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The paper discusses the results of an experimental investigation carried out on reinforced concrete (RC) beams strengthened in shear by externally bonded fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) sheets. The study is devoted to analyze the role that the transverse steel reinforcement and the beam slenderness ratio could play on the resistant mechanism of RC beams strengthened in shear by FRP composites. The results are summarized and analyzed in detail in the paper in terms of shear capacity, cracking pattern and shear resisting contribution of FRP.