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Bull Earthquake Eng

DOI 10.1007/s10518-008-9086-1
ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER

Seismic upgrading of old masonry buildings by seismic


isolation and CFRP laminates: a shaking-table study
of reduced scale models
Miha Tomaevic Iztok Klemenc Polona Weiss

Received: 10 December 2007 / Accepted: 21 August 2008


Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Abstract The efficiency of improving the seismic resistance of old masonry buildings by
means of seismic isolation and confining the structure with CFRP laminate strips has been
investigated. Five models of a simple two-story brick masonry building with wooden floors
without wall ties have been tested on the shaking table. The control model has been built
directly on the foundation slab. The second model has been separated from it by a damp-proof
course in the form of a PVC sheet placed in the bed-joint between the second and the third
course, whereas the third model has been isolated by rubber isolators placed between the
foundation slab and structural walls. Models four and five have been confined with CFRP
laminate strips, simulating the wall ties placed horizontally and vertically at floor levels
and corners of the building, respectively. One of the CFRP strengthened models has been
placed on seismic isolators. Tests have shown that a simple PVC sheet damp-proof course
cannot be considered as seismic isolator unless adequately designed. Tests have also shown
that the isolators alone did not prevent the separation of the walls. However, both models
confined with CFRP strips exhibited significantly improved seismic behavior. The models
did not collapse even when subjected to significantly stronger shaking table motion than that
resisted by the control model without wall ties.
Keywords Old masonry buildings Models CFRP laminate strips Confinement
Seismic isolation Seismic resistance Shaking table tests Upgrading

1 Introduction
High seismic vulnerability of old masonry buildings in historic urban and rural nuclei has been
one of the main reasons of structural damage and collapse, as well as human loss occurred
during earthquakes in Europe in the past several decades. Old masonry buildings represent
architectural heritage of greatest importance, giving additional value to many towns and

M. Tomaevic (B) I. Klemenc P. Weiss


Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Dimiceva 12, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
e-mail: miha.tomazevic@zag.si

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cities. Therefore, substantial research has been already carried out to understand the seismic
behavior and develop methods and technologies to improve the seismic resistance and, hence,
preserve the buildings for future generations. The effects of many basic structural interventions, developed in accordance with the principles and requirements of restoration and conservation of cultural heritage, have been tested in the laboratories and in-situ. Moreover, the
effects of some methods, applied to the buildings, have been also verified by the repeated
earthquakes in some region. Substantial amount of publications, reporting the success of
application of different methods and technologies, is available. The authors of this paper also
gave contribution (Tomaevic 1989, Tomaevic and Apih 1993, Tomaevic et al. 1993, 1994,
1996).
Besides traditional technologies, such as the tying of the walls with steel ties, the strengthening of the walls by injecting cementitious grouts and applying reinforced cement coating,
which have been developed decades ago, the methods based on new materials and technologies have been also proposed for upgrading the seismic resistance of old masonry buildings.
Although the requirements of preservation of cultural heritage limit the application of such
materials and technologies, modern technologies often require minimum intervention in the
existing structural system by providing substantial improvement in seismic behavior at the
same time.
Seismic isolation has not been frequently applied to old masonry buildings, although the
idea to separate the upper structure from the foundation system and reduce its response to
seismic ground motion, is not new. For example, the skyscraper of Ljubljana, a 60 m tall
r.c. frame building, constructed in 1930s, is maybe one of the first buildings world-wide,
where a special feature has been designed to separate the upper structure from foundation in
order to reduce the seismic effects (Fajfar 1995). Besides seismic isolation, modern structural
protective systems include passive energy dissipation devices and high-tech active motion
control systems (Skinner et al. 1993, Soong and Dargush 1997). Unfortunately, since the latter
two require large deformations to be efficient, they are not easily applicable to rigid masonry
structures. The idea to use lead reinforcing mesh and lead energy absorbing devices has been
recently proposed for seismic retrofitting of stone masonry buildings (Benedetti 2004).
It seems that in the case of masonry buildings the simplest idea to separate the rigid
upper structure from foundations with soft isolators represents the best solution, though the
method is rarely used (Sarrazin et al. 1996, Zhou and Miao 1996). Seismic isolation is even
less frequently used for heritage buildings (Salt Lake City and County Building; Bailey and
Allen 1988).
The requirements of preservation of cultural heritage are not in favor of the use of typical
contemporary construction materials, such as concrete and steel. Masonry friendly materials
and technologies compatible with the original ones should be used for seismic strengthening
of heritage buildings. Although the same limitations should be taken into consideration in
the case of application of modern synthetic materials, the possibility of using composite
materials, such as carbon or glass fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP or GFRP, respectively)
laminates, glued in different forms on the surface of brick and stone masonry walls, has been
studied in the last decade. Some results of tests, carried out on masonry walls, encourage the
application, the others, however, pointed out problems resulting from bond and anchorage
of CFRP strips, glued on the walls surface (Schwegler 1995, Hamilton and Dolan 1998,
Triantafillou and Fardis 1997, Triantafillou 2001, Gayevoy and Lissel 2004).
Recently, experiments to investigate some aspects of seismic isolation and possibility of
tying the walls of old masonry buildings with CFRP laminate strips instead of steel ties,
have been also carried out at Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute in
Ljubljana. Experiments and test results will be presented and discussed in this contribution.

