Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil & Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

Zia Razzaq

Committee Member

Duc T. Nguyen

Committee Member

Julie Z. Hao

Committee Member

Mojtaba B. Sirjani


This dissertation presents the outcome of an experimental and theoretical investigation of the behavior and strength of reinforced concrete spandrel members both with and without carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) retrofitting. Both isolated spandrel members with L-shaped cross section as well as those integrated with reinforced concrete slabs are studied. A series of isolated spandrel members were tested under separate and combined actions of unsymmetrical bending and torsion. Six of these specimens were retrofitted externally with high-strength CFRP strips. Materially nonlinear analysis procedures are also formulated and programmed for the spandrel members with and without CFRP retrofitting. Furthermore, ultimate bending-torsion interaction expressions for the spandrel members are developed including the influence of CFRP retrofitting. Tests are also conducted on three slab-beam systems up to their load-carrying capacities. Theoretically predicted behavior and strength of the spandrel members and slab-beam systems are found to be in good agreement with those based on the laboratory tests. The study shows that CFRP retrofitting results in a significant to a dramatic increase in the bending strength of L-shaped spandrel members. The use of CFRP retrofitting is also shown to increase the torsional strength of such members by up to fifty percent.