Various methods are developed for strengthening reinforced concrete beams against shear. Strengthening of reinforced concrete beams using external bounding of steel plates was one of the popular research areas of recent years. This study presents test results on strengthening shear deficient reinforced concrete beams by external bonding of steel plates. Eleven reinforced concrete beams with a T-section were tested under monotonic loading in the experimental program. Three main types of steel members with different arrangements were bonded to the side of the beam webs along the shear span by using epoxy. The purpose was to obtain ductile behavior for shear deficient reinforced concrete beams. The test result confirmed that all steel plate arrangements improved the strength and stiffness of the specimens significantly. The tension reinforcement of all strengthened reinforced concrete specimens was yielded. The failure modes and ductility of specimens were proved to differ according to the type of the steel member and arrangement along the beam. Beams that were strengthened with continuous steel plate along the shear span showed ductile flexural behavior. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.