Externally bonded method would be the most potential technique for optimal shear strengthening of deficient reinforced concrete (RC) beam subjected to eliminate premature debonding failure. The main aim of this research was to eliminate debonding failure of steel plate using embedded connector systems for optimal shear strengthening of RC beam. Dimensions of steel plates were optimized based on the proposed design guideline in accordance with EC2. The strengthened beams with connectors were then compared with those of U-jacketing system. Bond strength enhancements of steel plate using connectors were experimentally investigated through pullout test of prisms. The beam specimens were fabricated and tested to investigate the effects of embedded connectors. Result showed that steel bar and adhesive embedded connectors significantly increased the bond strength of externally bonded plates. The connectors completely prevented premature debonding failure of steel plates and allowed the beams to fail by flexure with full ductility and strength, whereas U-jacket showed the premature debonding of plates. The embedded connectors optimized/reduced the dimension of the externally bonded steel plate by 60% as compared to those of arbitrarily strengthened beam. The experimental results satisfactorily verified the proposed design guideline.
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