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2 Research program and description of tests


2.1 Structural typology, brick-masonry materials and objectives of research
Typical height of old urban brick-masonry residential houses in Slovenia does not exceed
three to four stories, with story height limited to 3 m. The thickness of structural walls varies
from 38 to 72 cm, depending on the height of the building. The distance between structural
walls does not exceed 5.5 m. Floors are usually wooden with timber joists freely supported
by load-bearing walls. Sometimes, especially above cellars, ground floors and corridors,
the wooden structure is replaced by brick vaults. Solid, 29/14/6 or 25/12/5 cm bricks, with
compressive strength varying between 7.5 and 15 MPa and lime mortar with compressive
strength not exceeding 2.5 MPa are the constituent building materials.
Availability of data on mechanical characteristics of historic brick-masonry in the region
is rare. A small number of load-resistance tests of different types of existing brick-masonry
walls indicate a rather wide range of values of basic mechanical characteristics (Sheppard and
Tercelj 1985, Sheppard and Tomaevic 1986, Magenes 1992). The range of typical expected
values, which have been considered as target values when designing the models, is given
below (subscript P indicates prototype masonry):

Compressive strength: fcP = 1.510.0 MPa,


Tensile strength: ftP = 0.100.70 MPa,
Modulus of elasticity: EP = 15003800 MPa,
Shear modulus: GP = 60165 MPa,
Specific mass: P = 1600 kg/m3 .

The walls of old masonry buildings are often not tied with wall ties. As a result, the
separation of walls and subsequent out-of-plane collapse typically take place when subjected
to earthquakes. Therefore, when retrofitting such buildings for seismic loads, the tying of the
walls with steel ties represents the basic measure to improve the resistance. Namely, by the
tying the walls with wall ties the structural integrity is ensured and the available resistance of
structural walls is utilized. To investigate the possibility of omitting the installation of wall
ties by placing the structure on seismic isolators has been one of the objectives of the study.
Old masonry buildings frequently suffer from moisture and damp, propagating from soil
and environment into the interior of masonry walls and severely deteriorating the walls
resistance capacity in the course of time. To prevent moisture and damp propagation, different
types of damp-proof courses are installed in the bottom part of masonry walls. Not many data
exist regarding the shear capacity of various types of damp-proof courses (see for example
Page 1995) and using the damp-proof course as seismic isolation device (sliding mechanism,
friction isolation). Therefore, one of the objectives of this study has been also to investigate
to what extent a very simple damp-proof course in the shape of a PVC sheet, placed in the
bed joint and not designed to act as a seismic isolator, can actually be regarded as a seismic
isolator.
Last but not least, the idea to replace the usual steel ties with CFRP laminate strips, placed
both horizontally at the level of floors and vertically at the corners of the building, has been
verified.
2.2 Structural layout and description of models
Taking into consideration the payload capacity of the simple uniaxial shaking table,
installed in the structural laboratory of the institute, experiences and available materials,

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Fig. 1 Scheme of laying the bricks and placing the wooden lintels and joists (measures in cm)

models constructed at 1:4 reduced scale have been tested. Five models with basically the
same structural layout have been constructed and tested, prepared for testing in five different
ways. Since the main objective of the study has been to obtain basic information and not
providing recommendations and instructions for practical application of the tested methods,
a simple two-story, single room brick masonry house with wooden floors without wall ties
has been tested. The models maintained the basic structural characteristics of typical buildings, such as story height, span between the structural walls and openings size, with outer
dimensions adjusted to the size of the platform of the shaking table. The scheme of laying the
bricks and placing the wooden joists is shown in Fig. 1, whereas the actual laying of bricks
can be seen in Fig. 2.
Model M1 represented the control model with wooden floors without wall ties. It has
been constructed directly on the r.c. foundation slab, bolted to the moveable platform of the
shaking table, without any specific measures taken to improve the seismic behavior. Model
M2 has been similar. However, a simple PVC sheet has been placed as a damp-proof course
in the bed-joint between the second and third course of masonry units (Fig. 3). Model M3,
also similar to model M1, has been isolated with isolators, placed between the slab bolted to
the platform and the foundation slab onto which the model has been constructed.
The effect of tying the walls with CFRP laminate strips has been studied on Models M4
and M5. The strips which simulated horizontal and vertical ties (confining elements) have

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Fig. 2 Typical model under construction

Fig. 3 PVC sheet placed in the mortar joint of model M2

been bonded to masonry on the outer side of the walls. Horizontal strips have been placed
at the level of wooden floors. At the corners of the building the horizontally placed CFRP
laminate strips have been epoxy glued on steel anchor plates. Vertical strips, placed at the
corners, have been anchored at the bottom of the walls by steel angle profiles, epoxy glued
and bolted into the r.c. foundation slabs. In addition, the piers between the openings have been
strengthened with diagonally placed CFRP laminate strips without any special provision for
anchoring at the ends. The position and dimensions of CFRP strips are shown in Fig. 4. In
the same figure, the main dimensions of the models are also indicated. Whereas model M4
has been built directly on the foundation slab as has been the case of the control model M1,
model M5 has been placed on seismic isolators as has been the case of model M3. There has
been a difference between models M3 and M5: whereas model M3 has been placed on six
isolators, only four isolators have been used in the case of model M5 in order to further shift
the natural frequency of vibration of the isolated model from the predominant frequency of
the model earthquake.

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Fig. 4 Position of CFRP laminate strips used to confine the models and strengthening of walls in (a)
longitudinal and transverse direction (b). The position of isolators in the case of model M5 as well as the
general dimensions of the models are indicated (measures in cm)

2.3 Physical modeling and model masonry materials


It has been originally planned that the so called complete models, built with materials which
have the strength characteristics reduced in the geometrical scale but strain characteristics the
same as the prototype, will be tested. However, since the physical modeling of CFRP laminates and adhesive materials properties turned out to be rather complicated, if impossible,
the strength characteristics of model brick-masonry remained within the range of possible
prototype values. It is believed that the benefits resulting from reliable information regarding the interaction between masonry and CFRP laminates prevail against the drawbacks in
somewhat incorrect physical modeling of linear dynamic response.
Model bricks, 63/30/30 mm in size, have been made by casting a special mortar, composed
of crushed brick aggregate instead of sand, lime, and cement in the proportion of 9:2:0.75,
and water, into especially shaped steel form. The use of crushed brick aggregate ensured that
specific mass of model bricks was practically the same as that of prototype bricks. Crushed
brick aggregate also ensured that strain characteristics of model masonry did not differ too
much from prototype values. Cement-lime-sand mortar in the proportion of 0.4:1:11 has been
used for laying the bricks.
Samples have been taken from each batch of mortar mix in order to determine the compressive strength of units. By testing more than 200 specimens, the mean value of compressive

