Characterising the in-plane seismic performance of infill masonry

  • Kathy Sassun UME School, IUSS Pavia, Italy
  • Timothy J. Sullivan University of Pavia and EUCENTRE, Pavia, Italy
  • Paolo Morandi University of Pavia and EUCENTRE, Pavia, Italy
  • Donatello Cardone University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy


Masonry infills, commonly found in frame buildings throughout Europe and other parts of the world, have performed poorly in past earthquakes, with infill damage endangering lives, causing disruption and significant monetary losses. To characterize the performance of masonry infills, commonly classified as non-structural elements, an extensive set of experimental test data is collected and examined in this work in order to develop fragility functions for the in plane performance of masonry infills. The collected data stems from testing conducted in Europe, the Middle East and the United States and includes solid and hollow clay brick or concrete block infills, constructed to be in contact within either reinforced concrete or steel framing. The results indicate that infill masonry can exhibit first signs of damage at drifts as low as 0.2% but may not suffer complete failure until drifts as high as 2.0%. Furthermore, it is shown that masonry fragility changes significantly according to the type of infill masonry. Subsequently, a short discussion is provided to highlight the potential use of the infill fragility information within non-linear analysis models of masonry infill. Finally, repair cost estimates for infills in Italy are computed using costing-manuals and are compared with cost estimates obtained through consultation with a number of Italian building contractors, with examination of both the median and dispersion in repair costs. It is anticipated that the results of this work will be particularly useful for advanced performance-based earthquake engineering assessments of buildings with masonry infill, providing new information on the in-plane fragility, repair costs and nonlinear modelling of masonry infills.


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How to Cite
Sassun, K., Sullivan, T. J., Morandi, P., & Cardone, D. (2016). Characterising the in-plane seismic performance of infill masonry. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 49(1), 98-115.