Masonry panel testing in Malawi

Elia Voyagaki*, Panos Kloukinas, Viviana Novelli, Raffaele De Risi, Innocent Kafodya, Ignasio Ngoma, Katsu Goda, John H G Macdonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review

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A holistic seismic risk management framework for East Africa, with particular focus on Malawi, is under development as part of the EPSRC-sponsored Global Challenges (GCRF) grant PREPARE. The project aims to co-produce practical tools and guidelines for enhanced disaster preparedness in close partnerships with local governmental and academic institutions. For the seismic vulnerability assessment of masonry buildings in Malawi, a series of tests were conducted in the field and in the Civil Engineering laboratory of the Malawi Polytechnic in Blantyre. The specimens and applied loads are of three main types: (a) single bricks subjected to uniaxial compression and three-point bending; (b) masonry prisms subjected to compression, direct tension and interface shearing; and (c) masonry panels of different brick configurations and reinforcement subjected to in-plane compression/shearing and out-of-plane bending in two planes.
The specimens were built by local artisans using locally produced materials to simulate actual field conditions and indigenous construction methods. The different kinds of reinforcement tested were inspired by the recommendations of the Safer House Construction Guidelines of Malawi. Focusing on the masonry panel tests in (c) above, the main results from the experimental program are presented herein. The results help quantify the effect of simple, available types of retrofitting/reinforcing of masonry houses in Malawi.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2020
Event17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering - Sendai, Japan
Duration: 13 Sept 202018 Sept 2020
Conference number: 17


Conference17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Abbreviated title17WCEE

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