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Fire behaviour of natural flax fabric reinforced polymer composite confined fibre reinforced concrete structures

Master Thesis

The use of plant-based natural fibres will be beneficial for the development of environmentally-friendly construction and building materials with high energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint. Most recent studies show that natural flax fabric reinforced polymer (FFRP) composites as strengthening systems, in the forms of pre-fabricated FFRP tubes and external bonded plates, can be used to enhance load carrying capacity, energy dissipation capability and ductility of concrete structures remarkably. However, widespread application of natural fibre reinforced polymer (i.e. flax) strengthening systems in buildings, where structural fire ratings are required, is hindered due to unknowns surrounding the reduction in their mechanical and bond properties at elevated temperature. The lack of data related to fire performance is a major challenge that needed to be addressed prior to the widespread acceptance of natural fibre reinforced composites for practical engineering application. Therefore, this thesis will presents the first-ever experimental study on the fire performance of flax fabric reinforced polymer composite strengthened fibre reinforced concrete beams and columns. This thesis is anticipated to provide the fundamental knowledge on fire behaviour of natural fibre reinforced polymer composites for future sustainable construction research.

The tasks include:

  • Manufacturing flax FRP strengthened concrete beam and column specimens
  • Evaluation mechanical properties of flax FRP composites at elevated temperatures
  • Evaluation axial compression and flexural behaviour of flax FRP strengthened concrete beam and column specimens at elevated temperatures
  • Evaluation bond behaviour between flax FRP and concrete at elevated temperatures
  • Data analysis of experimental data

Knowledge of composite materials and concrete structures; knowledge of fire engineering; mathematical skills; English language - communication skills; Self-motivation.

The final thesis report can be written in English or in German. Because the mentor speaks only English, it is most useful for the student, to speak al least some English.

Qualified candidates have the opportunity to be promoted to research assistant with proper grants.