Numerical validation framework of GFRP floor models using structural health monitoring

J. W. Ngan, C. C. Caprani, Y. Bai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


Pultruded glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites have favourable mechanical and structural properties that makes it a promising structural material for building floor construction. Recently, a new GFRP floor system has been developed in Monash University. The floor system is a web-flange sandwich panel with pultruded GFRP box profiles incorporated between two pultruded GFRP flat panels. However, due to the lightweight and lightly-damped nature of GFRP, this floor system could be susceptible to excessive vibrations due to human dynamic loadings, leading to problems with vibration serviceability. In turn, monitoring structure dynamic performance is important in GFRP floor systems. Conventionally, computer models of floor structures were used along with experimental data to assess structural performance. To this, an in-house finite element (FE) model is developed to assess the dynamic performance of GFRP sandwich panel floors. In this FE model, GFRP sandwich panels were modelled as equivalent plate elements together with Timoshenko beam elements to form a typical slab-beam floor configuration. This paper presents the development and validation of the in-house FE model. The validation is performed using experimental data of a laboratory GFRP sandwich panel footbridge. The boundary conditions of the footbridge (beams and end supports) provide good validation basis for an equivalent one-way spanning GFRP floor system. By validating the FE model, reliable numerical predictions of modal properties, and structural responses (e.g. deflections and accelerations) can be achieved for vibration performance assessment of GFRP sandwich panel floors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACMSM25
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 25th Australasian Conference on Mechanics of Structures and Materials
EditorsChien Ming Wang, Johnny C. M. Ho, Sritawat Kitipornchai
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789811376030
ISBN (Print)9789811376023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
EventAustralasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials 2018 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 4 Dec 20187 Dec 2018
Conference number: 25th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


ConferenceAustralasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials 2018
Abbreviated titleACMSM 2018
Internet address


  • Finite element
  • GFRP
  • Model validation
  • Sandwich panel

Cite this