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Abstract

Reinforced concrete is the most widely used building material in history. However, alternative natural and synthetic materials are being investigated for reinforcing concrete structures, given the limited availability of steel in developing countries, the rising costs of steel as the main reinforcement material, the amount of energy required by the production of steel, and the sensitivity of steel to corrosion. This paper reports on a unique use of bamboo as a sustainable alternative to synthetic fibers for production of bamboo fiber-reinforced polymer composite as reinforcement for structural-concrete beams. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of using this novel bamboo composite reinforcement system for reinforced structural-concrete beams. The bond strength with concrete matrix, as well as durability properties, including the water absorption and alkali resistance of the bamboo composite reinforcement, are also investigated in this study. The results of this study indicate that bamboo composite reinforced concrete beams show comparable ultimate loads with regards to fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforced concrete beams according to the ACI standard. Furthermore, the results demonstrate the potential of the newly developed bamboo composite material for use as a new type of element for non-deflection-critical applications of reinforced structural-concrete members. The design guidelines that are stated in ACI 440.1R-15 for fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement bars are also compared with the experimental results that were obtained in this study. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) design guidelines are suitable for non-deflection-critical design and construction of bamboo-composite reinforced-concrete members. This study demonstrates that there is significant potential for practical implementation of the bamboo-composite reinforcement described in this paper. The results of this study can be utilized for construction of low-cost and low-rise housing units where the need for ductility is low and where secondary-element failure provides adequate warning of collapse.

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