Analytical and experimentally based models are needed to predict the behaviour of reinforced masonry buildings under different complex states of stress and to assess the behavioral seismic characteristics of masonry buildings undergoing progressive failure up to the ultimate stage. As part of an experimental and theoretical study addressing the aforementioned needs, five reinforced concrete masonry shear walls were tested under a cyclic shear load pattern to examine the influence of the applied axial stress, the amount of vertical reinforcement and the wall aspect ratio on the lateral resistance and failure mechanism. The load/displacement relationship was traced up to the maximum lateral resistance and beyond to study the softening behavior of the cracked reinforced masonry systems undergoing brittle shear-dominated progressive failures.

In this paper, the experimental study is summarized and results are compared with numerical values obtained from nonlinear finite element analyses. Good correlation between the numerical and experimental results was obtained.