This study presents the experimental evaluation of the behaviour of beams and columns made of Glued Laminated Guadua (GLG) bamboo. Flexural tests were conducted on structural size beams of various span lengths and two lamination orientations (horizontal and vertical) in order to evaluate the different capacities achieved according to the predominant induced stresses, bending or shear. Experimental results indicated a reduction of bending strength as the member’s size increased whereas lamination in the vertical direction presented 12% higher values of modulus of rupture (MOR), and 9% higher values of modulus of elasticity (MOE) compared to equivalent results for lamination in the horizontal direction. Additionally, compression tests were performed on structural size columns with various slenderness ratios and two lamination orientations. Although minor differences were found for lamination orientation, lower capacities were observed as the slenderness ratio increased. This experimental data is expected to be used in order to propose adjustment factors for structural size beams as well as the determination of the column stability factor.
In this paper, results of flexure tests aimed at improving the structural behavior of softwood beams reinforced with unglued composite plates and at developing an effective alternative to the use of organic resins are presented. The addition of modest ratios of GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) composite strengthening can prevent tension failure in timber beams. However the application of organic matrices presents problems of reversibility, compatibility and durability with timber and poor performance at high temperatures. The increment in capacity and stiffness and the analysis of the failure modes is the central focus of this paper. The experimental campaign is dealing with a significant number of un-reinforced and reinforced beams strengthened with unbonded GFRP plates. A 3-dimensional finite element model is also presented for simulating the non-linear behavior of GFRP-reinforced softwood beams. The ability of the numerical model to reproduce experimental results for the load–deflection curves is validated.