Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Sreekanta Das


digital image correlation, joint reinforcement, masonry concrete blocks, masonry prisms, shear reinforcement




Shear reinforcement or stirrups are placed vertically inside the hollow portion (cells) of the blocks in reinforced masonry beams. It becomes challenging and time consuming for the placement of standard steel rebar as shear reinforcement in 20 cm or narrower masonry beams since masonry standards require shear stirrups to bend around the longitudinal reinforcement. Even the smallest standard rebar available in Canada (10M bar) with a standard hook is difficult for a mason to accommodate within field construction settings. Hence, this thesis investigated two different alternative shear reinforcement, namely, 8 mm diameter smooth steel bar and readily available bed joint wire (steel wire mesh) reinforcement. This study found that the masonry beams with the alternative stirrup details exhibited similar ductility as the masonry beam built with conventional rebar. The beam containing the wire mesh as shear stirrups improved the capacity of the beam slightly higher than the beams with standard rebar and 8 mm smooth bar. Furthermore, the beam with bed joint wire as shear reinforcement reduced crack width similar to the beam with conventional rebar. This study also showed that the Chi factor, a strength reduction factor recommended in the Canadian design standard is overly conservative. In addition, this study also indicated that main tension reinforcement has a significant contribution on the shear capacity of the masonry beam, though not all design standards recognise this effect.