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One of the biggest problems impacting the long-term performance of concrete repairs and bonded overlays is cracking of the repair material and repair material debonding from the concrete substrate. There are many purposes for concrete repair, including prolonging the useful service life of a deteriorated or distressed structure or element, restoring the load carrying capacity and the stiffness, and strengthening the structure. In most cases, for the repair to be successful, monolithic action (acting as one unit) between the repair material and the substrate concrete (the composite repair system) is needed. A prerequisite for monolithic action is long lasting bond between the existing concrete substrate and the repair material. The mechanisms and characteristics of bond between existing concrete and repair materials have been researched in the past. It is a very broad and generic engineering task. Thus, the scope of existing guidance and specifications on methods to ensure obtaining long-term bond is limited. This is mainly due to the lack of understanding of some of the factors that affect bond strength and durability of in situ repairs. Despite the relatively large pool of theoretical knowledge, the practical issues related to surface preparation of existing concrete to achieve long lasting bond are still inadequately addressed. This is demonstrated by the small number of ongoing research projects in the field, the current state of limited knowledge, the codes of practices, and in some cases the continued poor performance of repairs and overlays.
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