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Abstract

In unreinforced masonry (URM) walls the vertical piers are connected by horizontal spandrel elements. Numerical simulations have shown that spandrels influence significantly the global wall behaviour under seismic loading. Despite their importance, experimental data on the cyclic behaviour of these spandrels is very scarce. The lack of experimental data prevented in the past the validation of numerical and mechanical models regarding the cyclic behaviour of masonry spandrels. For this reason a research program was initiated in which the cyclic behaviour of masonry spandrels was investigated experimentally and numerically. Within this program different configurations of masonry spandrels were tested under quasi-static monotonic and cyclic loading. The spandrel configurations that were investigated included pure masonry spandrels and masonry spandrels which also comprise a reinforced concrete (RC) beam or slab. The latter represents spandrels in newer masonry buildings with RC slabs or RC ring beams while the former can be found in older masonry buildings. This paper presents preliminary results of the experimental program as well as some selected results of the accompanying numerical study.

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