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Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy


*Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher
Professor of Concrete Structures, Faculty of Engineering, Tanta University,
& Vice-Dean, Post-Graduate and Research Affairs, Faculty of Engineering, Tanta University,
Director, Higher Education Enhancement Project Fund (HEEPF), Ministry of Higher
Education, Egypt.

and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

Lecturer Assistant, Structural Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Tanta

- -





* Address for correspondence:

Prof. Dr. Salah El-Din M. Fahmy Taher
23a Anas Ibn Malik St.
Al-Mohandseen 12411,
Giza, Egypt
Cell #: (+20) 10 1692682 Tel./Fax: (+20) 2 37491056
* Email:
Paper Received 16 April 2007; Revised 4 September 2007; Accepted 28 November 2008


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

The influence of partial masonry infilling on the seismic lateral behavior of low,
medium, and high rise buildings is addressed. The most simple equivalent frame
system with reduced degrees of freedom is proposed for handling multi-story multi-bay
infilled frames. The system is composed of a homogenized continuum for the
reinforced concrete members braced with unilateral diagonal struts for each bay, which
are only activated in compression. Identification of the equivalent system
characteristics and nonlinear material properties is accomplished from the concepts of
inverse analysis, along with statistical tests of the hypotheses, employed to establish the
appropriate filtering scheme and the proper accuracy tolerance. The suggested system
allows for nonlinear finite element static and dynamic analysis of sophisticated infilled
reinforced concrete frames. Sensitivity analysis is undertaken to check the suitability of
the proposed system to manipulate various structural applications. The effect of
number of stories, number of bays, infill proportioning, and infill locations are
investigated. Geometric and material nonlinearity of both infill panel and reinforced
concrete frame are considered in the nonlinear finite element analysis. Energy
consideration using modified Rayleighs method is employed to figure out the response
parameters under lateral dynamic excitations. The results reflect the significance of
infill in increasing the strength, stiffness, and frequency of the entire system depending
on the position and amount of infilling. Lower infilling is noted to provide more
stiffness for the system as compared with upper locations.
Key words: infilled reinforced concrete frames, damage mechanics, nonlinear finite
element modeling, equivalent frame, statistics, inverse problem, back analysis,
dynamic analysis, masonry


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy


Nonlinear dynamic analysis of high rise infilled reinforced concrete framed systems involves several intricate aspects
[1]. These comprise the number of parameters characterizing the composite material nonlinearity of the various
components constituting the entire structural system including concrete, steel reinforcement, interface elements,
masonry, mortar, joints, fixtures, and connections whenever applicable. Even though mesh generation capabilities for
media discretization in finite element framework or for internal cell development in boundary element scheme are
provided, the input phase might still be very sophisticated for real life applications. In addition, analysis of the output
results might be formidable, especially where time history analysis is required or when the frequency domain has to be
conceived. Moreover, computational limitations in commercial packages through the built-in dimensioning of arrays or
through convergence restrictions in nonlinear schemes may encumber the whole process. In turn, these drawbacks have
provided the incentive for establishing the various equivalence approaches developed to date [2].
As categorized originally by Whittman in 1983 and modified later by other investigators [3], nano-, micro-, meso-,
macro-, and structural-scales are the different levels that can be considered for tackling the problem. Albeit approximate,
an equivalent system at the structural level with a satisfactory degree of accuracy is basically required to handle
structural problems, especially under dynamic excitations. The efficiency of the equivalent system resides in its
capability for simulating the real behavior. Once a cost-effective, reliable, efficient, and accurate model is achieved,
extrapolation of existing experimental results may be carried out and minute details on deformations, strains, internal
stresses, mode shapes, frequencies, and time-history can be determined. Nonlinearity of the behavior is evident, and an
incrementaliterative finite element computational scheme should, therefore, be adopted. Besides, a reliable equivalence
has to take into account the following features:

The orthotropic nature of planar infilled structures requires the use of very sophisticated constitutive
relations and complex elements to represent the various components.


The highly nonlinear response of infilled frames, even at low load levels, makes irrelevant the use of linear
elastic elements in most cases.


