1) Ph.D student, Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University,

2) Professor, Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University,


Considerable experimental studies have shown that masonry infills, if designed properly, can contribute favorably to the lateral strength, stiffness and ductility of the infilled frame system. However, the design practice has, historically, ignored the contribution of infills to the system stiffness and strength. This simplification does not necessarily result in a safe and economical design. The stiffness and strength values suggested in design standards in North America for the design of masonry infills have been found to be in disparity with experimental results from various sources. In addition, the design of infills for many practical situations is beyond the scope that is covered by the standards.

This paper presents a finite element model that is developed to investigate the behaviour and strength of masonry infills under in-plane lateral loading. The model is verified using existing experimental results reported in literature. A numerical study based on the model is conducted to investigate the effects of several influential parameters on the behaviour and strength of the infills. Numerical results focusing on the stiffness and strength of infills as affected by these parameters are presented.


Keywords: masonry infills, in-plane, stiffness, strength, finite element, design standard