Finite Element Modelling of FRP Strengthened Restrained Concrete Slabs

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This paper considers the use of Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis (NLFEA) to predict the load capacity of a range of experimentally tested in-plane restrained reinforced concrete slabs which experienced internal arching effects under loading. The slabs were constructed at one third scale and strengthened with basalt fibre reinforced polymer (BFRP) or carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) bonded in place using the near surface mounted (NSM) technique. As the research was representative of existing floor slabs within reinforced concrete building frames, all test specimens were constructed with normal strength concrete (~40N/mm2) and 0.15% steel reinforcement. One tenth of one percent fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) was used to strengthen samples which were compared with unstrengthened control specimens. The London University Structural Analysis System (LUSAS) finite element analysis software package was used to model all test samples using experimentally derived material test values.

Experiments and NLFEA models were compared with the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) arching theory which showed that LUSAS was slightly more accurate than the QUB arching theory in predicting slab capacity. However, the QUB arching theory was found to be slightly more consistent in estimating slab capacities compared with LUSAS. Yet, both of these methods were significantly better at predicting slab capacities than existing Eurocode and American Concrete Institute codes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-119
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date28 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis, NLFEA, LUSAS, Near surface mounted, NSM, Fibre reinforced polymer, basalt fibre reinforced polymer, carbon fibre reinforced polymer, FRP, BFRP, CFRP, strengthening, concrete, in-plane lateral restraint, arching, compressive membrane action.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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