The simulation of certain brittle infill materials may create serious numerical problems.


The softening behavior, tension stiffening, shear retention, interface slippage, anisotropic, or orthotropic
nature of the constituent materials.


The unilateral features of the behavior due to non-uniform contact and separation between the frame and
the infill and the development of interfacial stresses.

Apart from Liauws idea [4] of using an equivalent frame of the same stiffness and strength through a transformed
composite section of the infilled frame, most other idealizations were directed towards proposing an appropriate strut
system, originally proposed by Polyakov [5] and subsequently developed by Smith [6], rather than the relatively
cumbersome analytical solution using the polynomial stress function [7]. Micromechanical and macromechanical
approaches have been widely used in previous work [811]. Micro-modeling was found to be relatively time-consuming
for analysis of large structures where existence of mortar joints is taken into account [12]. For example, Mosalam [13]
and Dhanasekar and Page [14] used a nonlinear orthotropic model, while Liauw and Lo [15] a employed smeared crack
model and Mehrabi and Shing [16] utilized a dilatant interface constitutive model to simulate the infill behavior. On the
other hand, the infill panel was macromechanically treated as homogeneous material and the effect of mortar joints
between masonry units was smeared over the whole panel and taken on an average sense [17, 18, 19]. Because of the
sophistication of the problem description, most of the numerical investigations were restricted to frames of limited
number of bays and stories [8, 12, 14, 17, 19, 2032]. Discarding nonlinear nature of the behavior, Sayed [32] studied
the free vibration of multi-bay multi-story infilled frames through skeletal idealization of the structure. The infill was
modeled using Mainstones representation [33] and infinite (continuous) treatment for the stiffness and mass of the frame
members was considered to investigate the effect of location and percentage of the infill. Therefore, it can be concluded
that the analysis of high rise infilled frames still requires a simple, yet rigorous, finite element idealization of the
problem. Afefy [20] carried out a more elaborate nonlinear finite element analysis of multi-bay multi-story infilled
reinforced concrete frames under dynamic loading.

October 2008

The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B


Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

In the present work, a new nonlinear equivalent frame is proposed in which the inverse analysis for system parameter
identification with the appropriate filtering technique is employed. Statistical testing of the hypotheses is applied to judge
the accuracy of the equivalent system from the energy absorption standpoint. The suggested equivalent system is
represented by continuum idealization for the reinforced concrete members, while the infill panel and the interface are
idealized by a equivalent unilateral diagonal strut. The equivalent system is thus suitable for nonlinear finite element
analysis with reduced degrees of freedom that is capable of capturing most of the salient features of the response. Static
as well as dynamic verification and validation of the equivalent system are carried out for several study cases, which
depict its reasonable accuracy.
The basic idea of deriving the equivalent system is to reduce the total number of degrees of freedom while attaining
the physical description of the problem almost unchanged [20]. This intention is motivated by incorporating problem
nonlinearity in the static and dynamic analysis of high rise buildings with masonry infill. Figure 1 illustrates conceptually
the successive system reduction from the micro-scale to macro-scale then to structural scale idealization in order to
achieve the required equivalent system.

Continuum idealization
for reinforced concrete

Equivalent unilateral
strut idealization
for the infill panel
and the interface

Interface material

Continuum idealization
for the infill panel


Real problem configuration

Idealized macro-scale idealization
Idealized structural-scale idealization
Figure 1. Methodology of establishing the system equivalence

