Increasing the Blast Resistance of Concrete Masonry Walls Using Fabric Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (FRCM) Composites

Title: Increasing the Blast Resistance of Concrete Masonry Walls Using Fabric Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (FRCM) Composites
Authors: Perez Garcia, Ramon
Date: 2021-05-07
Abstract: Unreinforced masonry (URM) walls are often used as load-bearing or infill walls in buildings in many countries. Such walls are also commonly found in existing and heritage buildings in Canada. URM walls are strong structural elements when subjected to axial loading, but are very vulnerable under out-of-plane loads. This type of loading may come from different sources , including seismic or blast events. When subjected to blast, wall elements experience large pressures on one of their faces due to the high pressure produced in the air when an explosion takes place. This wave of compressed air travels in a very short time and hits the wall causing immense stresses, which result in large shear and bending demands that may lead to wall failure, and the projection of debris at high velocities that can injure building occupants. This failure process is highly brittle due to the very low out-of-plane strength that characterize such walls. In the past years, many investigations have been carried out to enhance the structural behaviour of unreinforced masonry walls under out-of-plane loading. Different strengthening methods have been studied, which include the use of polyurea coatings, the application of advanced fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites or the use of concrete overlays in combination with high performance reinforcement. Fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) is a new composite material that overcomes some of the drawbacks of FRP. This composite material consists of applying coatings which consist of one or more layers of cement-based mortar reinforced with a corresponding open mesh of dry fibers (fabric). This material has been studied as a strengthening technique to improve in-plane and out-of-plane capacity of existing URM walls as well as other structural elements, mostly under seismic actions. This thesis presents an experimental and analytical study which investigates the effectiveness of using FRCM composites to improve the out-of-plane resistance of URM walls when subjected to blast loading. As part of the experimental program, three large-scale URM masonry walls were constructed and strengthened with 1,2 and 3 layers of FRCM using unidirectional carbon fabrics. In all cases the specimens were built as load-bearing concrete masonry (CMU) walls. To increase shear resistance, two of the walls were also grouted with a flowable self-compacting concrete (SCC) mortar. Blast tests were conducted using the University of Ottawa Shock Tube and the results are compared with control walls tested in previous research at the University of Ottawa. The experimental results show that the FRCM retrofit significantly improved the blast performance of the URM load-bearing walls, allowing for increased blast capacity and improved control of displacements. The performance of the retrofit was found to be dependent on the number of retrofit layers. As part of the analytical research, Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) analysis was carried out to predict the blast behaviour of the strengthened walls. This was done by computing wall flexural strength using plane sectional analysis and developing idealized resistance curves for use in the SDOF analysis. In general, the analysis procedure is found to produce reasonably accurate results for both the resistance functions and wall mid-height displacements under blast loading.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -