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Final Report Summary - ENDURE (European Network for Durable Reinforcement and Rehabilitation Solutions)

Overview
FRP reinforcement was firstly introduced in the construction industry in the late 1980’s and its use reached an important milestone in the mid 90’s, when many demonstration projects were completed in Japan, North America and Europe. Since then, the growth in use of FRP, especially in structural applications, has been remarkable, doubling in the last decade.
Despite the overwhelming popularity that FPRs are currently enjoying amongst researchers and the construction industry, however, there are still major scientific/technological (S/T) challenges that needs to be addressed and much research is needed to facilitate a wider adoption of these innovative products. Along with these S/T challenges, a bigger barrier to a more efficient and innovative use of composites in construction is the poor communication amongst researchers themselves, as well as between academia and industry.
The MC ITN endure nurtured a new generation of scientists and assisted in maintaining a critical mass of researchers to address the main S/T challenges, co-ordinate European research, and offer a link between academia and industry.
endure contributed to the work of COST Action TU1207 on Next Generation Design Guidelines for Composites in Construction and worked in parallel with Task Group 5.1 of the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib) and CEN TC 250 on the preparation of the first draft guidelines to incorporate the use of FRP as strengthening and reinforcing solution for concrete structures in the future revisions of Eurocodes.

Aim
The main aim of endure is to train researchers in the underlying principles so as to address the major S/T challenges and practical problems in the use of composite materials as internal reinforcement for new constructions and external strengthening solution for existing structures and infrastructure. This was achieved through a combination of research training and industry guidance.
endure aimed:
• To address the specific S/T challenges in the field and develop tests, models and advanced guidelines to help with the standardisation process.
• To bridge the gap between academia and industry and increase the competitiveness of the European composite and construction industry worldwide.

Objectives
The specific objectives of endure were:
1. To create the environment for delivering the best training for young researchers and further development of experienced researchers and to address their specific development needs.
2. To enable young researchers through their training and mobility to “cross-pollinate” industry and academia.
3. To provide comprehensive solutions to current S/T challenges and support the development of standards, tests and models.
4. To investigate the potential of new composite materials for applications in construction.
5. To develop innovative and sustainable strengthening techniques so as to improve or restore the performance of existing structures, including historic monuments and heritage buildings.
6. To assist the European advanced composites industry to identify improvements (including recyclability) and new uses for their materials for applications in construction.
7. To gather and maintain databases of information for the benefit of the wide research/industry community.
8. To maintain an update on the state-of-the-art in the field.
9. To disseminate the research findings and guidelines.

Work performed over the duration of the project
The MC ITN endure operated through six Work Packages (WP), including three scientific WPs (1 through 3) as well as three WPs dedicated to training activities (WP4), outreach activities and dissemination of results (WP5), and coordination of the network (WP6).

Scientific achievements: All partners were actively engaged in the key scientific activities and contribute to the objectives of the network through a series of coordinated individual research projects. endure trained a total of 19 researchers (14 ESRs and 5 ER) in the use of composites for the reinforcement and strengthening of concrete structures and the work of the fellows involved analytical, numerical and experimental investigations. The main research areas included: characterization of strengthening materials (WP1); bond and anchorage of FRP in/to concrete (WP1,2&3); shear behaviour of new structures (WP2) and use of innovative techniques for shear strengthening (e.g. near surface mounted and deep embedded FRP)(WP3); performance of composites at elevated temperatures (Wp1&3); strengthening of walls (WP3); fatigue and long term behaviour (WP2); torsional strengthening (WP3); development of novel, pre-fabricated FRP RC panels (WP1&2); development of innovative structural tapes for rapid repair (WP3). Throughout the four year of operation of the network, the progress of the fellows was discussed at nine plenary meetings, as well as at meetings of COST Action TU1207, fib T5.1 and during special endure events organised at International conferences, including a special session at the third International conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Structures (SMAR2015) and the International Conference on Advanced Composites in Construction (ACIC2017). ACIC2017, the seventh iteration of a biannual International conference, was co-organised and hosted by endure to mark the successful ending of the network and enable the fellows to showcase their results to an international audience of peers, senior scientists and industry representatives.

