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,

Professor Shing is leading an effort to develop advanced computational models as well as simplified 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 are being conducted on a full-scale three-story RC frame, using the Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table (LHPOST) at UC San Diego.

Strength design of reinforced masonry (RM) structures has been under continuous development and evolution for many years. With structural design moving toward 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. Professor Shing is working on a second collaborative project sponsored by NSF's NEES program and the masonry industry and led by the University of Texas at Austin. The project involves large-scale testing on the LHPOST and computational simulation.