Efficient CFRP strap configurations for the shear strengthening of RC T-beams
A prestressed carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) strap retrofitting system has been found to significantly enhance the shear capacity of existing reinforced concrete beams. In previous studies, the CFRP straps were supported on metal pads placed on the top and bottom of a beam necessitating top surface access. The goal of the current work was to develop a system where the straps were installed from underneath a slab without compromising the strengthening efficiency. A series of T-beam experiments was conducted where the CFRP straps were inserted through holes that were drilled from below the flange, thereby avoiding the need for access to the top surface. The depth of penetration of the CFRP straps into the compression flange, the concrete strength, the CFRP strap spacing, the presence of holes in the compression flange, and the size of the loading pads were all found to affect the shear performance. Using the most successful installation technique, the resulting CFRP strengthened beam failed at a load that was approximately 50% higher than that of an unretrofitted control beam.