Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Architecture


James Mwangi


This master’s thesis presents an investigation on the effects of fatigue on fiber- reinforced polymers (FRP) when applied to masonry walls subjected to out-of-plane loading. The project aims to provide further research and add to the general testing database of FRP enhanced masonry. An introduction to the problems and solutions associated with unreinforced masonry is discussed along with a literature review on previous testing done in the field of FRP enhanced masonry. The investigation on the effects of fatigue on FRP when applied to masonry walls subjected to out-of-plane loading is performed through experimental testing. A total of four wall specimens (6 ft x 4 ft x 8 in) were constructed. One of the specimens was left unreinforced and used as a baseline for testing while the remaining three specimens were reinforced with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips designed to take the out-of-plane loads capable of creating the cracking moment in the unreinforced wall. The material testing, construction of the test specimens, and CFRP application are all presented in this thesis.

With the use of an oscillating shake table to generate the out-of-plane loading, the walls were fixed at the base and cantilevered from the shake table. By determining the frequency and amplitude that generated the cracking moment in the baseline unreinforced wall, the remaining three CFRP reinforced walls were tested at the same frequency and amplitude. The results from the testing of the three CFRP reinforced walls are presented along with time histories showing the shake table displacement and wall’s tip displacement versus time. In general, fatigue of masonry walls reinforced with CFRP strips can be managed as long as the out-of-plane reinforcement has sufficient strength and development length. Additional findings were made as a result from the testing. The development length of a vertical CFRP strip can be increased by adding a horizontal CFRP strips near the critical section and surface damage to CFRP may have severe consequences.