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Uncertainty Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Masonry Walls under Out-of-plane Loading
- Author / Creator
- Metwally, Ziead
Masonry, as a conventional construction material, is widely used due to its durability, strength,
hygrothermal performance, and aesthetics. However, the behaviour of masonry structures is not
fully comprehended, especially in the face of uncertainty. This lack of understating on the
behaviour of masonry structures is usually compensated by imposing overly conservative design
provisions. Inherent uncertainties in the material and geometric properties of masonry structures
result in large scatter in the experimentally or analytically predicted behaviour. Thus,
understanding the influence of these uncertainties on the structural behaviour of masonry
structures is of paramount importance to lay down the basis for reliable structural design.
This thesis focuses on the uncertainty analysis of the out-of-plane behaviour of reinforced concrete
masonry walls using mechanics-based finite element (FE) models and experimental testing data.
Specifically, this thesis includes three main phases. In the first phase, the probabilistic behaviour
of reinforced concrete masonry walls is investigated, employing mechanics-based macro FE
models in conjunction with Monte Carlo simulations (MCS). The effect of the inherited
uncertainties in the material and geometric properties on different response quantities (e.g., load
capacity and deformation capacity) is also investigated through a variance-based global sensitivity
analysis. Additionally, the model uncertainty in FE-predicted load capacity is quantified to
characterize the model error, which is found to be influential compared to geometric and material
uncertainties, though FE models are commonly used for numerical studies.
The second phase focuses on assessing the reliability of reinforced concrete masonry walls loaded
out-of-plane with the limit state functions formulated employing the developed macro FE models.
In this phase, the importance of model uncertainty on the reliability assessment is revealed. The
reliability assessment conducted considering different global and local failure criteria provides
insights into their effect on the safety levels of walls. The reliability assessment is found to be
sensitive to the adopted failure criteria. In addition, different factors are found to influence the
reliability assessment of the walls designed according to the masonry design code; specifically,
walls with different slenderness ratios and load eccentricities show inconsistent reliability levels.
The model errors associated with the out-of-plane load capacity provided in masonry design codes
in North America (i.e., CSA S304-14 and TMS 402-16) are investigated in the third phase. FEbased and experimental data are used to quantify the model error associated with design codebased models. In addition, the sensitivity of the model error to the variations associated with
different design parameters is investigated. It is found that CSA S304-14 is overly conservative
for highly slender walls with low load eccentricities, while TMS 402-16 gives more reasonable
capacity predictions for such walls. However, TMS 402-16 is found to overestimate the capacities
of highly slender walls with relatively high reinforcement ratios and load eccentricities. The codebased models are employed in reliability assessment to investigate the influence of the accuracy
of the behavioural model on the reliability of the masonry walls. It is found that using the codebased models in the reliability assessment without considering their model error results in
significantly biased reliability results. This highlights the need and potential room for design code
- Graduation date
- Spring 2022
- Type of Item
- Master of Science
- This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.