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strength of model bricks fb = 8.4 MPa has been obtained, with standard deviation of 3.2 MPa.
The mean value of mortar strength, used for the construction of models, determined on 189
specimens, has been estimated to fm = 0.5 MPa (standard deviation 0.12 MPa).
The mechanical properties of model masonry, determined by compression tests (3 specimens) as well as cyclic lateral resistance tests at different levels of precompression (7 specimens) indicate that the models have been constructed with model masonry, which had
the same mechanical characteristic as the prototype. The following mean values have been
obtained;

Compressive strength: fcM = 6.1 MPa,


Tensile strength: ftM = 0.23 MPa,
Modulus of elasticity: EM = 1864 MPa,
Shear modulus: GM = 68 MPa,
Specific mass: M = 1685 kg/m3 and
Ductility indicator: = 3.9.

As can be seen, the values are close to the lower limit of the range of the prototype values.
In order to investigate the efficiency of diagonally placed CFRP laminate strips, glued
on the walls surface with epoxy bonding material in the case of models M4 and M5, 7
model walls, strengthened with CFRP strips have been also tested. Test results confirmed the
conclusions of researchers who investigated the efficiency of strengthening masonry walls
with composite fiber laminates. It has been shown that adequate anchoring of strips at the
ends is of relevant importance, and not the efficiency of bonding between the laminates
and masonry (Schwegler 1995, Triantafillou and Fardis 1997). Namely, in all cases the
diagonally placed CFRP laminate strips delaminated from the masonry as soon as the first
diagonal cracks occurred in the walls. Failure occurred in the bricks and did not pass the
bonding material. Namely, because of rigidity of CFRP laminate and great difference in
deformability characteristics of masonry and CFRP laminate (modulus of elasticity of the
laminate is thousand times greater than modulus of elasticity of masonry), the elongations
of the laminate strips could not follow the deformations of masonry in the non-linear range.
Since the adhesive material proved to be effective, surface part of the bricks along the strips
pulled out.
Typical model walls in original and strengthened state after cyclic lateral resistance tests
are shown in Fig. 5, whereas the lateral loaddisplacement relationships of the same walls,
measured during the tests, are shown in Fig. 6. In Fig. 5b, the delamination and pulling out
of masonry along CFRP laminate strips is clearly visible.
If the seismic behavior of masonry buildings is studied by testing their physical models on
earthquake simulators, the similitude between the damage patterns and failure mechanisms
observed during model tests and those observed on the prototype buildings after earthquakes
is regarded as the most important indicator of the accuracy of physical modeling. If the failure
mechanism of the structural element is accurately simulated, and the loads which acted on the
element during the experiment are known, the information obtained by testing the physical
model can be reliably referred to the prototype.
Similitude in dynamic behavior requires similar distribution of masses and stiffnesses
along the height of the prototype and model. Similitude in failure mechanism, however,
requires similar working stress level, i.e. working stress/compressive strength ratio in the
structural walls of the prototype and model masonry building.
The distribution of masses in a typical prototype brick-masonry structure has been
estimated by taking into account a single-room section of a building, with structural walls
at a typical distance between them. As indicated by this estimation, the typical values of

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Fig. 5 Model walls after the cyclic lateral resistance test. (a) Non-strengthened and CFRP laminate
strengthened wall (b)
Fig. 6 Lateral
resistance-displacement
hysteresis loops, obtained during
cyclic lateral resistance tests of
model walls.
(a) Non-strengthened wall and
CFRP laminate strengthened
wall (b)

floor/wall mass ratio range within mF P /mwP = 1/2.53. In the particular case studied, the
value of floor/wall mass ratio of the tested models was mF P /mwP = 1/4.1 at the first and
mF P /mwP = 1/2.1 at the second floor level.

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Table 1 Typical scale factors
Sq : general equations and values
for 1:4 modeling scale

Quantity

General equation

Simple model

Length (L)

SL = LP /LM

SL = 4

Strain ()

Strength (f)

S = P /M
Sf = fP /fM

Stress ( )

S = fP /fM

Modulus of elasticity (E)

SE = S /S

Specific weight ( )

S = P /M

Force (F)

2S
S F = SL
f

St = SL S S /Sf
S = 1/SL

2 = 16
SL

SL = 4

Velocity (v)

Sd = SL S

Sv = S Sf /S

Acceleration (a)

Sa = Sf /SL S

1/SL = 0.25

Time (t)
Frequency ()
Displacement (d)

SL = 4
1/SL = 0.25
1

Typical values of compressive stresses in the load-bearing walls of a two-story


brick-masonry building range within oP = 0.130.15 MPa, depending on the weight of
the floors and story height. Taking into consideration the values, obtained by testing existing
brick masonry walls, it can be seen that these values represent 1.310% of the expected values
of the compressive strength of old brick-masonry. In the particular case studied, however,
the average compressive stresses in the walls of the models were smaller: oM = 0.085 MPa,
i.e. 1.4% of the compressive strength of model masonry. It can be seen, however, that the
level of the working stress/compressive strength ratio was at the lower limit of the expected
range of values for prototype buildings. Therefore, the requirement for similitude in failure
mechanism has been also accomplished.
Since all models have been tested in equal loading conditions, their seismic behavior can be
directly compared. However, when referring the values of physical quantities measured on the
models to prototype, model scale factors, given in Table 1, should be taken into consideration.
If a general quantity qM has been measured on the model, the following relationship applies
for the quantity qP which refers to the prototype (Langhaar 1951):
qP = qM S q

(1)

where Sq is a scale factor from Table 1.


