Numerical Modelling of Unreinforced Masonry Infill Walls under Seismic Load Considering In-Plane / Out-Of-Plane Interaction

Longo, Francesco (2016) Numerical Modelling of Unreinforced Masonry Infill Walls under Seismic Load Considering In-Plane / Out-Of-Plane Interaction. PhD thesis, University of Trento, University of Padova, McMaster University.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


Many studies and post-earthquake investigations have recognized that masonry infill walls play a major role in the seismic response of structures. Although their effect may be beneficial in some situations, the walls are also susceptible to high levels of damage, including collapse that can be life-threatening because of the heavy debris. Despite the critical importance of infill walls for life safety, infill walls are often neglected in numerical models and analyses implemented by designers because they are traditionally considered to be non-structural elements. Moreover, the majority of experimental studies and numerical models include only the in-plane behaviour of the panels: indeed, until recently, only sophisticated micro-models incorporated the out-of-plane response of unreinforced masonry infill walls. Recently, however, researchers have started to advance proposals for simplified macro-models that are capable of modelling in-plane/out-of-plane interaction, paving the way for the consideration of the associated issues in design practice. However, very few studies have applied these models to the dynamic seismic response history analysis of realistic structures. In this context, this thesis focuses on the numerical modelling of unreinforced masonry (URM) infill walls, with particular attention to the combined in-plane/out-of-plane response of panels in reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings during seismic events. In the first part of this research, existing studies for URM masonry infill walls are reviewed, with an emphasis on the out-of-plane response of the panels. Significant experimental tests, modeling strategies and post-earthquake surveys are presented, stressing the parameters that influence the behaviour of the infills. An in-depth description is dedicated to the infill wall macro-model that is adopted for the analyses performed in this work, emphasizing its capabilities and limitations. This model consists of a single diagonal formed by two beam elements representing the wall; lumped modal mass is concentrated at the midpoint node of the diagonal. In-plane axial force and out-of-plane bending of the equivalent element interact by means of two fibre sections located adjacent to the central node. User defined domains limit axial/bending strengths and in-plane/out-of-plane ultimate displacements of the wall. When the response of an element exceeds these domains, the model simulates the collapse of this infill wall by removing it from the analysis. Next, the numerical model is calibrated in the OpenSees software framework by comparing existing experimental results with numerical outputs. The laboratory tests comprise in-plane cyclic and out-of-plane quasi-static results on 1-bay and 1-storey frame specimens with two different types of clay URM infill walls that are frequently found in Italian and other Mediterranean countries. The calibrated model is then applied to the static pushover analysis of a set of planar frames, while the wall elements are simultaneously loaded in both orthogonal directions. The nucleus of present study is the application of the calibrated model to the dynamic response history analysis of planar RC frames. Frame dimensions, number of stories, design and infill configurations are selected to be representative of the Italian building stock. Acceleration time histories consist of a suite of a bidirectional ground motions that are scaled to be compatible with Eurocode 8 elastic spectra. Cracking and collapse of the infill walls are monitored during the analysis. The infill walls reach their ultimate displacement capacity by a combination of in-plane and out-of-plane displacements, with the out-of-plane component usually playing the dominant role. The intensity of seismic load that is required to fail the infill walls, as well as the patterns of failure, are shown to be consistent with observed damage to URM infill walls in similar buildings during recent earthquakes. This research suggests that simplified macro-elements are suitable for design-oriented models of URM infill walls in RC framed structures, capturing the critical interaction between in-plane and out-of-plane response of the infill walls but without making the models excessively complex.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Engineering of Civil and Mechanical Structural Systems
PhD Cycle:28
Subjects:Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/09 TECNICA DELLE COSTRUZIONI
Uncontrolled Keywords:unreinforced masonry infill walls, URM, infill walls, in-plane, out-of-plane, interaction
Repository Staff approval on:14 Apr 2016 12:17

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