Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

A. Gray Mullins, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rajan Sen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael J. Stokes, Ph.D.


Carbon fiber reinforced polymers, Pull-off testing, Repair, Surface preparation, Vacuum exposure


While fiber-reinforced polymer materials have many applications in various industries,when used structurally, many cases, such as flexural and shear strengthening, are considered bond critical. Interfacial bond quality between a fiber-reinforced polymer system and the substrate is dependent on two mechanisms: chemical bonding and mechanical interlock, with mechanical interlock having the greater effect on bond quality. Mechanical interlock describes the type of bond that occurs as a result of surface roughness and substrate porosity and can be significantly affected by surface preparation methods and surface moisture. This study aims to explore the possibility of enhancing bond quality between carbon-fiberreinforced polymers and a high-strength concrete substrate through the implementation of three strategies: surface preparation by wet jetting, employing lower viscosity epoxies, and applying the lowest viscosity epoxy under vacuum conditions. Bond quality was evaluated through both nondestructive and destructive test methods; more specifically, visual inspection, active pulse thermography, and tensile pull-off testing was performed. Results indicate that lower-viscosity epoxies and vacuum exposure does not increase bond strength, and surface preparation by wet jetting may improve bond quality as compared to preparation by sand blasting, however future work may be needed here.