An innovative pultruded fiber reinforced polymer (FRP)–wood composite (PFWC) column with a lightweight southern pine wood core confined by outer FRP sheets was manufactured using an improved pultrusion process. Axial compression tests with both ends pinned as boundary conditions were employed to investigate the mechanical performance of such PFWC columns under concentric load. Through experimental investigations, the effects of the slenderness ratio on the failure modes and the axial load bearing capacities of the PFWC columns were evaluated. The failure modes showed that the specimens with a slenderness ratio less than 43.2 failed through compressive failure at junctions on FRP sheets, while those with slenderness ratios larger than 57.6 showed global buckling. Strain responses on specimens with different slenderness ratios are consistent with the observed failure modes. Finite element analysis was carried out to validate the experimental results, and satisfactory agreement was found between the failure modes and load–displacement curves. An empirical equation was developed with a new factor taking 0.65 into account to predict the load bearing capacities of the PFWC columns, and good agreement was found.
- Composite column
- Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP)
- Pultrusion process
- Slenderness ratio