Use of fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) composite materials for strengthening and repair of structural members has become an increasingly popular area of research and application in the last decade. However, the method is yet to become a mainstream application due to a number of economical and design related issues. From a structural mechanics point of view, an important concern regarding the effectiveness and safety of this method is the potential of brittle debonding failures. Such failures, unless adequately considered in the design process, may significantly decrease the effectiveness of the strengthening or repair application. In recent years, there has been a concentration of research efforts on characterization and modeling of debonding failures. This paper provides a review of the progress achieved in this area regarding applications to both reinforced concrete and steel members. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.