Experimental testing of lateral capacity of masonry piers. An application to seismic assessment of AAC masonry buildings

Student: Alexandre Costa
Supervisors: Dr A. Penna, Dr Guido Magenes


The aim of this work was to develop and propose a new experimental test setup to evaluate the inplane resistance of masonry panels, and also analyse the lateral resistance of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) walls through experimental tests and subsequent numerical simulations of buildings with the aim of provide some recommendations to design AAC masonry buildings. In order to propose a new experimental test setup, a literature review is presented regarding different test setups which create different loading and boundary conditions. Based on these test setups and taking into account a desired boundary condition (fixed-ended) a new proposal and two alternatives is presented.

Moreover, and using an old test setup, the lateral resistance of AAC panels with different slenderness ratios and reinforcement is evaluated and, using these results, a new material model based on Gambarotta and Lagomarsino [1996] macro-element is calibrated. Hence, the dynamic response of AAC masonry buildings is presented using non-linear analyses, with an innovative algorithm called Seismic Adaptative Pushover (SDAP), the capacity response method and non-linear dynamic analyses. In the end of this work some conclusions regarding the results obtained in the numerical simulations are commented, and some recommendations are presented regarding the design of new AAC masonry buildings subjected to seismic excitations.

You may download a digital version of this MSc dissertation here.