Open Access
Blass, Robert Anthony
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 11, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Bohumil Kasal, Thesis Advisor
  • Andrew Scanlon, Thesis Advisor
  • Dr Maria Lopez De Murphy, Thesis Advisor
  • Dr Chris Muhlstein, Thesis Advisor
  • crack
  • arch
  • reinforcement
  • Wood
The following research deals with the laboratory testing of laminated wooden arches unreinforced and reinforced with glass-fiber rods. An artificial crack was placed between laminations, and behavior of the arch and rods were monitored as the crack grew upon loading (rod strains, crack length, displacement, etc.). The intent was to develop a deterministic analytical model using experimental data from the tested arches to investigate the effects of composite reinforcements. The model utilized an interface element scheme to simulate fracture in the arches, and the element behavior was governed by the fracture properties of the laminated wood. The model behavior was compared to that of the laboratory tests to determine the models accuracy. Comparisons between the model and laboratory data include crack growth in the arches with respect to time, load versus deflection, strain in the reinforcing rods, and the effectiveness of the rods as reinforcement versus unreinforced arches. Crack propagation and crack detection gages were used to track the cracks growth during increased loading, and strain gages were used to monitor the strain in the rods. Compact fracture tests, as well as tensile tests were done on samples of the tested arches to provide necessary inputs into the analytical model. The reinforcing rods were also tested in tension along the fibers to obtain the modulus, as this orientation would receive the largest strains during testing (that is, a perpendicular modulus was of negligible importance). The gages were tested to determine if they failed upon the crack reaching them, and the crack itself was measured using radiographic imaging as well as a high speed camera.