• Ather Ali

Student thesis: Phd


The study presented aims to provide the most viable seismic retrofit solution for rural masonry. Muzffarabad is one such region where excess of unreinforced masonry structures claimed thousands of lives during 2005 earthquake. Field study was conducted in the region to familiarize with the dynamics of local construction industry before suggesting a suitable retrofit solution. Polypropylene (PP-) band retrofit has been selected as the most viable solution for retrofitting existing masonry structures in terms of cost, material availability and ease of application. To prove the efficiency of PP-band retrofit, numerical simulations and laboratory tests were conducted to assess the seismic efficiency of PP-band retrofit. Material tests were conducted in accordance with BS-EN to familiarize with the mechanical properties of locally available materials in Kashmir region and to provide material data for numerical analysis. Tests revealed lower strength and elasticity for bricks in comparison to materials found in developed countries, due to the unregulated and non-standardized manufacturing of masonry units and high water content in mortars. Shake table tests were conducted to test the effectiveness of PP-band retrofit masonry under dynamic vibrations. Results show that PP-band retrofit can enhance the post peak performance by at least 7 times in comparison to non-retrofit specimen. Real-scale structure retrofit with PP-band survived accelerations of up to 2g without any life-threatening damage, thus, proving to be an economic and efficient strengthening solution for rural communities. Following the shortcomings observed in Room-1, connection detail for PP-bands in Room-2 was revised to achieve a 100% performance enhancement. Numerical models were developed to predict cracks in masonry and analyse diagonal compression test models, in accordance with ASTM standards. The results showed 30% higher residual strength after cracking for PP- band retrofit masonry and the wall integrity was maintained for higher deformations.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorParthasarathi Mandal (Supervisor) & Thomas Swailes (Supervisor)


  • Kashmir
  • Polypropylene
  • PP-bands
  • Earthquake
  • Retrofit
  • Masonry

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