Mechanisms of Shear Resistance of Concrete Beams Strengthened in Shear with Externally Bonded FRP


In recent years, numerous investigations have addressed the shear strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) beams with externally bonded fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. Despite this research effort, the mechanisms of shear resistance that are developed in such a strengthening system have not yet been fully documented and explained. This clearly inhibits the development of rational and reliable code specifications. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of the shear resistance mechanisms involved in RC beams strengthened in shear with externally bonded FRP. It is based on results obtained from an experimental program, involving 17 tests, performed on full size T beams, and using a comprehensive and carefully optimized measuring device. The resistance mechanisms are studied by observing the evolution of the behavior of the strengthened beams as the applied loads are increased. The local behavior of the FRP and the transverse steel, in particular in the failure zones, are thoroughly examined. The operative resistance mechanisms are also studied through the load sharing among the concrete, the FRP, and the transverse steel, at increasing levels of applied load.