All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nasim Uddin

Advisory Committee Members

Wilbur Hitchcock

Jason T Kirby

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) School of Engineering


Composite technology, including the use of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP), may be the answer to many growing structural engineering concerns. With the growth and development present in the United States, efficient transportation infrastructures must be maintained as to provide linkage between ports of commerce. With forty percent of all bridges either structurally deficient or obsolete, a low cost, quick repair method is needed which can facilitate these arterials remaining open during a rehabilitation process. Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) can perform under these conditions. It fully exceeds the traditional hand layup method of an FRP application; often times providing twenty to thirty percent more flexural capacities to an existing girder structure. These qualities were first tested utilizing fullscale beam tests in the structural testing laboratory at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. FRP was adhered in both the VARTM method and traditional methods to beam samples, designed for certain failure modes, in order to provide flexural and shear strengthening. Experimental results were compared with calculations defined in the American Concrete Institute's (ACI) Guide for the Design and Construction of Externally Bonded FRP Systems for Strengthening Concrete Structures. Based on information collected through laboratory studies, a comparison was drawn between traditional hand layup methods of application and the VARTM method of application. First, failure modes for specimens containing external FRP were researched through literature from experiments already iii conducted. Second, capacity of beams using control (nonwrapped) traditional hand layup and VARTM layup were determined experimentally. Third, comparisons between failure modes exhibited and capacity sustained were described and explained. From this report, one will find the VARTM method does increase capacity over the traditional methods while not distorting the failure mode.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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