Experimental and numerical assessment of the location-based impact of grouting defects on the tensile performance of the fully grouted sleeve connection
The presence of grouting defects emanating from construction operations constitutes a major threat to the structural integrity of the grouted sleeve connection of precast concrete members. This work presents a location-based assessment of the impact of grouting defects on the tensile performance of the grouted sleeve connection. Twenty-two specimens with different configurations of defects were subjected to a uniaxial tensile experiment. Corresponding numerical models were proposed, validated and used to conduct a sensitivity analysis of the connection to the defect's location while considering different design confinements of grouting materials. Experimental and numerical studies revealed the following outcome: In consideration of confinement parameters, when the defect of size 3d is located in the mid-span anchorage length, the variation of the sleeve-to-bar diameter (ds/d) from 2.66 (lower design limit) to 3.55 (upper design limit) changed the drop in the ultimate capacity from 19% to 44% below the connection's design requirement. The governing parameters of the grout-bar bond stiffness were the defect's location and degree of confinement. This work proposes a theoretical diagnosis model and a risk assessment catalogue as a promising step toward establishing a computerized diagnosis model of the defective connection to enlighten rational maintenance actions in actual construction.
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