2.4 Damp-proof sheet, seismic isolators and CFRP laminate strips
As a damp-proofing element, a commercially available PVC sheet, 2 mm thick and cut to
fit the dimensions of the cross section of the walls, has been used. The PVC sheet has been
placed in the mortar bed joint between the second and the third course of units of the walls
in the ground floor of model M2. The mechanical characteristics of PVC material have
not been tested, however, the sliding mechanism and friction characteristics of the dampproof course in relation to vertical stresses in the walls have been determined by testing
(Fig. 7). As expected, the average shear stress at sliding depended on the level of vertical
stresses in the wall (Fig. 8). At 1% of compressive strength of masonry (compressive stress
o = 0.06 MPa), the value amounted to = 0.06 MPa, at 8% (o = 0.49 MPa) to 0.28 MPa,
and at 25% (o = 1.53 MPa) to = 0.76 MPa. For comparison: the actual compressive stress

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Fig. 7 Testing of frictional characteristics of the damp-proof course


Fig. 8 Correlation between the
compressive and shear stresses at
sliding along the damp proof
course

level in the walls of model M2 has been estimated to o = 0.085 MPa, and the actual average
value of the shear stress at the maximum base shear measured during the shaking table test
has been estimated to = 0.014 MPa. The correlation between the friction characteristics
of the damp-proof course and the actual stress state in the models walls explains why the
damp-proof course did not affect the observed behavior of the model.
The size and deformability properties of rubber seismic isolators, used to isolate models
M3 and M5, have been determined on the basis of dynamic analysis of the models response
to chosen prototype earthquake. The target characteristics were such as to reduce the fundamental frequency of vibration of the control non-isolated model by approximately 10-times.
As can be seen in Table 3, where the measured initial values of the first natural frequency of
vibration of the models are reported, this has been achieved to a great degree.
The isolators were 100 mm in diameter and 92 mm high. They have been manufactured
of vulcanized rubber, 8 mm thick. In order to keep adequate stiffness in vertical direction, ten
pieces of 2 mm thick steel sheets have been uniformly distributed along the height of each
isolator. The structure of typical isolator, cut after the preliminary rupture test, is shown in
Fig. 9.

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Fig. 9 The structure of the seismic isolator


Fig. 10 Seismic isolator during
calibration test

Before placing and fixing the isolators in the position, the deformability and energy dissipation characteristics of each isolator have been determined by calibration tests (Fig. 10).
Typical hysteresis relationships between lateral load and displacements are shown in Fig. 11a,
whereas the correlation between the average values of lateral stiffness, measured at different
values of lateral displacements, are shown in Fig. 11b. Since no attempt has been made to
design the isolators for improved energy dissipation capacity, the hysteresis is relatively thin
(Fig. 11a). As shown in Fig. 11b, the lateral stiffness was not constant but decreased with
increased lateral deformation. The measured average lateral stiffness at lateral displacement
d = 10 mm has been KH = 0.0325 kN/mm, at displacement d = 30 mm, KH = 0.0284 kN/mm,
whereas the average stiffness in vertical direction amounted to Kv = 1.62 kN/mm.

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Fig. 11 Results of seismic isolators calibration tests. (a) Lateral force-displacement hysteresis loops and
average relationship between the lateral stiffness and displacements (b)

To confine the structure and tie the walls with horizontally and vertically placed CFRP
laminate strips, as well as to strengthen the walls with diagonally placed strips, readily
available CFRP laminate, 1.2 mm thick, has been cut to 2 and 3 cm wide strips. The strips
have been glued on the masonry according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
The tensile strength of material, Sika CarboDur S, in the direction of fibers amounts to
3000 MPa, and the modulus of elasticity to 165,000 MPa. Before gluing the strips, the surface
of masonry has been thoroughly cleaned and penetrated with primer. Original epoxy adhesive
material, SikaDur, has been used to glue the strips on the masonry.
2.5 Simulation of seismic loads and measurements
The shape of the ground acceleration time history, used to control the shaking table motion,
corresponded to the 24 s long strong phase of the NS component of the ground acceleration
record, recorded at Petrovac during the Montenegro earthquake of April 15, 1979, with
maximum measured ground acceleration amax = 0.43 g (Fig. 12). The response spectrum of
the record is in general agreement with the Eurocode 8 proposed design spectrum with a
flat part in the range of natural periods of vibration from 0.15 to 0.6 s, depending on the

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Fig. 12 Strong phase of the NS component of the Petrovac ground acceleration record of the April 15, 1979,
earthquake of Montenegro and calculated ground displacement time history

type of the ground (Eurocode 8 2004). As the ambient and forced vibration measurements
of dynamic characteristics of old masonry buildings indicate, the period range of the flat
part of the design spectrum is in good agreement with the range of the first natural period
of vibration of buildings of various configuration and height, which varies from 0.2 to 0.5 s
(Sheppard 1989, Takov et al. 1984). Typical value of the first natural period of vibration for
the tested type of buildings is T = 0.25 s.
As a result of a processing error which has occurred when testing the control model
M1, the earthquake record has not been scaled in accordance with the rules of the simple
model similitude (see Table 1). Instead, it has been scaled as if complete models had been
tested. In order to directly compare the behavior of the tested models, it has been decided that,
despite the error, the same procedure be used also for testing the remaining models. However,
additional analysis to study the possible influence of such non-compliance in modeling the
seismic loads on the test result has been carried out.
Namely, by taking into consideration the fact that the models have been made of materials with strength characteristics similar to the prototype and taking into account the values
of scale factors, given in Table 1, it can be seen that the earthquake acceleration time history, used to control the shaking table motion, actually represented 48 s long earthquake
(TP = TM St = 12 4 = 48 s) with maximum ground acceleration equal to amax = 0.11 g
(aP = aM Sa = 0.43/4 = 0.11 g). Consequently, the resonance amplitudes of the response
spectra of the earthquake used to control the shaking table did not coincide with the natural
periods of vibration of the models, as has been planned when designing the tests. As can
be seen in Fig. 13, where the response spectra of the actual shaking table motion with indicated range of natural periods of vibration of the tested models are shown, the maximum
amplification range of the spectra is shifted outside the range of periods of vibration of the
non-isolated models. If the response spectra would have been compressed by 4-times, as

