AbstractOverlays consisting of welded steel-wire mesh embedded in an inorganic matrix have shown promising results in improving the flexural behavior of masonry in terms of strength, ductility, and energy dissipation. The flexural capacity of masonry strengthened with steel-wire–reinforced cementitious matrix (SWRCM) can be influenced by various factors, such as the percentage of reinforcement, strength of cementitious matrix, and masonry compressive strength. To understand the influence of these parameters, the results of past experimental studies were carefully examined, and parametric finite-element analyses were performed. The analytical equations available in the literature were used for the flexural capacity estimation of masonry reinforced with SWRCM; however, the majority of them could not provide accurate and reliable predictions. This may be due to neglecting the contribution of the cementitious matrix and debonding at the interface of the masonry substrate and composite overlay. Thus, a new equation has been proposed in this study for estimating the flexural capacity of masonry strengthened with SWRCM, which can consider the contribution of the inorganic matrix and the debonding at various interfaces through an effective tensile strain parameter. In addition, a stepwise procedure has been provided to estimate the effective tensile strain of SWRCM composite. Results of the analytical investigation showed that the proposed method can effectively provide a reliable and consistent prediction of the flexural capacity of masonry strengthened with SWRCM composites.Practical ApplicationsThis study provides information about the role of various parameters in influencing the flexural capacity of masonry strengthened with steel-wire–reinforced cementitious matrix (SWRCM). To estimate the flexural strength of masonry reinforced with SWRCM, there is a lack of analytical methodology in the existing literature. Therefore, this study evaluated the suitability or reliability of existing equations, originally developed for fabric-reinforced composite, in predicting the flexural capacity of SWRCM-strengthened masonry. Further, this study proposed an equation to predict the flexural capacity of SWRCM-strengthened masonry. To address the contribution of cementitious matrix and debonding failure, an effective strain parameter was introduced in the proposed equation, and to determine its value, a step-wise test methodology was described in this study. In addition, an empirical equation was proposed to calculate the value of effective strain. This equation may be helpful when it is not possible to perform the material characterization tests for SWRCM. The developed equation along with the effective strain parameter provided a reliable prediction of flexural capacity for masonry specimens strengthened with different types of SWRCMs. The proposed analytical method may help engineers in designing the SWRCM strengthening for vulnerable masonry structures.

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