Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary


Steel is used as reinforcement in concrete masonry walls to improve resistance against both in- and out-of-plane lateral loads. Most research on this type of construction has focused on the ability of masonry to resist cyclic loading. Research has typically been aimed at understanding either the effect of vertical reinforcement alone or vertical reinforcement in conjunction with bed joint or other horizontal reinforcement, where this latter reinforcement was used to increase the shear strength. An experimental program has been executed to study the effect of horizontal (bed joint) and vertical reinforcement independently, and the combined effect of both vertical and horizontal reinforcement on the shear strength of concrete masonry walls. Forty-two concrete block walls, 1.6m long by 1.4 m high, have been tested under in-plane vertical and lateral loading. Statistical analysis of the results showed that while the horizontal reinforcement appears to decrease the shear strength, the reduction is not statistically significant between specimens subjected to the same level of axial stress, but the reinforcement does enhance the post cracking performance of the walls. Axial stress affects the shear strength significantly.

Key words
Bed joint reinforcement, biaxial test, concrete blocks, shear strength