Finite element modeling of RC columns made of inferior concrete mix strengthened with CFRP sheets

Khaled A.Alawi Al-Sodani, Muhammad Kalimur Rahman, Mohammed A. Al-Osta*, Omar S.Baghabra Al-Amoudi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Reinforced concrete (RC) structures with low-strength RC columns are rampant in several countries, especially those constructed during the early 1960s and 1970s. The weakness of these structures due to overloading or some natural disasters such as earthquakes and building age effects are some of the main reasons to collapse, particularly with the scarcity of data on the impact of aspect ratio and corner radius on the confinement effectiveness. Hence, it is crucial to investigate if these columns (with different aspect ratios) can be made safe by strengthening them with carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) sheets. Therefore, experimental and numerical studies of CFRP-strengthened low-strength reinforced concrete short rectangular, square, and circular columns were studied. In this investigation, a total of 6 columns divided into three sets were evaluated. The first set had two circular cross-sectional columns, the second set had two square cross-section columns, and the third set has two rectangular cross-section columns. Furthermore, FEM validation has been conducted for some of the experimental results obtained from the literature. The experimental results revealed that the confinement equations for RC columns as per both CSA and ACI codes could give incorrect results for low-strength concrete. The control specimen (unstrengthened ones) displayed that both ACI and CSA equations overestimate the ultimate strength of low-strength RC columns by order of extent. For strengthened columns with CFRP, the code equations of CSA and ACI code overestimate the maximum strength by around 6 to 13% and 23 to 29%, respectively, depending on the cross-section of the column (i.e., square, rectangular, or circular). Results of finite element models (FEMs) showed that increasing the layer number of new commonly CFRP type (B) from one to 3 for circular columns can increase the column’s ultimate loads by around eight times compared to unjacketed columns. However, in the case of strengthened square and rectangular columns with CFRP, the increase of the ultimate loads of columns can reach up to six times and two times, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-417
Number of pages15
JournalEarthquake and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Cfrp
  • Columns
  • Finite element modeling
  • Low strength concrete
  • Strengthen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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