Experimental behavior of reinforced concrete beams strengthened with prestressed CFRP shear straps
One promising means of increasing the capacity of existing shear-deficient beams is to strengthen the structure using external prestressed carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) straps. In this system, layers of CFRP tape are wrapped around a beam to form a strap that acts like a discrete unbonded vertical prestressing tendon. Experiments were undertaken to investigate the influence of the strap spacing, the strap stiffness, the initial strap prestress level and/or any preexisting damage on the strengthened behavior, and mode of failure. An unstrengthened control beam was tested and failed in shear. In contrast, all of the strengthened beams showed a significant increase in their ultimate load capacity with several of the strengthened beams failing in flexure. A number of different failure modes were noted and initial guidelines on the design parameters that influence the propensity for a particular failure mode were developed.