Penales, Jeeric1; Zohrehheydariha, Jamshid2; Ehikhuenmen, Samuel3; Das, Sreekanta4 and
Banting, Bennett5


Masonry design standards require stirrups to be in contact with horizontal reinforcement. The
placement of shear stirrups in beams built with narrow masonry concrete blocks becomes
challenging due to cell changes as the block size reduces. Similarly, the smallest standard shear
reinforcing bar size (i.e. 10M rebar) with a standard hook is complicated for an artisan to achieve
in the field. Hence, this study was carried out to investigate the feasibility of using 8 mm steel bars
and readily available bed joint wire (i.e. steel wire mesh) mesh which is commonly used as a
horizontal reinforcement, as potential shear (vertical) reinforcement alternatives to enhance the
flexural capacity and reduce the shear crack of masonry concrete beams. In this current study, four
reinforced masonry concrete beams and ten grouted masonry prisms were made and tested. Several
experimental data from the linear variable displacement transducers, load cells, and digital image
correlation techniques were obtained and analyzed. The results reveal that the use of wire mesh as
shear (vertical) reinforcement resulted in higher improvement in the flexural capacity of the beam
compared to when the 8 mm bars and standard rebars were used. Also, masonry beams having
alternative stirrups displayed higher ductility as against beam made with standard reinforcement.
Furthermore, the beam made with bed-joint wires reduced the shear cracks width similar to the
beam made with conventional reinforcements. The findings from this study also showed that the
Canadian masonry design standard value for chi (χ) factor is potentially conservative.