Evaluation of Spliced UHM CFRP Strip Panels for Strengthening Steel Beams

Akram Jawdhari, Abheetha Peiris, Amir Fam, Issam Harik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Short ultrahigh-modulus (UHM) carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) strip panels connected through a finger joint configuration offer a convenient modular method for strengthening steel girders. Three-dimensional nonlinear finite-element (FE) analysis was conducted to characterize the interfacial and flexural behavior of strip panels. The calibrated FE model provides an efficient and economical method of evaluating different parameters related to the material properties and strengthening configuration of the UHM CFRP strip panels, for which experimental data are not available. Analysis implemented robust features, including debonding of CFRP using a mixed-mode bond-slip model, CFRP rupture, steel yielding, and concrete slab crushing. Predictions were calibrated and validated against experimental results from double lap shear tests and flexural tests of steel beams and steel-concrete composite beams. The FE model was used to investigate the effects of finger joint location, joint length, and laminate thickness. Strip panels with 300-mm-long finger joints and thicknesses of up to 2 mm equaled the strength of a continuous laminate with the same CFRP area. Both failed by CFRP rupture. At greater thicknesses, debonding occurred at lower ultimate loads than for a continuous laminate. The finger joint splice was also compared to the traditional splice plate method. The splice plate length required to achieve the same level of load transfer was longer than the finger joint length when the connection was in the maximum moment region. For a given CFRP thickness and splice plate length (or finger joint length), strip panels with finger joints provide greater load-carrying capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04022094
JournalJournal of Composites for Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author thanks the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (CPCI) and MITACS Canada for providing him financial support for a 2-year Elevate Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The authors are grateful to Dr. Chris Van Dyke and Mr. Cody Hutchinson for reviewing the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Bond
  • Bond-slip relation
  • CFRP
  • Finite element
  • Steel beam
  • Strengthening
  • Ultrahigh modulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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