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Fig. 13 Typical response spectra of the shaking table motion. (a) First phase of testing: group of models
models M1, M2, and M3, and (b) second phase of testing: group of models M4 and M5. The range of the first
periods of vibration of the tested models is indicated by dashed lines

required by the rules of the model similitude, this would not be the case. The natural periods
of vibration of isolated models M3 and M5 also fall outside the maximum amplification
range, which, however, has been planned when designing the models. It can be seen that,
in the particular case studied, the fundamental periods of vibration of the tested models are
either lower (models M1, M2 and M4) or greater than the period range of amplification of
the modeled earthquake (models M3 and M4). Therefore, approximately the same level of
amplification of motion when subjected to shaking-table motion of the same intensity can be
expected in the case of both, non-isolated and isolated models.
Shaking table motion has been displacement controlled. To obtain the displacement time
history, used to control the shaking table, the acceleration time history of the model earthquake
has been integrated and the maximum calculated displacement value used to adjust the
intensity of motion. As can be seen in Fig. 14, good correlation between the earthquake
acceleration record, used as the input for the calculation of control displacements and the
actual accelerations, measured on the shaking table during the test, has been obtained.
Test run designated R100 usually represents the modeled prototype earthquake. In the
particular case studied, R100 represented 48 s actual prototype earthquake record with peak
ground acceleration ag = 0.11 g. Each model has been tested by a sequence of earthquakes
with gradually increased intensity of motion obtained by scaling the calculated displacement
time history. The notation in each test run represents the percent of the maximum displacement
value of the modeled earthquake. For example, test run R50 means 50% of intensity of the
modeled, i.e. R100 earthquake.

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Fig. 14 Correlation between the input earthquake accelerogram and accelerations, measured on the shaking
table

The tests have been carried out in two phases with a 2-year long time interval between
them. Models M1, M2, and M3 have been tested within the first phase, whereas models M4
and M5, strengthened with CFRP strips, have been tested within the second one. During the
first testing phase, mechanical problems affected the shaking table motion. Disturbances in
motion resulted into the unexpected spectral amplification in the high frequency range of
vibration, which, in the particular case studied, coincided with the first natural frequencies
of vibration of the models (Fig. 13a). The disturbances are important at zero level of critical
damping. However, the spectra in the high frequency (low period) range are smoothed if
the damping is taken into consideration. If 10% or more of critical damping is taken into
account, which is a typical value measured the free vibration test of models, the differences
in the response spectra of the first and second phase of testing did not significantly affect
the response of the tested models (see Table 3 for the critical damping of the tested models).
As can be seen in Fig. 13b, the mechanical problems of the shaking table motion have been
fixed in the second phase of testing.
To study the influence of different shapes of spectra, resulting from different shaking
table motions during the first (group of models M1, M2 and M3) and the second phase of
testing (group of models M4 and M5), Arias intensity of shaking, IA , and input energy, Einp ,
induced by the actuators work in each subsequent test run of each phase of testing, have
been compared. Arias intensity has been calculated by (Arias 1970):

IA =
2g

t0
2
am
(t) dt

(1)

Equation 2, which determines the input energy per unit of mass (Bertero and Uang 1992):
t0
|am (t)||vm (t)| dt,

Einp,um =

(2)

where:
t
vm (t) =

am ( ) d ,

(3)

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and:
am (t), - the shaking-table acceleration time history;
vm (t), - the shaking-table velocity time history, and
t0 , the duration of the motion in each individual test run,
has been used as a basis for the calculation of input energy, which has been defined as a
work of hydraulic actuator needed to drive the shaking table together with the model, from
the beginning of tests to the end of test run under consideration. Hence, the actuators work,
i.e. cumulative input energy from the beginning to the end of each individual test run, is
given by:
t0
Einp = me

|am ( )vr ( )| d,

(4)

where:
Einp , the cumulative input energy from the beginning to the end of the test under consideration,
am ( ) - the shaking-table acceleration time history,
vr ( ) - the relative velocity of the response of the model, idealized as a single degree of
freedom system,
t0 - the duration of excitation during each individual test run,
me - the equivalent mass of the model, idealized as a single degree of freedom system.
The response of the model has been taken into account by idealizing the tested structure with
an equivalent single degree of freedom system (Tomaevic 1987). The equivalent mass of
the model, idealized as a single degree of freedom system, has been calculated by:
me =

n


mi i ,

(5)

i=1

where i is the measured modal shape vector, and mi is a mass, concentrated at i-th floor
level (see below). The values of vr ( ) have been calculated on the basis of the measured
relative displacement response of the model at the location of the equivalent mass of the
equivalent single degree of freedom system.
The calculated values of Arias intensity, IA , and input energy, Einp , in each test run are
given in Table 2. In the same table, the average values of accelerations and displacements
of the shaking table motion, measured during the testing of models in both series of tests,
are also given. It can be seen that, regarding the maximum measured values of accelerations
and displacements, as well as intensity of motion, test run R75 in the first series of tests
(group of models M1, M2, and M3) corresponded to test run R100 in the second series
(group of models M4 and M5). Taking this into consideration, it can be concluded that
both groups of models have been tested in a similar way, by subjecting them to a similar
sequence of earthquake motion with similar intensity of motion in each subsequent test
run.
All models have been instrumented with a set of displacement transducers and accelerometers (Fig. 15), fixed to the models at the level of floors. The missing live load at the levels of
floors has been modelled by means of concrete blocks of adequate mass, which have been
fixed to wooden joists with steel bolts so that the in-plane rigidity of floors has not been significantly affected. In all cases, the mass of floors, including concrete blocks, and masonry

