AbstractThe use of Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) has recently become widespread in the construction industry. However, some drawbacks related to premature debonding of the FRP composites from the bonded substrates have been identified. One of the solutions proposed is the implementation of mechanical anchorage systems. Although some design guidelines have been developed, the actual knowledge continues to be rather limited. Thus, designers and researchers have not yet achieved any consensus on the efficiency of any particular anchor device in delaying or preventing the premature debonding failure mode that can occur in Externally Bonded Reinforcement (EBR) systems. This paper studies the debonding phenomenon of FRP anchoring systems with a linear variable width, with a numerical analysis based on the Distinct Element Method (DEM). Combined systems with constant and variable width are also discussed. The FRP-to-parent material interfaces are modelled with a rigid-linear softening bond–slip law. The numerical results showed that it is possible to attain the FRP rupture force with a variable width solution. This solution is particularly attractive when the bonded length is shorter than the effective bonded length because the strength of the interface can be highly incremented.