High-performance fibers are being widely researched for repair and rehabilitation in civil engineering structures. The potential benefits, liabilities, and architectural considerations regarding the use of high-performance fibers for reinforcing wood beams are discussed. An experimental program based on a four- and three-point bending test configuration is proposed to characterize the stiffness and strength response of wood beams reinforced with pultruded GFRP (glass fibers reinforced polymers) elements. Improving wood mechanical characteristics through the use of fiber reinforced polymers often involves the use of adhesives, generally epoxy resins. For this reason mechanical, calorimetric and thermo-gravimetric analyses were performed on the resin utilized and bonding effectiveness was studied. Mechanical tests carried out on full-scale wood beams showed that the reinforcement with GFRP beams may produce strong increases in flexural stiffness and capacity. In addition, an analytical investigation based on a simple linear analysis was conducted to predict ultimate load. At the end of this paper results of the experimental program are presented and used for comparison with the analytical procedure. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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