The first step is a homogenization phase to replace the concrete and steel reinforcement with its intricate features by
equivalent media with mutually equivalent responses. In addition, the brick and the mortar in joints and beds are replaced
correspondingly by an equivalent masonry panel. The interface between the two equivalent homogenized materials is
kept unchanged from the actual problem configuration because of its importance in delineating the actual behavior. The
outcome of the substitution process of either or all, (Figure 1(b)), individual components (R.C. and/or infill panel) by
equivalent homogenized media represents the micro- to macro-modeling reduction. The final step is to replace the infill
and its frame-interface by equivalent diagonal struts with compression bracing an by, as shown in (Figure 1(c)). The
entire process is formulated through computational modeling by the finite element method.
The well-established approaches that can serve for the proposed methodology are inverse analysis [34], back analysis
[35], and advanced statistical approaches by semi-variogram and Kriging estimation [36]. Recent applications of inverse
analysis focused on structural applications, while back analysis had many advances in tunneling and geotechnical
projects. The latter approach is widely used for geological, mining, oil production, and in-situ testing to determine the
connatural system parameters. However, the three approaches are not contradictory and the fundamental concepts can be
combined for broader applications. In the present work system identification on the combined bases of inverse analysis
and statistical considerations is followed.


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

Inverse analysis is generally defined as the process of developing an analytical model for a certain structure, based on
the knowledge about its measured input and output signals. If the obtained model depicts an accurate representation of
the true system behavior, it can be used for prediction of the system response to any possible future events. Otherwise,
the model will have limitations in its applicability to arbitrary problems. Reliability in its application for system
identification is dependent on the precision of the adapted model as well as the possibility of obtaining a convergent and
accurate value for its parameters. The determination of the state of a system from measurements contaminated with noise
is called filtering. The system noise is the difference between the real behavior of the physical system and the one
produced by the adopted mathematical model. The filtering problem can be interpreted as a technique to find the best
matching between a constructed mathematical model and the actual response of the system behavior.
3.1. Infill Panel
The work of Papa and co-workers [9, 37] is considered where a homogenized continuum exhibiting elasto-plastic
damage behavior was conceived. The damage model was phenomenonlogically adopted and experimentally calibrated
for mortar, while bricks were described as brittleelastic. The homogenization procedures led to orthotropic constitutive
law for masonry wall under monotonic and cyclic loading that was validated by experiments on infill masonry panels
and entailed differences of no more than 3%.
In the micro-scale, bricks were assumed as linear-elasticbrittle, the failure threshold being defined by Grashoffs
criterion of maximum tensile strain. On the other hand, mortar was considered as an elastic material susceptible to
damage, understood as degradation of stiffness and sometimes also of strength (softening). The homogenization
procedure to macro-scale substantiated a semi-heuristical expression for the non-zero entities for the masonry stress
strain matrix Cij expressed by Von-Karman (Voigt) notations, as functions of brick and mortar Youngs moduli Eb and
Em in MPa , and a prescribed damage variable for mortar as follows
C1 1 = (0.3 Em +1.775 Eb) D (0.12 Em 0.05 Eb),


C2 2 = (0.55 Em +1.525 Eb) (1Dn)1/2 ,


C1 2 = 0.2 C2 2 ,


C3 3 = 0.4 C2 2


with n = 1+(Em / 15 000) (Em / Eb)1/2

Such an isotropic representation of the damage variable is acceptable for in-plane loading of infilled frames where the
behavior of masonry panel is predominantly characterized by the formation of unilateral diagonal struts with almost
unchanged principal directions.
3.2. Reinforced Concrete
Homogenization of reinforced concrete members has been a scope of research for several decades [38]. This
procedure may not be appropriate for meticulous analysis of members and connections while its suitability may be
achieved, on an average sense, for structures where the minute details does not influence the overall behavior
significantly [20]. For example, Mehrabi and Shing [16] noted that the bond-slip characteristics between steel and
concrete were found insignificant in analysis of infilled frames. Steel reinforcement may be modeled by the smeared
approach with distributed properties [39]. However, the most important property is the material nonlinearity of the
homogenized media that accounts for the elastoplastic behavior.
For the micro-modeling, the theory of dichotomy [40, 41] that was developed for elastoplastic damage modeling of
concrete is used. The basic idea for an element in any deformable material is that the continuum can be equivalently
replaced by an orthogonal nonlinear spring system whose stiffness depends on the ratio of the principal stresses. For each
principal direction, the total behavior is dichotomized into elasticdamage and plasticdamage components by
decomposing the strain tensor. The comprehensive loading history can be deduced using the appropriate stressstrain
spaces. Thus for a material point loaded under biaxial stress states, six stressstrain spaces are deduced.
Three damage variables are described through monitoring the degradation of the three moduli depicting the behavior.
The constitutive equations can be expressed as
i = (1dai) Aoi i

