Behavior of retrofitted URM walls under simulated earthquake loading

M. R. Ehsani, H. Saadatmanesh, J. I. Velazquez-Dimas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings perform poorly under seismic forces and have been identified as the main cause of loss of life in recent earthquakes. Many of these structures fail in out-of-plane bending due to the lack of reinforcement. In this study, the experimental results from three half-scale unreinforced brick walls retrofitted with vertical composite strips are presented. The specimens were subjected to cyclic out-of-plane loading. Five reinforcement ratios and two different glass fabric composite densities were investigated. The mode of failure is controlled by tensile failure when wider and lighter composite fabrics are used and by delamination when stronger ones are used. The tested specimens were capable of supporting a lateral load up to 32 times the weight of the wall. A deflection as much as 2% of the wall height was measured. Although both URM walls and composite strips behave in a brittle manner, the combination resulted in a system capable of dissipating some energy. Retrofitting URM walls with composite strips proved to be a good and reliable strengthening alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Composites for Construction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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