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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 9, Number 2, August 2015 , pages 339-352

Fundamental aspects on the seismic vulnerability of ancient masonry towers and retrofitting techniques
Adolfo Preciado, Gianni Bartoli and Harald Budelmann

    Ancient masonry towers constitute a relevant part of the cultural heritage of humanity. Their earthquake protection is a topic of great concern among researchers due to the strong damage suffered by these brittle and massive structures through the history. The identification of the seismic behavior and failure of towers under seismic loading is complex. This strongly depends on many factors such as soil characteristics, geometry, mechanical properties of masonry and heavy mass, as well as the earthquake frequency content. A deep understanding of these aspects is the key for the correct seismic vulnerability evaluation of towers and to design the most suitable retrofitting measure. Recent tendencies on the seismic retrofitting of historical structures by means of prestressing are related to the use of smart materials. The most famous cases of application of prestressing in towers were discussed. Compared to horizontal prestressing, vertical post-tensioning is aimed at improving the seismic behavior of towers by reducing damage with the application of an overall distribution of compressive stresses at key locations.
Key Words
    towers; old masonry; earthquakes; vulnerability; behavior; failure modes; retrofitting
Adolfo Preciado: Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnical University of Guadalajara (UPZMG) Carretera Tlajomulco Santa Fe 595, 45640 Tlajomulco, Jalisco, Mexico

Gianni Bartoli: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Florence Via di Santa Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy

Harald Budelmann: Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Braunschweig Beethovenstrasse 52,
38106 Braunschweig, Germany

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