Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 135–159 | Cite as

Experimental testing, numerical modelling and seismic strengthening of traditional stone masonry: comprehensive study of a real Azorian pier

  • Alexandre A. Costa
  • António Arêde
  • Aníbal Costa
  • João Guedes
  • Bruno Silva
Original Research Paper


Stone masonry is one of the oldest building techniques used worldwide and it is known to exhibit poor behaviour under seismic excitations. In this context, this work aims at assessing the in-plane behaviour of an existing double-leaf stone masonry pier by experimental testing. Additionally, a detailed 3D finite element numerical analysis based on micro-modelling of the original pier is presented (fully describing the geometry and division of each individual elements, namely infill, blocks and joints) aiming at simulating the experimental test results. This numerical strategy can be seen as an alternative way of analysing this type of constructions, particularly useful for laboratory studies, and suitable for the calibration of simplified numerical models. As part of a wider research activity, this work is further complemented with the presentation of an effective retrofit/strengthening technique (reinforced connected plaster) to achieve a significant improvement of its in-plane cyclic response which is experimentally verified in the results presented herein.


Stone masonry In-plane behaviour Experimental test Numerical modelling Strengthening 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrams D (1996) Effects of scale and loading rate with tests of concrete and masonry structures. Earthq Spectr 12(1):13–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1193/1.1585866
  2. Almeida C (2000) Análise do Comportamento da Igreja do Mosteiro da Serra do pilar sob a Acção dos Sismos. MSc Dissertation. Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto. Available via NCREP/FEUP. http://ncrep.fe.up.pt/
  3. Arêde A (2008) In situ testing of the out-of-plane capacity of traditional stone masonry walls. International Seminar on Seismic Risk and Rehabilitation, Faial, Azores, PortugalGoogle Scholar
  4. Arêde A, Costa A, Costa AA, Oliveira CS, Neves F (2008) Experimental in-situ testing of typical masonry constructions of Faial Island—Azores. In: 14th world conference on earthquake engineering. Beijing, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  5. Betti M, Vignoli A (2008) Modelling and analysis of a romanesque church under earthquake loading: assessment of seismic resistance. Eng Struct 30:352–367. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.03.027 Google Scholar
  6. Casolo S, Peña F (2007) Rigid element model for in-plane dynamics of masonry walls considering hysteretic behaviour and damage. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 36:1029–1048. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eqe.670
  7. Cavicchi A, Gambarotta L (2005) Collapse analysis of masonry bridges taking into account arch-infill interaction. Eng Struct 27:605–615. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2004.12.002 Google Scholar
  8. CEA (2003) Manuel dútilisation de Cast3 m, Saclay: Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique. Available via CEA. http://www.cast3m.cea.fr
  9. CEN (2005) Eurocode 8: design of structures for earthquake resistance, part 1: general rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings. Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  10. Corradi M, Tedeschi C, Binda L, Borri A (2008) Experimental evaluation of shear and compression strength of masonry wall before and after reinforcement: deep repointing. Constr Bldg Mat 22:463–472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2006.11.021
  11. Costa A (2002) Determination of mechanical properties of traditional masonry walls in dwellings of Faial Island. Azores Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 37:1361–1382. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eqe.167
  12. Costa A, Arêde A (2006) Strengthening of structures damaged by the Azores earthquake of 1998. Constr Bldg Mat 20:252–268. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2005.08.029
  13. Costa AA (2007) Experimental testing of lateral capacity of masonry piers. An application to seismic assessment of AAC masonry buildings 2007. MSc Dissertation. European school for advanced studies in reduction of seismic risk (ROSE School)Google Scholar
