AbstractThe application of externally bonded (EB) carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) systems for strengthening existing structures, such as RC beams, has been widely approved in the construction industry worldwide for its numerous benefits. The CFRP-to-concrete bond has a governing role in the reliability and effectiveness of EB-CFRP systems. Indeed, failure of the CFRP-to-concrete bond can lead to rupture of CFRP-strengthened structures. Hence, ongoing research into assessment of bond behavior at the CFRP-to-concrete interface helps to bring more insightful clarity to the use of EB-CFRP strengthening techniques. The aim of this study is to evaluate the bond behavior between CFRP and concrete by conducting a series of pullout tests. The parameters considered include CFRP type (sheet versus laminate), bonded length, and bonded CFRP width. The results show that using CFRP fabric sheets can contribute to higher bond load-carrying capacity and ductility than CFRP laminates. Furthermore, through the analyses of databases in the literature, a bilinear bond–slip model is proposed that takes into account the CFRP width factor. Through a comparison, it is shown that the proposed model performs well in terms of predicting the maximum local bond stress and CFRP slippage.Practical ApplicationsThis research was aimed at investigating the use of CFRP composites for strengthening RC structures. The complexities regarding the behavior of CFRP-strengthened RC beams and columns, especially at the CFRP-to-concrete bond, provoked the authors to conduct this experimental study. The testing program was intended to evaluate the effect of certain parameters on the bond behavior of a CFRP-to-concrete interface. In addition, an analytical study was carried out to develop a model, capable of characterizing the interfacial behavior in terms of bond shear stress and bond slip. The proposed model proved to perform well at predicting the bond–slip behavior in a validation study. Findings obtained from this research can better familiarize civil engineers with the application of EB-CFRP strengthening techniques in concrete surfaces and possibly enhance the design of such retrofitting systems in deficient real-life RC structures.

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