Flax, Basalt, E-Glass FRP and Their Hybrid FRP Strengthened Wood Beams : An Experimental Study
In this study, the structural behavior of small-scale wood beams externally strengthened with various fiber strengthened polymer (FRP) composites (i.e., flax FRP (FFRP), basalt FRP (BFRP), E-glass FRP ("E" stands for electrical resistance, GFRP) and their hybrid FRP composites (HFRP) with different fiber configurations) were investigated. FRP strengthened wood specimens were tested under bending and the effects of different fiber materials, thicknesses and the layer arrangements of the FRP on the flexural behavior of strengthened wood beams were discussed. The beams strengthened with flax FRP showed a higher flexural loading capacity in comparison to the beams with basalt FRP. Flax FRP provided a comparable enhancement in the maximum load with beams strengthened with glass FRP at the same number of FRP layers. In addition, all the hybrid FRPs (i.e., a combination of flax, basalt and E-glass FRP) in this study exhibited no significant enhancement in load carrying capacity but larger maximum deflection than the single type of FRP composite. It was also found that the failure modes of FRP strengthened beams changed from tensile failure to FRP debonding as their maximum bending load increased.