Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Issam E. Harik


FRP laminates and fabrics, used as an externally bonded reinforcement (EBR) to strengthen or repair concrete members, have proven to be an economical retrofitting method. However, when used to strengthen long-span members or members with limited access, the labor and equipment demands may negate the benefits of using continuous EBR FRP. Recently, CFRP rod panels (CRPs) have been developed and deployed to overcome the aforementioned limitations. Each CRP is made of several small diameter CFRP rods placed at discrete spacing. To fulfill the strengthening length, CRP’s are spliced together and made continuous by means of overlaps (or finger joints).

In this doctoral dissertation, the effectiveness of spliced CRPs as flexural strengthening reinforcement for RC members was investigated by experimental, analytical and numerical methods. The experimental research includes laboratory tests on (1) RC beams under four-point bending and (2) double-lap shear concrete specimens. The first set of tests examines the behavior of concrete members strengthened with spliced CRPs. Several beams were fabricated and tested, including: (a) unstrengthened, (b) strengthened with spliced CRPs, (c) strengthened with full-length CRPs, and (d) strengthened with full-length and spliced CFRP laminates. The double-lap shear tests serve to characterize the development length and bond strength of two commonly used CRPs. Several small-scale CRPs, with variable bond lengths, were tested to arrive to an accurate estimation of development length and bond strength. Several other specimens were additionally tested to preliminarily examine the effects of bond width and rod spacing.

A 3D nonlinear finite element simulation was utilized to further study the response of CRP strengthened RC beams, by extracting essential data, that couldn’t be measured in the experimental tests. Additionally, analytical tools were added to investigate the behavior of tested bond and beam specimens. The first tool complements the double-lap shear tests, and provides mathematical terms for important characteristics of the CRP/concrete bond interface. The second tool investigates concrete cover separation failure, which was observed in the beam testing, for RC beams strengthened with full-length and spliced CRPs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)