Experimental Investigation of the Multi-Hazard Resistant Panelized Brick Veneer on Steel Stud Wall System for Out-of-Plane Failure Loading

Open Access
Kuczynski, Thomas C
Graduate Program:
Architectural Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 18, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Ali M Memari, Thesis Advisor
  • out-of-plane loading
  • brick veneer
  • steel stud
Structures everywhere are increasingly being subjected to sudden and extreme loading conditions. The main priority in any such event is the safety of the building occupants. Until recently, impact and blast resistant technologies had focused primarily on military structures, petrochemical facilities, and government buildings. Recent extreme events have influenced the transfer of these technologies to daily commercial and civilian use. Further research is needed into the implementation of extreme load-resistant technologies in the commercial building industry. This thesis presents a developmental study that included full-scale experiments on wall systems against out-of-plane uniform loading. The main objectives of this study were (1) to research and develop blast resistant enhancement techniques for brick veneer walls with steel stud backup systems; (2) to design and build a pressure loading facility to test full scale wall specimens under out-of-plane loading; (3) to experimentally determine the static loading capacity of the developed wall system designs; and (4) to compare the experimental results to finite element modeling analysis. The enhanced brick veneer on steel stud wall specimens were experimentally tested to failure with an out-of-plane load. The custom designed uniform load testing facility used a high-strength pressure bladder and reaction panel frame to conduct testing of the wall panels. Four specimens in total were tested. Component testing was also carried out to determine the reaction properties of the wall system fasteners. To achieve the desired tension-membrane response to the out-of-plane loading, connections between components had to be experimentally verified prior to full-scale specimen design and construction. Data collected for comparison during testing of the full-scale specimens included the load applied verses: deflection in the brick veneer, deflection in the steel studs, and load-distribution across the brick veneer ties. Finally, it is discussed that results presented from this study can be used as a basis for further experimental investigation into modern blast enhancement technologies, as well as some guidelines for their practical application.