Track 1: DOCUMENTATION AND DIAGNOSTICS – UNDERSTANDING HISTORIC PLACES / Volet 1 : Documentation et diagnostic – Comprendre les lieux historiques

Experimental programme for the evaluation of mechanical parameters for seismic assessment of traditional masonry buildings in Eastern Canada

Friday, October 13
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Worldwide post-earthquake damage surveys showed that unreinforced masonry (URM) structures are typically associated with the highest proportion of damage. Eastern Canada has a large stock of old URM buildings with architectural heritage value. To reduce the potential earthquake induced damage to those URM load bearing walls structures, Architects and Engineers are faced with the challenge of evaluating their lateral resistance and seismic performance and selecting efficient rehabilitation and strengthening strategies. Evaluation of the lateral resistance of URM walls is also key information in damage prediction for seismic risk studies. However, there is limited reported information regarding the mechanical properties of those URM walls, leading to difficulty in providing a reliable prediction of their seismic resistance. Review of projects on rehabilitation and conservation of heritage masonry buildings in Montreal and Ottawa reveals that these walls are often multi-leafs, made of two or three layers of materials of different quality and properties (stone, rubble-stone, brick, tiles). The cohesion of the masonry assemblies is typically compromised by the degradation of the mortar, resulting in insufficient resistance to earthquake induced in plane and out of plane loads. Reliable evaluation of seismic resistance of URM walls requires knowledge of their composition and their geometric properties but most importantly their mechanical material properties. Moreover, they require reliable and validated simple analytical models to calculate the resistance of URM walls. In collaboration with the architectural firm EVOQ, formally FGMDA, an experimental programme was initiated to validate these models from the behaviour of typical URM walls under axial compression and shear loading and under dynamic loading. The experimental program included three distinct phases. The first phase consisted in characterizing the mechanical properties of the masonry and its constituent materials: manufactured molded brick typically used as replica of traditional masonry, lime-stone blocks and cement-lime mortar used to match the mechanical properties of the original traditional cement-lime mortar. This phase also included the evaluation of the compressive, joint shear sliding strength and flexural bond strength of the masonry assembly. The second phase consisted in evaluating the diagonal shear strength of brick or stone masonry wall specimens. The third phase consisted in evaluating the lateral force-deformation behavior of the representative wall specimens under cyclic loading to capture the complex dynamic response and nonlinear behaviour of the masonry. The obtained results are used to validate equations presented in standards, such as ASCE 41-13 to predict lateral resistance of masonry walls and to develop predictive relations between the constituent material mechanical properties and the masonry mechanical properties. These are particularly useful for seismic vulnerability studies of traditional unreinforced masonry buildings, as well as in the evaluation of seismic resistance and the decision-making process of selecting efficient upgrading solutions of heritage masonry buildings.

Learning Objectives:

Marie-José Nollet, Ingénieure

École de technologie supérieure, Université du Québec

Dr. Nollet is a structural engineer and Prof. at École de Technologie Supérieure of Montreal. She received her civil engineering degree from Laval Univ. and her Ph.D. from McGill Univ. in 1991. Her research focusses on the seismic evaluation of structures and damage prediction for seismic risk studies with a specific interest on masonry buildings. She is one of the lead researcher on the project on rapid seismic risk assessment with Geological Survey and Defense Canada. Her work on masonry structures includes, structural modelling, fragility analysis and experimental characterisation. She is the author of over 100 papers and expert reports.


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Experimental programme for the evaluation of mechanical parameters for seismic assessment of traditional masonry buildings in Eastern Canada

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