October 2008


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B


Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

= (1dei) Eoi ie


(1dpi) Poi ip


in which dci (c = a, e,p) are the damage variables associated with the pseudo initial moduli Coi (C =A, E, P) in the ith
direction. These moduli represent the initial tangents of the stresstotal strain (A) space, stresselastic strain component
(E) space and the stressplastic strain component (P) space in the direction under consideration. In order that the
constitutive equations account for the path dependence as prevalent in concrete and other rock-like materials, the forms
of the pseudo initial moduli, for plane-stress analysis were functionally dependent on the biaxiality ratio 1 = 1 /2, and
the current state of strain in the ith direction, while the incremental damage variables were expressed additionally in terms
of the strain increment i i. e.,
Coi = Coi ( 1 , i),


dci = dci (1 , i , i)


The stress increment was, therefore, given in the following form



i = (1 d ci ) C oi i C oi ic d ci

d ci c .c
= C oi 1 - d ci
i i


where (.) is the time derivative while i, i are meant for c = a in ic and ic, respectively. Additionally, for unloading in
the j th direction dej = 0 , since the process is purely elastic. Equation (10) represented the canonical form of the
incremental stressstrain relationships.
As far as micro-modeling is concerned, the special steelconcrete interface element and steel boom element are used
[39]. Elastoplastic behavior with isotropic hardening is considered for reinforcement according to von Mises criterion,
where the onset of yielding is assumed to take place when the octahedral shearing stress reaches a critical value k, k= (J2)
, as follows
f = 3k y = 0


where y is the yield stress from uniaxial tests.

For macro-modeling, reinforced concrete is modeled as a unilateral nonlinear isotropic hardening elastoplastic
material, where the behavior in compression and in the tension is different. Aiming at model versatility for application
through commercial nonlinear software packages, DruckerPrager criterion is used as follows
f ( I1, J 2 ) = I1 + J 2 k = 0


where I1 is the first stress invariant of stress tensor ij, J2 is the second stress invariant for deviatoric stress tensor, and k
are material constants dependent on is the angle of internal friction, and the cohesion C. These properties for concrete,
c and Cc, are related to the compressive strength, fc and tensile strength, ft of concrete as follows
Cc = 0.5 fc ft
c = sin1

f c ft
f c + ft


The model parameters for the homogenized media and C are to be assessed through the inverse analysis. Eightnoded Serendipity elements are used in the finite element discretization.
For both micro- and macro-modeling, the frame-masonry interface is one of the most influencing parameters [1]. The
interface is modeled as non-integral continuum material with no tensile capacity and brittle behavior in compression
using an appropriate interface element [39].
For further reduction of the degrees of freedom, the infill panel along with the framemasonry interface are replaced
by diagonal unilateral prismatic strut while the homogenized reinforced concrete is maintain unchanged. The member is
postulated to withstand no tensile resistance while linear brittle behavior is assumed in compression. The geometric
dimensions are determined according to the aspect ratio of the infill panel after Mainstones representation [33]. The


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

finite element representation makes use of the 8-noded serendipity element for reinforced concrete while 2-noded link
element for the diagonal strut. The statistical filteration scheme suggested by the authors and co-workers [20] is utilized
in the present study.
Inverse analysis is applied to the study case illustrated in Figure 2. The reinforced concrete bare frame is orthogonal
skeleton with prismatic members of 250600mm with bay width of 4000mm and story height of 3000mm made of
ordinary strength concrete 25 MPa. High tensile steel of proof strength 360 MPa is used for the main reinforcement
while mild steel of yield stress 240 MPa is used for 8mm @ 150mm stirrups. Following the pre-mentioned methodology
micro- to macro-scale homogenization for infill panel consisting of half-red clayey brickwork (120mm panel thickness)
and mortar grade 18 MPa provided an average masonry modulus of elasticity 500 MPa. The loading is laterally applied
in incremental manner at the centerline of the top girder. The nonlinear finite element analysis is carried out using the
package DMGPLSTRS [3].
4000 mm

