as web shear failure, buckling of compression reinforcement or failure in the lap splice region. The as-built specimens were first damaged up to failure after being subjected to combined axial loading and cyclic lateral displacement reversals simulating seismic loading. In the next phase, specimens were retrofitted with both composite and metallic fabric jackets and then tested again under the same load history. The results of this preliminary experimental research programme show that the metallic fabric jackets performed in an excellent way compared to glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced polymer jackets, increasing substantially both the strength and the deformation capacity of the repaired members. The excellent mechanical performance of the metallic fabrics combined with many of the advantages of the synthetic wraps (easy handling, no change in member dimensions) and the intrinsic favourable properties of steel (fire resistance), underline the potential of this novel material in repair/strengthening of reinforced concrete as an alternative option for jacketing applications. 

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