Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Ken Zuo

Committee Member

John Gilbert

Committee Member

H. A. Toutanji

Committee Member

Francis C. Wessling

Committee Member

Mark W. Lin


Cement composites., Composite materials.


This dissertation explores the potential for using field applied polyurea coatings to provide structural enhancement to both traditional and non-traditional building materials. The materials considered include honeycomb composite panels, plywood, lumber, and cementitious composite panels. The basic approach followed during the project includes experimental testing, finite element modeling, and a parametric study using the finite element model(s). Experimental tests are divided into two distinct series: 1) testing of panel type materials in four point bending and 2) tension testing of joints in structures fabricated from lumber. The results obtained from both series of tests show that polyurea can significantly increase the capacity of the uncoated materials. The research showcases a unique approach to the strengthening of both traditional and non-traditional building materials and introduces a potentially game changing technology to the building trade. Finite element analysis is performed to understand the mechanism in which a polyurea coating strengthens the materials and to study the impacts of variations to the relative material properties of the substrate and the coating. The models should help bring this promising new technology to practice by helping researchers, architects, and builders select and apply the proper polyurea coating for structural enhancement.



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