Applied Load

3000 mm








Frame Panel; Geometry and Reinforcement


6-noded element

8-noded element


8-noded element

8-noded element


Reinforced Concrete

3-noded element


2-noded element

Diagonal Strut

Figure 2. Single-bay single-story infilled frame considered in inverse analysis

In the beginning, a detailed accurate finite element analysis for the original system is carried out using the mesh
shown in Figure 3. Then, an approximate simplified analyses using the equivalent system are made where the filtration
process required the execution of 1024 computer run to distinguish the most suitable finite element mesh, schematically
illustrated in Figure 2, with appropriate system parameters. This large number of analyses was required because there
was no previous knowledge about the most appropriate mesh topology for the equivalent system and a rigorous
sensitivity study for mesh choice was binding. This number may be thus reduced in future studies and less restrictive
permutations among system parameters can be selected. However, in the presence of automated system similar to that
employed in the present work, the process is not that difficult for applications with high statistical confidence limits.
Figure 3 depicts the load-top drift of both the bare and infilled frames. It is obvious the close agreement between the
predictions of the macro- and structural-scale models with a pronounced saving in the execution time. This is of course is
attributable to the less number of equations associated with the equivalent system. These features represent the main

October 2008

The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B


Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

Lateral Load, kN

advantages of the proposed methodology that facilitate the analysis of multiple-cell high rise buildings which is usually
hindered by the limited computer capacity of commercial software packages due to the enormous degrees of freedom.
The difference between the equivalent and original systems is about 8% and 6% for the bare and infilled frames,
respectively, which satisfies the statistical tolerance.

Original Bare Frame


Equivalent Bare Frame

Original Infilled Frame


Equivalent Infilled Frame


Top Drift, mm



Figure 3. Loaddeflection characteristics for the original and equivalent systems

Two parameters are considered in the validation phase: (a) effect of frame topology and (b) effect of infill material rather
than those considered in the inverse analysis. Single-bay two-story bare, half infilled at both lower and upper locations,
fully infilled frames are investigated for the influence of frame topology. On the other hand, clayey and perforated loamy
brickwork of 120 and 250 mm thickness are examined for free vibration analysis. The average masonry Youngs
modulus of the latter type is almost five times that of the former and thus delineating the relative frame-infill stiffness.



- Bare frame
- Red brick with 12 0mm thickness
- Red brick with 25 0mm thickness
12 0mm thickness
- Loam perforated brick with
25 0mm thickness
- Loam perforated brick with

Original system
Equivalent System

Natural Frequency


Figure 4. Equivalence validation for various frame topologies


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

The first fold of validation is carried out by conducting nonlinear analysis of the original and simplified equivalent
finite element models under monotonic quasi-static loading up to failure in order to estimate the energy absorption
capacity of each system as represented by Figure 4. For two story frame loading is incrementally applied at each floor
level with values at the lower story half that of the upper story. The second fold of validation is undertaken through
frequency analysis using the initial material properties of the original and simplified equivalent finite element models to
determine the natural frequency of each system as depicted in Figure 5. Single-bay single story frames with various infill
types and thicknesses have been considered in the analysis. Figures 4 and 5 illustrate the close agreement between the
original and equivalent systems for the seven validation cases. The relative energy absorption capacity is conferred for
various frame topologies in the first histogram whereas the natural frequency is compared in the second bar-chart. All
differences are noted to be minor for practical applications and within the specified confidence limit.
In order to depict the time history of infilled framed structures, lateral excitation is imposed upon the system. Cyclic
triangular load of envelope incrementally increasing with time, Figure 6, is laterally applied at each floor level
proportional with the story number. Single- and double-bay frames are considered for five, ten and twenty story building
with ordinary half-clayey brickwork infill. Full and partial infilling of different percentages of 20, 40, 60, 80% are
arranged at the bottom, middle, and top third of the height. In all cases, the infill panel is treated as non-integral to
reinforced concrete frame. This equivalence is of extreme importance because of the tremendous number of degrees of
freedom involved with the solution of infilled high-rise buildings. The struts are activated only in compression, thus
maintaining the unilateral characteristics of infill behavior in contact and separation modes of deformation. Isotropic
hardening DruckerPrager is used to simulate the elastoplastic behavior of reinforced concrete [38]. Isoparametric
eight-noded elements are used to discretize the frame skeleton while link-elements are adapted for the diagonal struts.
Figure 6 outlines the main properties of various materials along with the geometric variables and modeling scheme as
well as the basic parameters considered hereinafter.

