Seismic Evaluation of Reinforced Masonry Walls

by Trevor E. Kelly, Computech Engineering Services Inc, Berkeley, CA, USA,
Martin R. Button, Computech Engineering Services Inc, Berkeley, CA, USA,
Ronald L. Mayes, Computech Engineering Services Inc, Berkeley, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Nuclear Facilities


Masonry walls in operating nuclear plants are in many cases found to be overstressed in terms of allowable stresses when evaluated using current seismic design criteria. However, experimental evidence exists indicating that reinforced masonry walls have a considerable margin between the load levels at which allowable stresses are exceeded and the load levels at which structural distress and loss of function occurs. This paper presents a methodology which allows the actual capacity of reinforced masonry walls under seismic loading to be quantified. The methodology is based on the use of non-linear dynamic analyses and incorporates observed hysteretic behavior for both in-plane and out-of-plane response. Experimental data is used to develop response paramaters and to validate the results predicted by the models. Criteria have been concurrently developed to evaluate the deformations and material performance in the walls to ensure adequate margins of safety for the required function. An example of the application of these procedures is provided.

Subject Headings: Seismic loads | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Masonry | Walls | Maximum loads | Seismic design | Load bearing capacity

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