Comparative Evaluation of the In-Plane Shear Behaviour of GFRP Composite Wall Systems With and Without Window Openings

Xeros, Saxon R. (2021) Comparative Evaluation of the In-Plane Shear Behaviour of GFRP Composite Wall Systems With and Without Window Openings. [USQ Project]

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The development of new construction methods and materials is of significant importance in the 21st Century, with the impacts of the construction industry on the environment, economy, and society a major issue. New construction methods such as modular construction may help to reduce these impacts, and research into alternative materials is also required to address the limitations of traditional building materials such as steel, concrete, and timber. Glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) is a light-weight, strong, and durable material that is gaining interest in the construction industry as an alternative building material, and has high potential for use in modular construction. With advances in manufacturing of GFRP products, development of new structural systems is possible, including load bearing wall systems.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of sheathing and window openings on the inplane shear behaviour of a GFRP wall system consisting of pultruded rectangular hollow section GFRP frame members with GFRP sheathing on each side, attached to the frame with structural adhesive. The hold-down arrangement consists of two M20 bolts passing through the bottom plate, with mechanical inserts. Three panels were subjected to in-plane shear loading until failure, with the panels being frame only, fully sheathed, and sheathed with a window opening. The deflection, failure, and strain behaviour was observed and analysed to assess the effects of sheathing and the presence of a window opening. A parametric study using finite element analysis (FEA) was then undertaken in Strand7, investigating how opening size affects the in-plane shear behaviour of the wall system.

The experimental and FEA results showed that sheathing added substantial stiffness to the wall system, and that openings resulted in stiffness reduction approximately proportional to the opening size. Failure of both sheathed panels was by splitting of the bottom plate at the hold-down. It was confirmed using FEA that opening size did not affect the load on the hold-down, and therefore in terms of strength, failure at the hold-down is unaffected by opening size. Other potential failure modes were explored, showing that for failure due to cracking at the corners of the opening occurs, larger openings result in a decrease in strength. These other failure modes also indicated the potential of significantly higher strengths than the hold-down failure mode observed in the experiment. It was also found that the presence and size of openings affects the development of stresses in the sheathing and affects the stress distribution in the vertical, compression stud, which may increase the potential for other failure modes.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Manalo, Allan
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 22:06
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 03:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: construction, glass fibre reinforced polymer, GFRP, modular, wall, shear, failure

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