Dissemination and outreach activities: The fruitful collaboration with Action TU1207 (www.tu1207.eu) and fib TG5.1 (http://www.fibt51.ugent.be) over the four years of endure led to the co-organization of dissemination and training events that enabled endure to reach out to a larger-than-anticipated audience. This greatly benefitted all fellows, who were able to create long-lasting relationships with peers, expert scientist and industry representatives. A total of three Industry Seminars and Poster Competitions were organised by endure. The first of such events was held in Kaiserslautern, Germany, in October 2014, along with a workshop on Life Cycle Analysis and Whole Life Costing. Given the success of this first event, a second Industry Seminar and poster competition were organised in Dübendorf, Switzerland, in July 2015, whilst a third event was held in Lodz, Poland, in April 2016, along with a workshop on the use of Textile Reinforced Mortars (TRM) organised in collaboration with Action TU1207 and RILEM TC250 .
In addition to the intensive course on Experimental Mechanics organised in Dübendorf, Switzerland, in July 2015, three editions of the Research Training school on ‘Reinforcing and Strengthening of Structures with FRP Reinforcement’ were organised in Ghent, Belgium, in January 2015, 2016 and 2017 and attracted more than 100 participants from 25 different countries (www.frpcourse.eu).
A final conference was organised in conjunction with the final Network meeting along with a fourth poster competition event and special sessions for endure fellows.
All endure members also actively contributed to the coordination and preparation of a state-of-the-art on FRP in construction, which was made available in an open access form and can be accessed directly on figshare . The work of the network has also been actively disseminated by the individual partners and fellows at national and international exhibitions, PhD symposia and meetings of learned societies.

Main Results Achieved by endure
The strict collaboration between endure, COST Action TU1207, fib T5.1 and RILEM TC250 has enabled endure partners and fellows to contribute actively to the activities of these committees. endure has collaborated with fib T5.1 on the preparation of new bulletins, including one on strengthening applications (to be published in 2018), one on the use of FRP as internal reinforcement, and a series of extensive design examples.
endure partners are also members of Technical Committee 250 of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN/TC250) currently working on the new revisions of EN-1992. The members representing endure on this committee are: Professor Stijn Matthys (UGent); Professor Thanasis Triantafillou (UPatras); Dr André Weber (Associated Partner from Schoeck Bauteile GmbH).
A third successful Industry Seminar was organised within this reporting period in Lodz, Poland and counted more than 100 attendees. This seminar served to both strengthen the links between academia and industry as well as to give exposure to the work of the fellows through a dedicated poster competition.
Three editions of the international training school on ‘Reinforcing and strengthening of structures with FRP reinforcement’ (www.frpcourse.eu) took place at Ghent University (Belgium) in January 2015, 2016 and 2017 and attracted more than 100 participants from 20 different countries, including both researchers and practicing engineers. A comprehensive set of teaching and learning materials was developed and updated in collaboration with COST TU1207 and fib TG5.1 over the final period and covers fundamental concepts, advanced topics and scientific challenges, practical issues and design examples.

Anticipated Breakthroughs
The major breakthroughs anticipated by the project are:
• Training and technology transfer for the faster adoption of research outcomes and new materials by the construction industry.
• The strengthening of the European Research Area on composite reinforcement.
• The development of advanced behavioural models for bond anchorage, long-term deformations, durability, confinement, strengthening of joints, strengthening of statically indeterminate structures, prestressed FRP systems, fire and elevated temperature.
• The development of advanced and more flexible design guidelines suitable for adoption by European standards.

Reported by

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
United Kingdom

Subjects

Life Sciences
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