A damaging block-based model for the analysis of the cyclic behaviour of full-scale masonry structures

Antonio Maria D'Altri, Francesco Messali, Jan Rots, Giovanni Castellazzi, Stefano de Miranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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In this paper, a damaging block-based model is proposed for the numerical analysis of the cyclic behaviour of full-scale masonry structures. Solid 3D finite elements governed by a plastic-damage constitutive law in tension and compression are used to model the blocks, while a cohesive-frictional contact-based formulation is developed to simulate their cyclic interaction. The use of tests on small-scale specimens to calibrate the mechanical properties of the numerical model is presented and discussed. The tests belong to a comprehensive experimental campaign performed on calcium silicate brick masonry. The calibrated models are used to simulate in-plane and out-of-plane cyclic tests on masonry walls made of the same material, as well as a quasi-static cyclic pushover test on a full-scale terraced masonry house. The efficiency, the potentialities and the accuracy of the model here proposed are shown and discussed. The capability of explicitly representing structural details (e.g. running bonds) and any in-plane and through-thickness texture of masonry, which appears essential to study the response of masonry structures, is guaranteed by the block-based modelling approach. A good agreement between the numerical results and the experimental outcomes is observed. This allows to validate the model in the cyclic response as well as the strategy proposed for its mechanical characterization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-448
Number of pages26
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Unreinforced Masonry (URM)
  • Cohesive interface modelling
  • Cyclic behavior
  • Earthquake
  • Terraced house
  • Masonry constitutive model
  • Cohesive behaviour
  • Cyclic behaviour
  • Unreinforced masonry


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