%Energy of Original

Energy of Equivalent System

Figure 5. Equivalence validation for different infill material

The time period is one of the major dynamic parameters of structural systems subjected to vibrating actions or liable
to seismic movements. Moreover, it constitutes a fundamental quantity, which has to be incorporated in evaluating the
equivalent static load given in many code provisions. Since existence of infilling alters both the stiffness and mass
distribution, Rayleighs approach is best suited for such applications of nonuniform systems. The system frequency is
calculated from energy consideration using the modified Rayleighs method according to the following formula [32]

g fi xi
i =1

W i xi


i =1

October 2008

The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B


Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy


Typical bay width = 4 m

Reinforced concrete
300 x 900 mm modeled by 300 x
300 serendipity element


Unilateral strut equivalent to half brick
wall with section 120 x 1000 mm

floor height

Es = 5 kN/mm2
us= 105 N/mm2
s = 3.839 E-12 kN/mm3



Drucker Prager envelop

Eeq = 208 kN/mm2
ET = 0.1 Eeq
eq = 2.501 E-12 kN/mm3
ceq = 38 N/mm2

eq = 56o

Single-bay 5-story frame fully infilled

Figure (6-a) Problem idealization

Loading envelope


10 kN
2 sec

Figure (6-b) Load-time history

No. of Stories

No. of Bays



0%, 20%, 40%,
60%, 80%, 100%



Lower Infilling







Figure (6-c) The main parameters considered in the analysis


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

where the indices i and N represent the story number and the total number of floors, g is the gravitational acceleration
and is the system pseudo frequency estimated for applied floor forces f1, f2, , fN producing story drifts x1, x2,, xN.
The gravitation loads at each floor are W1, W2, , WN as shown in Figure 7.

















Figure 7. Main parameters in modified Rayleighs equation

The previous equation is well applied to linear elastic behavior where both the force and displacement are
monotonically increasing with mutual correlation for a system of shear building. For this purpose, the deformational
characteristics obtained from the finite element solution should be considered at each load increment. Consequently, this
expression can be recast to nonlinear behavior with incremental parameters as follows

g f i dx i


i =1 t

W i dx i
i =1

in which dxi is the incremental drift of the ith floor evaluated at time t.
The nonlinear behavior of the system is evident for both bare and infilled frames as shown in Figure 8. Existence of
infilling is noted to increase the ultimate lateral resistance of the system while resulting in less ultimate lateral deflection
for lower infilling. The effect on both parameters is more pronounced for higher percentages of infilling. Two
phenomena arise through the stage of loading and result in the response nonlinearity. First is stiffness degradation of the
reinforced concrete with load-induced orthotropy depending on both the applied dynamic load and the inherent
deformational characteristics of the frame. Second is the progressive strength reduction of either of the diagonal struts,
which is supposed to be sequential according to level of loading. In all next illustrations, dimensionless arguments are
utilized relative to the bare frame parameters at failure. The relative time is taken as the ratio of elapsed time during the
course of loading for each particular study case to the time at failure of the bare frame. The curves are presented along
the loading path envelope. Information presented in these diagrams is related to a single-bay five-story frame whereas
the comparative data for other variables are demonstrated in tabulated form.

