Strengthening of Concrete Beams with Basalt Fibre Reinforced Polymer

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Structures Congress 2020 - Selected Papers from the Structures Congress 2020

First Page


Last Page



This research study presents the experimental results of using basalt fibre reinforced polymer (BFRP) fabrics to flexurally strengthen reinforced concrete (RC), structural members. The purpose of this study was to determine the viability of using BFRP fabrics to strengthen RC members in situ. Using BFRP fabrics to externally strengthen RC structural members is a promising alternative to current RC structural repair and strengthening methods. BFRP fabrics, when compared to alternative fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) materials, are cheaper, exhibit better durability characteristics, and have a much higher fracture strain. Five full-size concrete specimens, with an internal steel reinforcement ratio of 0.77%, were studied. The test matrix contains one control specimen, and four additional specimens externally strengthened with an increasing number of BFRP layers. Increasing layers of two, four, six, and eight layers of BFRP fabric were used. This strengthening method showed significant strength increases in all the beams when compared to the control beam. Increases of up to 37% and 92% were observed in both yield and ultimate beam load capacity respectively. At the same points, the beam displacement increased by up to 5% and 54% at the yield load and ultimate load-deflection points respectively. This study did, however, determine a maximum number of layers of BFRP fabric which could be used to strengthen these RC beams before the failure mode changes. At the maximum limit of eight layers of BFRP fabric, the beam experienced brittle shear failure. All beams strengthened with six layers or less of BFRP fabric experienced a ductile flexural failure. The use of BFRP fabrics as an external strengthening member was found to provide excellent strength increases over the control specimen, while still maintain beam ductility. This novel method of maintaining and strengthening existing RC structures in situ provides a major cost and environmental benefit to countries that are trying to upgrade and maintain the existing ageing infrastructure.