Seismic response of masonry infilled RC frames: practice-oriented models and open issues

  • Received : 2013.01.31
  • Accepted : 2014.01.13
  • Published : 2014.04.30


Although it is widely accepted that the interaction -between masonry infill and structural members significantly affects the seismic response of reinforced concrete (RC) frames, this interaction is generally neglected in current design-oriented seismic analyses of structures. Moreover, the role of masonry infill is expected to be even more relevant in the case of existing frames designed only for gravitational loads, as infill walls can significantly modify both lateral strength and stiffness. However, the additional contribution to both strength and stiffness is often coupled to a modification of the global collapse mechanisms possibly resulting in brittle failure modes, generally related to irregular distributions of masonry walls throughout the frame. As a matter of principle, accurate modelling of masonry infill should be at least carried out by adopting nonlinear 2D elements. However, several practice-oriented proposals are currently available for modelling masonry infill through equivalent (nonlinear) strut elements. The present paper firstly outlines some of the well-established models currently available in the scientific literature for modelling infill panels in seismic analyses of RC frames. Then, a parametric analysis is carried out in order to demonstrate the consequences of considering such models in nonlinear static and dynamic analyses of existing RC structures. Two bay-frames with two-, three- and four-storeys are considered for performing nonlinear analyses aimed at investigating some critical aspects of modelling masonry infill and their effects on the structural response. Particularly, sensitivity analyses about specific parameters involved in the definition of the equivalent strut models, such as the constitutive force-displacement law of the panel, are proposed.



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