  14. Cundall PA (1988) Formulation of a three-dimensional distinct element model—part I: a scheme to detect and represent contacts in a system composed of many polyhedral blocks. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 25:107–116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0148-9062(88)92293-0
  15. Drucker DC, Prager W (1952) Soil mechanics and plastic analysis or limit design. Quart Appl Math 10: 157–165Google Scholar
  16. Duchesne A, Raepsaet X (1997) Un modèle Élasto-plastique de CASTEM 2000 utilisable pour la modélisation du comportement mécanique d’Un lit de particules. JRC, IspraGoogle Scholar
  17. Gambarotta L, Lagomarsino S (1996) On dynamic response of masonry panels. In: National conference “Masonry Mechanics Between Theory and Pratice”. Messina, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  18. Gambarotta L, Lagomarsino S (1997) Damage models for the seismic response of brick masonry shear walls. Part II: the continuum model and its applications. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 26:441–463. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1096-9845(199704)26:4<441::AID-EQE651>3.0.CO;2-0
  19. INE (2002) Censos 2001. LisboaGoogle Scholar
  20. Juhásová E, Sofronie R, Bairrão R (2007) Stone masonry in historical buildings—ways to increase their resistance and durability. Eng Struct 30:2194–2205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.07.008 Google Scholar
  21. Lemos JV (2007) Discrete element modeling of masonry structures. Int J Arch Herit 1(2):190–213. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15583050601176868 Google Scholar
  22. Lourenço PB (1996) Computational strategies for masonry structures. PhD Dissertation. Delft University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  23. Magenes G, Della Fontana A (1998) Simplified non-linear seismic analysis of masonry buildings. In: 5th international masonry conference. LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Magenes G., Galasco A., Penna A (2009) Caratterizzazione meccanica di una muratura in pietra. In: ANIDIS 2009—XIII convegno di ingegneria sismica in Italia. Bologna, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  25. Milani G, Lourenço PB, Tralli A (2006) Homogenization approach for the limit analysis of out-of-plane loaded masonry walls. Struct Eng 132(10):1650–1663. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9445(2006)132:10(1650) Google Scholar
  26. Neves F, Vicente RS, Costa A, Oliveira CS (2008) Seismic vulnerability assessment of the buildings in Faial Island, Azores. International seminar on seismic risk and rehabilitation, Faial, Azores, PortugalGoogle Scholar
  27. Oliveira CS, Malheiro AM (1999) The Faial, Pico, São Jorge Azores Earthquake of July 9, 1998. LNEC, LisbonGoogle Scholar
  28. OPCM no. 3274 (2005) Primi elementi in materiali di criteri generali per la classificazione sismica del territorio nazionale e di normative tecniche per le costruzioni in zona sísmica, come modificato dall’OPCM 3431 del 3/5/05Google Scholar
  29. Page AW (1978) Finite element model for masonry. J Struct Div (ASCE) 104(88): 1267–1285Google Scholar
  30. Paulson TJ, Abrams DP (1990) Correlation between static and dynamic response of model masonry structures. Earthq Spectra 6(3):573–592. http://dx.doi.org/10.1193/1.1585587
  31. Penazzi D, Valluzzi MR, Saisi A, Binda L, Modena C (2001) Repair and strengthening of historic masonry buildings in seismic areas. In: Archi 2000. Paris, France, ICOMOSGoogle Scholar
  32. Pegon P, Pinto AV (1996) Seismic study of monumental structures—structural analysis, modelling and definition of experimental model. JRC, IspraGoogle Scholar
  33. Sorrentino L, Kunnath S, Monti G, Scalora G (2008) Seismically induced one-sided rocking response of unreinforced masonry façades. Eng Struct 30:2140–2153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.02.021 Google Scholar
  34. Valluzzi MR, da Porto F, Modena C (2001) Behaviour of multi-leaf stone masonry walls strengthened by different intervention techniques. In: Structural analysis of historical constructions. Guimarães, PortugalGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre A. Costa
    • 1
  • António Arêde
    • 1
  • Aníbal Costa
    • 2
  • João Guedes
    • 1
  • Bruno Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

Personalised recommendations