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Table 2 Maximum accelerations, amax , and displacements of the shaking table, dmax , Arias intensity, IA ,
and input energy, Einp , of the shaking table motion, measured during individual test runs
Test
run

First phase of tests: group of models M1, M2


and M3

Second phase of tests: group of models M4


and M5

amax (g)

amax (g)

dmax (mm)

IA (m/s)

Einp (Nm)

dmax (mm)

IA (m/s)

Einp (Nm)

R005

0.028

0.795

0.0072

1.2

0.027

0.600

0.0051

0.8

R025

0.131

3.480

0.2132

34.2

0.109

2.854

0.1380

20.4

R050

0.386

7.116

0.9018

130.4

0.239

5.660

0.5437

81.6

R075

0.505

10.827

2.0613

286.7

0.380

8.509

1.2221

180.1

R100

0.688

14.620

2.7559

360.8

0.483

11.322

2.1638

318.0

R150

0.727

17.034

4.8413

711.6

R200

1.015

22.721

8.5955

1259.2

R300

2.682

34.002

21.6463

2658.8

R350

3.555

39.492

30.7944

3411.1

Fig. 15 Instrumentation of models

walls, concentrated at floor levels, amounted to m2 = 287 kg at the second and m1 = 448.4 kg
at the first floor level. The total mass of the model, on the basis of which the weight of the
model, W , above the base has been calculated, amounted to mtot = 856.8 kg. In order to
prevent the damage to instruments and shaking table at the moment of collapse, concrete
blocks have been loosely hanged on the crane. All models have been oriented so that the
direction of shaking table motion coincided with longer dimension of the model. In other

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words, seismic loads acted in the direction of load-bearing walls, pierced with window and
door openings.

3 Test results
The control model M1 exhibited typical behavior of old masonry buildings with wooden
floors without wall ties: in the beginning of tests when subjected to low intensity earthquake
ground motion, the behavior has been monolithic. However, with increased intensity of
shaking during test run R50, first vertical cracks developed in the upper part of the model. As
a result of separation of walls during test run R75, the upper story of the model disintegrated
in the subsequent test run R100 and collapsed (Fig. 16a).
The tests of model M2 have shown that the damp-proof course in the form of a simple
PVC sheet placed in the mortar in the bed joint cannot be regarded as a seismic isolating
device. Although the compressive stresses in the walls with installed damp-proof course

Fig. 16 Collapse of models without wall ties. (a) Control model M1, model M2 with damp-proof course (b),
and isolated model M3 (c)

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Fig. 17 CFRP laminate strips confined models at the end of shaking-table test. (a) Model M4 and isolated
model M5 (b)

were low, the measurements have indicated only unsignificant sliding along the damp-proof
course (within the order of accuracy of measurements), which did not affect the response
of the model. The walls in the upper story disintegrated and the story collapsed at the same
intensity of excitation as has been the case of control model M1 (Fig. 16b).
Although improved behavior of model M3, placed on rubber seismic isolators has been
expected, model M3 exhibited practically the same poor behavior as non-isolated models
M1 and M2. However, a slight difference in the sequence of damage propagation has been
observed. Whereas damage propagated gradually in relation to intensity of motion in the
case of models M1 and M2, the collapse of model M3 during test run R100 has been sudden,
without cracks occurring during the previous test runs (Fig. 16c).
The seismic behavior of models M4 and M5 confined with CFRP laminate strips, however, has been significantly improved. The models did not suffer severe damage or collapse
even when subjected to ground motion with accelerations, which by more than three times
exceeded the accelerations withstood by models M1, M2 and M3 without wall ties (Fig. 17a,
b). Since the capacity of the shaking table has been attained, tests had to be terminated at that
point. In the case of the non-isolated model M4 the steel anchor angle profiles, by means of
which the vertical strips have been fixed to the foundation slab, pulled out (Fig. 18) and the
model started rocking on the foundation slab. Consequently, masonry crushed at the corners
and severe cracks occurred in the lintel parts of the walls.
In the case of model M5 on seismic isolators, one of the isolators detached (Fig. 19).
However, almost no damage has been observed in the models walls. It has to be noted, that
also in the case of model M4 no structural damage has been observed before the pulling out
of anchor angle profiles. By comparing the results of tests of CFRP laminate strengthened
and non-strengthened model walls (see Fig. 6), it seems that in the particular case studied, the
improved behavior is the result of confining the model structure with horizontal and vertical
CFRP strips, and not the result of diagonally placed strips on the wall piers.
The changes in dynamic characteristic of the tested models, measured before the tests and
after each subsequent test run, are presented in Table 3. The values of the first natural fre-

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Fig. 18 Detail of pulling out of the anchoring system of CFRP laminate strips in one of the corners of model
M4

Fig. 19 Detached isolator of model M5 after the shaking table test

quency of vibration f and coefficient of equivalent viscous damping (in % of critical damping), have been determined by hitting the model with impact hammer and analyzing the measured response. As can be seen, the measured first natural frequencies of vibration of the models are well in agreement with the expected prototype values: fP = fM S = 16 0.25
21 0.25 = 4 5.25 Hz, which corresponded to natural periods of vibration of typical old
masonry buildings (TP = 0.190.25 s; Takov et al. 1986). Fourier analysis of acceleration
and displacement records has been used to obtain these data. Unfortunately, the results of
measurements of dynamic characteristics of isolated, non-strengthened model M3 have been
lost due to technical problems.
As expected, a trend of degradation of the first natural frequency of vibration and increase
in values of coefficient of equivalent viscous damping can be observed with increased intensity
of excitation in all cases, except in the case of isolated model M5, which has suffered almost
no damage during testing. The differences in initial values of natural frequencies of vibration
of models M1 and M2 can be mainly attributed to differences in mechanical characteristic of
model masonry materials (coefficient of variation of the compressive strength of the model
bricks was 0.38). The increase in stiffness in the case of model M4, confined and strengthened

