Composite walls are defined as multi-wythe walls in which the wythes are tied together by connectors, filled collar joints, bonding units, or other means to ensure shear transfer between the wythes and effective composite action.

These types of walls have been used in North America for many years with variable results. There is evidence of separation at the collar joints between dissimilar masonry wythes bonded together by mortar or grout, and there is evidence of good performance of composite walls connected by means of a header course.

Recently composite walls have received a renewed interest with the introduction of connectors capable of transferring shear across the cavity. This paper provides an overview of composite walls and provides information on the current trends of cavity wall performance.


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