Document Type



Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nakin Suksawang

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Ton-LO Wang

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Zhenmin Chen

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


FRP, NSM, surface flaw thresholds, concrete retrofitting, groove size tolerance

Date of Defense



Since the introduction of fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) for the repair and retrofit of concrete structures in the 1980’s, considerable research has been devoted to the feasibility of their application and predictive modeling of their performance. However, the effects of flaws present in the constitutive components and the practices in substrate preparation and treatment have not yet been thoroughly studied. This research aims at investigating the effect of surface preparation and treatment for the pre-cured FRP systems and the groove size tolerance for near surface mounted (NSM) FRP systems; and to set thresholds for guaranteed system performance. The research included both analytical and experimental components. The experimental program for the pre-cured FRP systems consisted of a total of twenty-four (24) reinforced concrete (RC) T-beams with various surface preparation parameters and surface flaws, including roughness, flatness, voids and cracks (cuts). For the NSM FRP systems, a total of twelve (12) additional RC T-beams were tested with different grooves sizes for FRP bars and strips. The analytical program included developing an elaborate nonlinear finite element model using the general purpose software ANSYS. The model was subsequently used to extend the experimental range of parameters for surface flatness in pre-cured FRP systems, and for groove size study in the NSM FRP systems. Test results, confirmed by further analyses, indicated that contrary to the general belief in the industry, the impact of surface roughness on the global performance of pre-cured FRP systems was negligible. The study also verified that threshold limits set for wet lay-up FRP systems can be extended to pre-cured systems. The study showed that larger surface voids and cracks (cuts) can adversely impact both the strength and ductility of pre-cured FRP systems. On the other hand, frequency (or spacing) of surface cracks (cuts) may only affect system ductility rather than its strength. Finally, within the range studied, groove size tolerance of +1/8 in. does not appear to have an adverse effect on the performance of NSM FRP systems.





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