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Table 3 First natural frequency of vibration f (in s1 ) and coefficient of equivalent viscous damping (in %
of critical damping) measured on the models before the beginning of shaking table tests and after characteristic
test runs
Model
M1
M2

Before test

R50

R75

f (s1 )

15.6

12.3

12.3

(%)

13.5

16.7

15.5

f (s1 )

19.0

15.3

13.9

5.5

13.4

13.8

18.9

12.6

(%)
M4
M5

f (s1 )

R150

R300

21.2

20.6

19.5a

(%)

3.8

5.0

10.2

8.9

f (s1 )

2.2

2.1

9.5a
2.1a

2.1

2.1

11.6

10.2

10.1a

10.0

10.3

(%)

a Values are measured after test run R100, which corresponded to test run R75 in the case of testing of models
M1 and M2. No measurements have been carried out in the case of model M3

with CFRP laminate strips, however, can be attributed to the effect confining elements. The
fact that no changes in natural frequency and damping have been observed in the case of
the isolated model M5, is the result of seismic isolators, which reduced the response and
prevented structural damage of the model.
Typical measured acceleration responses of the tested models are shown in Figs. 2023.
As a measure of intensity of excitation, shaking table acceleration time history is also plotted
in each figure. In Figs. 20 and 21 the responses of control model M1 and CFRP laminate
confined model M4 to seismic excitation of the same intensity are compared (test runs R75
and R100, respectively; see Table 2 for the comparison of parameters defining the intensity
of shaking). In Figs. 22 and 23, however, the responses of CFRP laminate confined models
M4 and M5 to seismic excitation at maximum intensity (test run R300) are presented.
The maximum measured story acceleration values (absolute maximum values) for all
models are summarized in Table 4. To correlate the actual amplification of motion, maximum
measured accelerations of the shaking table motion are also given in the table. The same
observation as in the case of analyzing the amplication effects of the calculated shaking table
response spectra can be made. As can be seen in Table 5, where the amplification factors are
given as a ratio between the measured acceleration at the top of the model and acceleration
of the shaking table, the values are similar to values indicated in Fig. 13.
Although the amplification of shaking table motion has not been substantial, it can be
noticed, however, that even in the case of models M1, M2, and M3, which exhibited poor
seismic behavior, the accelerations measured at the top were relatively high. Since the maximum acceleration response values, measured during the test run R100 where the top floors
of models without wall ties disintegrated, do not represent the monolithic response of the
structure any more, the values are not included in the analysis.
Because of dynamic spectral characteristics of the model earthquake and tested models
it is difficult to directly assess the beneficial effect of seismic isolators in the case of the
strengthened models M4 and M5. By correlating the induced accelerations, it is evident
thatneglecting the fact that the natural periods of vibration of the models are either shorter
or longer than the period range of maximum amplification of the model earthquakemuch
smaller accelerations have been induced in the case of the base-isolated model M5 than in the
case of model M4 without base isolation. By comparing the acceleration responses of models
M4 and M5, the effect of isolators can be clearly seen. Whereas during the test runs R75

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Fig. 20 Acceleration response of model M2 to seismic excitation during test run R75

Fig. 21 Acceleration response of model M4 to seismic excitation during test run R100

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Fig. 22 Acceleration response of model M4 to seismic excitation during test run R300

Fig. 23 Acceleration response of model M5 to seismic excitation during test run R300

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Table 4 Maximum absolute accelerations of the shaking table ag,max , and response values aM,max , measured at floor levels and at the top of isolators during the characteristic test runs (in g)
Model

M1

M2

M3

M4

M5

Position

R50

R75

R100

R150

R200

R300

2nd floor

0.458

0.921

1st floor

0.408

0.616

Shaking table

0.386

0.505

0.688a

2nd floor

0.534

0.602

1st floor

0.395

0.530

Shaking table

0.386

0.505

0.688a

2nd floor

0.369

0.502

1st floor

0.349

0.512

Above isolator

0.284

0.459

Shaking table

0.386

0.505

0.688a

2nd floor

0.277

0.473

0.601

0.917

1.308

2.148

1st floor

0.257

0.425

0.549

0.825

1.170

2.539

Shaking table

0.239

0.380

0.483

0.727

1.015

2.682

2nd floor

0.250

0.381

0.496

0.695

0.901

1.266

1st floor

0.245

0.373

0.479

0.632

0.777

0.982

Above isolator

0.225

0.352

0.455

0.582

0.726

0.931

Shaking table

0.239

0.380

0.483

0.727

1.015

2.682

Prototype values: aP,max = 0.25 aM,max a Collapse: disintegration of the walls on the top floor

Table 5 Acceleration response amplification factors values A = aM,max /ag,max measured during the characteristic test runs
Model

Amplification
R50

R75

R100

R150

R200

R300

M1

1.19

1.82

M2

1.38

1.19

M3

0.96

0.99

M4

1.16

1.24

1.24

1.26

1.29

0.80

M5

1.05

1.00

1.03

0.96

0.89

0.47

and R100 the isolators reduced the acceleration response by 20%, the reduction amounted to
45% and 70% during the test runs R200 and R300 respectively.
Maximum measured absolute story displacement values are compared in Table 6. As was
the case of the measured first natural frequency of vibration, smaller displacement response
values also indicate the increased stiffness of the structure as a result of confinement of model
M4.
To better analyse the differences in the behavior of the models, the relationships between
the base shear developed in the first story of the models and relative story drift have been
also evaluated. Maximum values of the base shear evaluated on the basis of the measured
acceleration responses of the models during each test run are compared in Table 7. Base
shear is given in terms of the base shear coefficient, BSC, i.e. the ratio between the base shear

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Table 6 Maximum absolute story displacement response values, dM,max , measured at floor levels and at the
top of isolators during the characteristic test runs (in mm)
Model
M1
M2

