Shaking table testing for masonry infill walls: unreinforced versus reinforced solutions


Lourenço, Paulo B.; Leite, João M.; Paulo-Pereira, Manuel F.; Campos-Costa, A.; Candeias, P. X.; Mendes, Nuno

Masonry infills; Reinforced concrete frame; Bed joint reinforcement; Reinforced plaster; Shaking table tests; Earthquake engineering.

Several factors influence the behaviour of infilled frames, which have been a subject of research in the past with moderate success. The new generation of European design standards imposes the need to prevent brittle collapse of the infills and makes the structural engineer accountable for this requirement, yet it fails to provide sufficient information for masonry infills design. Therefore, the present work aims at understanding the seismic behaviour of masonry infill walls within reinforced concrete frames, using both unreinforced and reinforced solutions (bed joint reinforcement and reinforced plaster). For this purpose, three reinforced concrete buildings with different infill solutions were constructed at a scale of 1:1.5, all with the same geometry, and were tested on the shaking table of the National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Portugal. All solutions performed adequately for the design earthquake, with no visible damage. Still, the experimental tests show that the double-leaf-unreinforced infill walls underperformed during a large earthquake, collapsing out of plane by rotating as rigid bodies with multiple configurations. Also the reinforced concrete buildings collapsed, because of the adverse interaction with the infill walls. The infill walls with bed joint reinforcement and reinforced plaster did not collapse out of plane, because of their connection to the concrete frame, which is an essential requirement.