Document Type


Publication Date



Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics -- Analysis, Concrete beams -- Testing, Frost-resistant concrete -- Evaluation


This research investigated the durability of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites (CFRP) used for shear strengthening reinforced concrete deck girders. Large beams were used to avoid accounting for size effects in the data analysis. The effort included determining the role of freeze-thaw, moisture, and fatigue on structural performance and developing analytical design procedures that account for durability.

The results showed that moisture infiltration behind the CFRP, combined with freeze-thaw, was critical in reducing shear panel stiffness and shear capacity. Long-term moisture exposure alone produced only a minor decrease in shear capacity. Freeze-thaw, combined with fatigue, had little effect on shear capacity if water infiltration was minimized. Fatigue caused some debonding, but the debonding was not significant enough to affect capacity.

Use of ACI-318 with ACI 440 provided conservative predicted shear strengths after environmental exposure. However, the ACI approach did not provide uniform levels of safety because the observed conservatism was built into the prediction for the unstrengthened base specimens but not for the CFRP contribution. Consequently, a recommendation of the research is to apply the environmental exposure factor at the final design step to limit the effective CFRP stress/strain. For locations with very large numbers of wet freeze-thaw cycles and extended exposure to continuous moisture, the environmental reduction factors should be reduced even further. To better predict the CFRP bond strength demands that can occur due to shear-moment interaction, a further check of the design should be made beyond those required by ACI-440.


This is a final report, SPR 652 OTREC RR-09-09, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:



Persistent Identifier