This comprehensive experimental study aims at investigating the behavior of masonry infill panels strengthened by fiber reinforced engineered cementitious composites (ECC). The experimental program included testing of materials, masonry elements and panels. Material tests were carried out first for ECC in order to assess its distinctive mechanical properties such as tensile stress–strain behavior and multiple cracking. To investigate the influence of a thin layer of ECC on plain masonry in terms of changes in stiffness, strength, and deformability, small scale tests have been conducted on masonry elements. Finally, a total of 10 brick panels including two control specimens and eight specimens with different ECC-strengthening configuration were selected. The specimens were subjected to diagonal compression loading under displacement control to evaluate their in-plane deformation and strength properties, including the post-peak softening behavior in view of seismic applications. The obtained resultsindicate that the proposed ECC-strengthening technique can effectively increase the shear capacity of masonry panels, improve their deformability, enhance their energy absorption capacity, and prevent the brittle failure mode. Furthermore, the superior deformability of ECC is clearly reflected by cracks development in the ECC layer, which was monitored by a high resolution camera and was analyzed using Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique.
Materials and Structures, 2015, Vol 48, Issue 1-2, p. 185-204