Masonry walls are sometimes removed in buildings to either make new passages or increase the usable space. This may change the loading paths in the structure, and require new beams to transfer the loads which are carried by the masonry walls that are to be removed. One possible method of creating such new beams is to attach steel plates onto part of the existing walls to form a steel plate-masonry composite (SPMC) beam, leading to a new structure with part of the masonry wall supported by a new SPMC beam. This paper presents an experimental investigation into the interaction between the SPMC beam and the masonry wall above. Five SPMC beams supporting a masonry wall were tested to study the influence of parameters including the height-to-span ratio of the masonry wall, height of the beam and thickness of the steel plates. The test results, including failure mode, load-carrying capacity, load-deflection curves and strain distribution, are presented and discussed. It is found that for developing better arching effect in the masonry wall the ratio of the in-plane flexural stiffness of the masonry wall to the flexural stiffness of the SPMC beam must be between 2.8 and 7.1.
- Arching effect
- Flexural stiffness
- Local buckling
- Masonry wall
- Steel plate-masonry composite (SPMC) beam