Innovated shear deformable FE formulations for the analyses of steel beams strengthened with orthotropic GFRP laminates



The present study develops an innovated shear deformable theory and four finite element formulations based on a total potential energy variational principle for the analysis of steel beams strengthened with GFRP laminates. The present theory captures orthotropic properties of the GFRP laminae, GFRP lamina stacking sequences, partial interaction between the steel beam and the GFRP laminates, and shear deformations. Three examples are conducted for the validation of the present theory. Through comparisons, the system responses predicted by the present solutions are excellently validated against those of recent experimental studies and three-dimensional finite element analyses. Key results obtained in the present study include: (i) the responses of GFRP-strengthened beams are strongly influenced by GFRP fiber angle arrangements. (ii) The strengthening is the most effective for steel beams strengthened with a GFRP laminate stacked with fiber angles of 0 degree. Based on two parametric studies, the effects of the orthotropic GFRP lamina properties and GFRP laminate thicknesses on the system deflections are also investigated.