Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 4053–4080 | Cite as

Local effects on RC frames induced by AAC masonry infills through FEM simulation of in-plane tests

  • Riccardo R. Milanesi
  • Paolo Morandi
  • Guido Magenes
Original Research Paper


Unreinforced masonry infills are widely used in many parts of the world and it is common practice for seismic design to use simplified methods that usually do not take into account the interaction between the infill and the structure. Starting from the 1950s, many researchers have investigated the lateral response of masonry infills focusing on several different topics. The scientific interest on masonry infills is continuously raising due to the unsatisfactory seismic response of the infilled frame structures observed during post-event inspections and to the difficulty to contrive a widely scientifically and practical recognized solution. Although some modern codes consider the presence of infills with some specifications to prevent damage in the masonry panels and global and local effects on the structure, an effective evaluation of these detrimental effects has not been achieved yet. Within this paper, a FEM simulation of in-plane pseudo-static cyclic tests on a RC frame specimen infilled with unreinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) masonry infill has been performed in order to study accurately the influence and the interaction of the infill with the RC structure. The experimental results performed by Calvi and Bolognini (J Earthq Eng 5:153–185, 1999), and Penna and Calvi (Campagna sperimentale su telai in c.a. con tamponamenti in Gasbeton (AAC) con diverse soluzioni di rinforzo” (in Italian), 2006) on one-bay one-storey full scale specimens are taken as reference. Non-linear static analyses using a “meso-modelling” approach have been carried out. The masonry used in the model has been calibrated according to tests of mechanical characterization and to in-plane cyclic tests on load-bearing AAC masonry conducted by Costa et al. (J Earthq Eng 15:1–31, 2011). The analyses performed have allowed to investigate the local effects on the frame and, in particular, the changes in the moment and shear demands on the RC elements due to the presence of the AAC infill in comparison with the ones in the bare structure, and to estimate the thrust and the contact length activated by the infill on the frame.


Local effects AAC masonry Infilled structure FEM simulation Infill-structure interaction 



The research, upon which this work is based, has been carried out at the University of Pavia/EUCENTRE and at the Middle East Technical University, and it has been sponsored by the Erasmus Mundus Programme and by the Executive Projects DPC-RELUIS 2013–2016 and DPC-RELUIS 2017. The financial support for this study is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo R. Milanesi
    • 1
  • Paolo Morandi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guido Magenes
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.EUCENTREPaviaItaly

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