UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Seismic strengthening of unreinforced masonry walls using sprayable Ecofriendly Ductile Cementitious Composite (EDCC) Soleimani-Dashtaki, Salman


Due to their good sound and thermal insulation properties, unreinforced masonry (URM) walls are widely used in partitioning many of the commercial and residential buildings worldwide, either as in-fill or stand-alone. URM is considered one of the most common types of partition wall systems in many of the mid-age, low-rise to mid-rise, school and hospital buildings in North America. URM is still a very common and major building material, in many of the developing countries, being used in many residential and commercial buildings. URM partition walls are known to have very low drift capacity in seismic events and the failure mechanisms are known to be mostly brittle and of catastrophic nature, during earthquake ground motion. Compared to other partitioning systems, URM walls tend to perform poorly during earthquake events, leaving many injuries, casualties, and fatalities behind. This dissertation elaborates on development of a novel, effective, and practical methodology for a robust out-of-plane seismic strengthening technique toward seismically upgrading URM partition walls, using a thin plaster layer of sprayable Ecofriendly Ductile Cementitious Composite (EDCC). The EDCC layer is devoted to secure such walls, which exist in most parts of the world; specially, in developing countries, where world’s most population density is concentrated. In many of these countries, retrofit is the only option, since building replacement is not practical nor an economically feasible solution. The EDCC material can be applied in three different methods: hand troweled, hopper sprayed, or pump sprayed. The thickness of the layer can vary between 10mm to 20mm, depending on the design variables. Full-scale URM walls are built, strengthened, and tested on a shake table, using the strongest real historical earthquake records. The EDCC layer is providing nearly full out-of-plane detention for the wall’s building blocks, as well as minor but uniform shear capacity enhancements for the in-plane action; therefore, holding the masonry units together from falling apart and being thrown during an earthquake generated ground motion. The newly developed high performance material is sprayable, ductile, and resilient, while being affordable, and easy to apply, with much less carbon footprint compared to other similar repair materials.

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