Design of isolated masonry housing using re-cycled rubber materials

A. B. Habieb, G. Milani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unreinforced and nonengineered confined masonry are widely used in developing regions for economic reasons. This study investigates the possibility of improving the seismic performance of masonry housing by means of elastomeric isolation reactivated EPDM. Experimental tests are performed to characterize the mechanical properties of the reactivated EPDM. In parallel, detailed three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) models are used to characterize the behaviour of unbonded fibre reinforced elastomeric isolators (UFREIs) using reactivated EPDM rubber. An Abaqus User Element (UEL) is developed to simulate the 3D behaviour of UFREIs for scale seismic analyses of isolated structures. The results of cyclic shear analyses show that the proposed UEL model can accurately predict the UFREIs behaviour. A series of non-linear dynamic analyses are performed to investigate the seismic response of a masonry housing prototype in the original and base-isolated configurations employing UFREIs. Numerical results show that the fixed-base model of the housing prototype experiences severe and widespread damage, while UFREI is found to be effective in significantly reducing the damage level of the housing when subjected to moderate-to-high seismic actions. Moreover, it can be observed that the isolator satisfies the maximum lateral displacement requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalMasonry International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • FREI
  • Housing
  • Masonry
  • Reactivated EPDM
  • Seismic isolation


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