October 2008

The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B


Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

Figure 8. Base shear-top drift for lower infilling relative to bare frame

Figure 9. Stiffness degradation of the system for lower infilling relative to bare frame

Figure 10. System frequency for lower infilling relative to bare frame


The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

Relative Story Height


Bare Frame
20 % Infilling
40 % Infilling
60 % Infilling
80 % Infilling
Full Infilling








Relative Story Drift at Failure

Figure 11. Story drift for lower infilling relative to bare frame

Relative Top Velocity

Bare Frame
20 % Infilling
40 % Infilling
60 % Infilling
80 % Infilling
Full Infilling








Relative Time
Figure 12. Top lateral velocity for lower infilling relative to bare frame

Strut failure is considered as a local mechanism that reduces the degree of structural indeterminacy such that does not
induce overall collapse of the frame. Such mechanism is noted, however, to take place just prior to the ultimate capacity
is reached and the continuous behavior is maintained up till failure. Figure 9 illustrates the stiffness degradation of the
system based on monitoring the reduction of the secant modulus obtained from base shear-top drift diagram.
Implementation of Equation 16 derived after modified Rayleighs method illustrates frequency attenuation associated
with the stiffness degradation of the system as depicted in Figure 10. More lower infilling is noted to induce higher
initial frequency and hence less time period.
Albeit on an average sense attributable to the adopted modeling, the behavioral trend is noted to be almost similar for
the considered bare and infilled frames with differences only in magnitude. Racking mode of deformation is nearly
dominant for all double-bay frames and even for five- and ten-story frames as shown in Figure 11. Infilling is noted to
significantly alter the top lateral velocity and acceleration only in last third of the time up to failure as illustrated in
Figures 12 and 13. This, in turn, implies that the system kinematics is related to the progression of stiffness degradation
and hence frequency attenuation.
October 2008

The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B


Relative Top Acceleration

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy

Bare Frame
20 % Infilling
40 % Infilling
60 % Infilling
80 % Infilling
Full Infilling

-0.2 0







Relative Time
Figure 13. Top lateral acceleration for lower infilling relative to bare frame

Table 1 demonstrates the various parameters for single-bay frames. Similar observations are noted for double-bay
frames but with different values. Lateral strength is considered as the ultimate lateral load capacity of the system.
Stiffness and frequency values tabulated hereafter are the foremost highest values for each particular case evaluated at
initial conditions. Close results are obtained when estimations are carried out at the onset of failure.
Table 1. Strength Percentage Increase of Double-Bay Relative to Single-Bay Frames

Infill Location







Lower Infilling




Middle Infilling




Upper Infilling
Lower Infilling
Middle Infilling
Upper Infilling
Lower Infilling
Middle Infilling
Upper Infilling
Lower Infilling
Middle Infilling
Upper Infilling







Bare Frame
20 %

40 %
60 %

100 % Infilling




The proposed statistically equivalent system for infilled frames which is represented by nonlinear finite elements
with unilateral diagonal strut yields reasonable predictions with considerable reduction in the numerical operations.


Conventional half-brick wall infilling is noted to affect nearly all of the dynamic parameters of reinforced concrete

The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Volume 33, Number 2B

October 2008

Salah El-Din Fahmy Taher and Hamdy Mohy El-Din Afefy


Infill influence on the kinetic and kinematic coefficients related to lateral excitation is found to depend on frame
features such as number of stories and number of bays as well as infill amount and position.


Lower location yields the higher strength, stiffness, and frequency of the system.


Nonlinearity of the behavior is basically due stiffness degradation, which consequently results in frequency
attenuation during the loading regime.


S. F. Taher, Static and Dynamic Response of Infilled R. C. Frames, Article Review Report, Permanent
Scientific Committee, The Supreme Council of Universities, Egypt, December 2000, p. 110.


S. F. Taher, A. A. Khalil, and T. M. Fawzy, Static and Dynamic Response of Infilled FramesA Critique ,
Proceedings of 3rd Int. Conference on Eng. Research, Port Said, November 1999, vol. II, pp. 106120.


S. F. Taher, Canonical Elastoplastic Damage Modeling of Reinforced Concrete, Ph.D. Thesis, Depart. of Civil
Eng., KFUPM, KSA, 1995, p. 600.


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October 2008