A Constitutive Model For Masonry Structures: Practical Application Under Earthquake Loading In Groningen

S. Panagoulias, Anita Laera, Gregor Vilhar, Ronald Brinkgreve

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In this paper, a constitutive model for masonry structures is presented. It is based on the Jointed Rock (JR) model with overall Mohr-Coulomb (MC) failure criterion, and it is implemented as a user-defined soil model in the finite element
code PLAXIS. The Masonry model is a linear elastic-perfectly plastic model capable of simulating the macroscopic, anisotropic response of masonry structures, by making use of different potential sliding planes (directions) with
different strength properties. A Coulomb criterion is used to simulate failure in each plane, whereas an overall Mohr-Coulomb criterion is used to represent failure of the masonry as a whole. The model is verified against analytical
formulations and validated against experimental data. Particular focus is given to its practical application, considering the response of a masonry structure located in Groningen (the Netherlands) under seismic excitation. A soil profile at a specific location between Loppersum and Huizinge is employed, and soil properties are determined based on available geotechnical data. Clayey soil layers are modelled using the Generalised Hardening Soil (GHS) model. Sandy soil
layers are modelled with the PM4Sand model. The liquefaction potential is also assessed under certain seismic conditions. The masonry, assumed to be shallow-founded, is subjected to an induced strong ground motion, and its response is studied via the proposed constitutive model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationThessaloniki, Greece
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering - Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 18 Jun 201821 Jun 2018
Conference number: 16


Conference16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Abbreviated title16ECEE
Internet address


  • Masonry
  • PM4Sand
  • Liquefaction
  • Groningen


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