Improvements in the structural performance of glulam timber beams by the inclusion of reinforcing materials can increase both the service performance and ultimate capacity. This paper describes a series of four-point bending tests conducted, under service loads and to failure, on unreinforced, reinforced and post-tensioned glulam timber beams, where the reinforcing tendon used is 12 mm dia. basalt fibre-reinforced polymer. The research is designed to evaluate the benefits offered by including an active reinforcement in contrast to the passive reinforcement typically used within timber strengthening works, in addition to establishing the effect that bonding the reinforcing tendon has on the material's performance. Further experimental tests have also been developed to investigate the long-term implications of this research, with emphasis placed upon creep and loss of post-tensioning; however, this is ongoing and is not presented in this paper. The laboratory investigations establish that the flexural strength and stiffness increase for both the unbonded and bonded post-tensioned timbers compared to the unreinforced and reinforced beams. Timber that is post-tensioned with an unbonded basalt fibre-reinforced polymer tendon shows a flexural strength increase of 2ṡ8% and an increase in stiffness of 8ṡ7%. Post-tensioned beams with a bonded basalt fibre-reinforced polymer tendon show increases in flexural strength and stiffness of 15ṡ4% and 11ṡ5% respectively.
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