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Enhanced concrete crack closure with hybrid shape memory polymer tendons

Balzano, Brunella ORCID:, Sweeney, John, Thompson, Glen, Tuinea-Bobe, Cristina-Luminita and Jefferson, Anthony ORCID: 2021. Enhanced concrete crack closure with hybrid shape memory polymer tendons. Engineering Structures 226 , 111330. 10.1016/j.engstruct.2020.111330

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The paper presents a new healing system that uses pre-tensioned hybrid tendons to close cracks in cementitious structural elements. The tendons comprise an inner core, formed from aramid fibre ropes, and an outer sleeve made from a shape memory PET. During the manufacturing process, the inner core of a tendon is put into tension and the outer sleeve into compression, such that the tendon is in equilibrium. A set of tendons are then cast in a cementitious structural element and heat activated once cracking occurs. This triggers the shrinkage potential of the PET sleeve, which in turn releases the stored strain energy in the inner core. The tensile force thereby released applies a compressive force to the cementitious element, in which the tendons are embedded, that acts to close any cracks that have formed perpendicular to the axis of the tendons. Details of the component materials used to form the tendon are given along with the tendon manufacturing process. A set of experiments are then reported that explore the performance of three different tendon configurations in prismatic mortar beams. The results from these experiments show that the tendons can completely close 0.3mm cracks in the mortar beams and act as effective reinforcement both before and after activation. A nonlinear hinge-based numerical model is also described, which is shown to be able to reproduce the experimental behaviour with reasonable accuracy. The model is used to help interpret the results of the experiments and, in particular, to explore the effects of slip at the tendon anchorages and the amount of prestress force that remains after activation. It is shown that, with two of the tendon configurations tested, over 75% of the prestress potential of the tendon remains after crack closure.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0141-0296
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 19:54

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