M3

M4

M5

Position

R50

R75

R100

R150

R200

R300

2nd floor

1.442

10.062

1st floor

0.613

4.607

2nd floor

0.353

2.119

1st floor

0.186

1.322

2nd floor

18.010

28.240

1st floor

16.965

26.890

Above isolator

15.530

24.130

2nd floor

0.181

0.305

0.527

0.711

1.186

1st floor

0.155

0.247

0.356

0.472

0.754

5.417

2nd floor

15.414

24.863

33.724

49.734

62.227

85.075

1st floor

14.905

24.008

32.516

47.671

59.333

79.732

Above isolator

14.383

23.073

31.184

45.636

56.376

73.549

8.534

Prototype values: dP,max , = 4 dM,max


Table 7 Maximum base shear coefficient evaluated on the basis of the measured response of the models
during characteristic test runs BSC = mi amax,i /W
Model

R50

R75

R100

R150

R200

R300

M1

0.245

0.662

M2

0.225

0.453

M3

0.305

0.434

M4

0.228

0.380

0.488

0.739

1.050

2.032

M5

0.108

0.322

0.415

0.564

0.702

0.895

BS developed in the model during shaking and the weight of the model above the base W :
BSC = BS/W . Base shear has been calculated as the sum of products of masses, concentrated
at the levels of floors mi and measured average maximum values of accelerations at the same
level ai : BS = mi ai .
Typical base shear coefficientstory drift rotation angle hysteresis loops, calculated for
the cases of model responses, shown in Figs. 2023, are presented in Figs. 24 and 25. Story
drift rotation angle, , is defined as the ratio between the relative story drift, d, and story
height h:  = d/h (in %). The resistance curves, which show the relationships between the
maximum base shear developed in the model during individual test run and corresponding
value of story drift, evaluated on the basis of the measured responses of all models, are
presented in Fig. 26.
For this purpose, the rotation of model structures due to vertical deformations of isolators
has been taken into consideration in the case of isolated models M3 and M5. Since vertical
displacements of the foundation slab of the models above the isolators have not been measured, the rotation has been estimated on the basis of the measured vertical stiffnesses of
isolators and shear forces developed during vibration along the height of the models. Consequently, although the results are logical, the calculated corrections may only be considered
as an approximation.

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Fig. 24 Base shear coefficientrelative story drift rotation angle hysteresis loops. (a) Response of model
M2 during test run R75 and response of model M4 during test run R100 (b)

The comparison of test results clearly indicates the beneficial effect of confining and
strengthening old brick-masonry buildings with vertically, horizontally and diagonally placed
CFRP laminate strips. Although the strips have been placed on the outer side of the walls
only, the resistance of confined model M4 by more than 3-times exceeded the resistance of
control model M1 without wall ties. CFRP laminate strips ensured the integrity of model
structure even when subjected to seismic excitation which by more than 3.5-times exceeded
the intensity of excitation causing the collapse of control model. Obviously, the system of
vertical and horizontal confining elements, together with diagonally placed strips which took
the shear loads, ensured the structural integrity of the building and prevented the walls from
diagonal cracking. When the anchor plate at the bottom of vertical confinement of model M4
pulled off, the model started rocking as a rigid body. However, although crushing and falling
out of masonry units occurred at that point, the confinement maintained the integrity of the
structure until the end of test.
By comparing the resistance curves of CFRP laminate strips strengthened models M4
and M5, the efficiency of seismic isolators can be estimated. In the case of model M4, built
directly on the foundation slab of the shaking platform, the available lateral resistance has

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Fig. 25 Base shear coefficientrelative story drift rotation angle hysteresis loops. (a) Response of model
M4 during test run R300 and response of model M5 during test run R300 (b)

Fig. 26 Comparison of resistance curves evaluated on the basis of the model shaking table tests

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been almost attained, whereas at similar intensity of shaking the shear developed in the first
story of isolated model M5 has been more than 2-times smaller.

4 Conclusions
Experiments have shown that seismic isolation alone is not enough to improve the seismic
behavior of old masonry buildings without wall ties. Experiments have also shown that a
simple damp-proof course in the form of PVC sheet installed in the mortar bed joint cannot
be considered as seismic isolation. However, the shaking table tests of models, confined with
horizontal and vertical CFRP laminate strips and strengthened with diagonally placed strips
at the same time, indicated significantly improved seismic behavior. The CFRP laminate
strengthened models did not collapse even when subjected to ground accelerations which
by more than three-times exceeded accelerations causing the collapse of the models without
wall ties.
The experiments indicated the possibility of replacing the steel ties, which are installed
at floor levels of old masonry buildings as one of the usual seismic strengthening measures,
by CFRP laminates. Placed also vertically and diagonally, CFRP laminate strips additionally
strengthen the structure, if properly anchored into the foundation system at the ends. Although
the model earthquake, used to drive the shaking table in the particular study, cannot be
considered as typical design earthquake, the experiments also confirmed the long known
fact that seismic isolation of rigid masonry structures represents an efficient way to reduce
seismic loads. However, the experiments showed that the usual measures to ensure structural
integrity, such as the tying the walls with wall ties, should not be omitted.
The experiments indicated high efficiency of contemporary technical solutions
when applied to old masonry buildings. However, they also pointed out that technological details, crucial for the efficiency of such methods, need to be resolved before the methods
be widely applied to old masonry buildings. Namely, adequate solutions related with bonding
and efficient interaction between the materials which have so extremely different mechanical
characteristics as CFRP laminates and masonry, need yet to be found.
Acknowledgments The research presented in the paper has been carried out within the framework of research
project L2-0691 and research program P2-0274, financed by the Ministry of High Education, Science and
Technology of the Republic of Slovenia and co-financed by rubber industry, Sava Company Ltd., program
Construmat from Kranj, Slovenia. CFRP laminates and bonding materials have been given at disposition free
of costs by Sika AG, Slovenian branch from Trzin, Slovenia.

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