Precast, prestressed, hollow-core (HC) slabs are extensively used in many structures such as parking garages, commercial and industrial buildings. It is common for such structures to undergo changes while still in service, which may result in a reduction of their strength. One of these changes is to add in-situ openings at different locations along the slab to accommodate services such as intake/exhaust ducts or utility conduits. Near surface mounted (NSM) strengthening technique has proved to be an adequate technique that can be employed to restore or enhance the performance of the original structure. In this paper, the effect of openings and the efficiency of using NSM carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips as strengthening technique are investigated. A total of three full-scale prestressed HC slabs were tested; one without opening, one with an opening in the pure flexural zone and one with strengthened opening. Test results showed the presence of opening along the flexure span had a significant adverse effect on the post-cracking flexural stiffness, cracking load and the ultimate capacity of the slab. However, strengthening the opening with two strips of NSM-CFRP effectively enhanced the post-cracking stiffness, increased the ductility of the member and restored the flexural strength deficit incurred as a result of cutting the opening, and provided a net increase in flexural capacity.
Full Text (PDF)