Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department name when degree awarded

Civil Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Marc Maguire


Marc Maguire


Joseph A. Caliendo


Paul Barr


Precast Concrete Sandwich Panel Walls (PCSPW’s) have been in use for over 60 years. They provide a very efficient building envelope for many buildings. Characteristic PCSPW’s comprise an outer and inner layer (or wythe) of concrete separated by an insulating material. To use all of the material as efficiently as possible, the layers are attached by connectors which penetrate through the insulating layer and are embedded in either concrete wythe. These connectors make it possible for both layers of the wall to work together when resisting loads. The connectors are made out of plastic, or FRP, to prevent heat transfer from one side of the wall to the other.

This research is evaluates several different FRP systems by fabricating and testing 49 small scale “push-off” specimens (3 ft. by 4 ft., 0.91 m by 1.22 m). Testing of these specimens is done by applying loads perpendicular to the connectors and measuring the amount of deformation that occurs. By determining the load to deformation relationship, engineers can make more informed decisions about the full scale behavior. Using this information, the goal of this project is to validate current procedures and develop simpler, more efficient methods for predicting overall strength of this innovative building system.