Improving Seismic Performance of Concrete and Masonry Structures

Professor P. Benson Shing

Assessing the seismic performance of older reinforced concrete (RC) frames that have masonry infill walls presents a most difficult problem for structural engineers. Currently, there are no reliable engineering guidelines. In a collaborative project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program, UC San Diego researchers led an effort to develop advanced computational models as well as simple analytical methods to assess the performance of these structures, and to develop practical and effective techniques based on innovative materials to improve their seismic performance. Final proof-of-concept tests will be conducted on a full-scale three-story RC frame using the Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table (LHPOST) at UCSD.

Strength design of reinforced masonry (RM) structures has been under continuous development and evolution for many years. With structural design moving towards a performance-based approach, research is needed to have a better understanding of the performance of RM structures under different earthquake levels and to develop reliable predictive tools. UC San Diego researchers are also working on a second collaborative project sponsored by NSF’s NEES program and the masonry industry to address these needs.