The paper is principally aimed at analyzing the role of externally applied fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) sheets in the shear ultimate behavior of reinforced concrete elements. A theoretical model for predicting the shear resisting contribution of FRP sheets is illustrated. The proposal is based on a complete equilibrium/compatibility approach for reinforced concrete beams failing in shear and considers the possible interactions between the composite contribution and the resisting mechanisms of an ordinary reinforced concrete beam. The proposal is discussed and tested by means of an experimental investigation carried out on beams reinforced by glass FRP composite sheets with a shear span to depth ratio equal to 3. Further comparisons are then performed that consider the predictions of other existing approaches reported in the literature.
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