Reinforcement of wood with natural fibers

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Borri, Antonio ; Corradi, Marco ; Speranzini, Emanuela (2013)

This paper describes an experimental programme which examines the reinforcement in flexure of timber beams with composite materials based on natural fibers in the form of fabrics made from hemp, flax, basalt and bamboo fibers. The industrial use of natural fibers has been continuously increasing since 1990s due to their advantages in terms of production costs, pollution emissions and energy consumption for production and disposal. The technique allows the reinforcement of the intrados of beams, avoiding the dismantling of the overlying part of the structure with significant savings in terms of costs and work time. The test program consists of three phases incorporating 45 beams. The bending tests on the wooden elements made it possible to measure the increase in capacity and stiffness resulting from the composite reinforcement. This was applied to beams, creating different arrangements and using different quantities (number of layers). Despite the diversity of the various tests carried out, the results obtained in some cases showed significant increases in terms of load-carrying capacity and in deflection ductility.
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