An important factor to consider is the resistance of load bearing masonry walls subjected to out-of-plane loading during an earthquake. In addition to in-plane forces, earthquake accelerations produce out-of-plane forces which may cause the wall to fail under flexure, very similar to a reinforced concrete slab, loaded perpendicular to its plane. Four wall specimens were tested under out-of-plane hysteretic loads to assess its behaviour. The paper also describes different measures taken to improve both the strength and the ductility of the original specimen. It appears from the tests that the proposed measures improve substantially the strength, but ductility was only slightly improved.
Key words: Load bearing, masonry walls, earthquake, out-of-plane failure, ductility.
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