AbstractThe aim of this research is to promote the use of G.R.P. as a structural material. In the past, the use of G.R.P. has been confined to non-load carrying applications. Such uses are still rapidly increasing but in addition significant changes have been made during the last decade in the development of semi-structural and now even fully structural applications. Glass-reinforced plastic is characterized by a high strength but a relatively low modulus of elasticity. For this reasona G.R.P. structure can expect to show large deformations as a result of which the individual structural members will fail under load due to a loss of stability rather than approaching the ultimate strength of the material. For this reason the selection of the geometrical shapes of G.R.P. structural elements is considered to be an important factor in designing G.R.P. structures.
The first chapter of this thesis deals with a general review of the theoretical and experimental methods used to describe the structural properties of G.R.P. The research programme includes five stages dealing with the structural behaviour of G.R.P.
The first stage (Chapter 2) begins with selecting and designing an optimum box beam cross-section which gives the maximum flexural and torsional rigidity. The second stage of investigation (Chapter 3) deals with beam to beam connections. A joint was designed and manufactured with different types of fasteners used to connect two beam units. A suitable fastener was selected and the research extended to cover the behaviour of long span beams using multiple joints.
The third part of the investigation includes a study of the behaviour of box beams subjected to combined bending, shear and torsion. A special torque rig was developed to perform the tests.
Creep deformation of 6 m span G.R.P. was investigated as the fourth stage under a range of loading conditions.
As a result of the phenomenon of post buckling behaviour exhibited in the compression flange during testing of box beams during earlier stages of the investigation it was decided to consider this phenomenon in more detail in the final stage of the investigation. G.R.P. plates with different fibre orientation were subjected to uniaxial compression and tested up to failure.
In all stages of the investigation theoretical predictions and experimental results were compared and generally good correlation between theory and experimental data was observed.
|Date of Award||May 1979|
|Supervisor||M. Holmes (Supervisor)|