Structural health monitoring (SHM) is becoming a popular topic. Carbon fiber reinforced concrete (CFRC) is an intrinsically smart material that can sense strain. The resistivity increases reversibly under tension and decreases under compression. A new skin-like sensor —cement-based smart layer had been put forward, which can serve as whole field strain sensor. The smart layer is satisfactorily consistent with concrete structure. The smart layer is a thin carbon fiber mat cementbased composite material layer with finite electrodes. It can cover the surface of concrete structure, and provide on-line reliable information about the deformation of whole concrete structure. The static characteristics of the new-type sensor had been researched. Its gage factor is 20-25 under tension and 25-30 under compression within the elastic deformation range. Furthermore the smart layer has satisfactory linearity and repeatability. In this paper, the sensor characteristics of the bare carbon fiber mat have been reached. The resistivity of carbon fiber mat has good agreement with strain under uniaxial tension. The gage factor can be up to 375, and the sensor limit can be up to 10000 microstrain. The strain and the fractional change in electrical resistance .R/R0 are totally reversible and reproducible under cyclic loading and amplitude-variable cyclic tensile loading.