An improved mean-field homogenization model for the three-dimensional elastic properties of masonry

Yubao Zhou*, Lambertus J. Sluys, Rita Esposito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


Accurate assessment of the overall mechanical behavior of masonry, composed of bricks and mortar joints, remains challenging due to its inhomogeneous and orthotropic nature. In this study, the feasibility of various mean-field homogenization schemes for the three-dimensional orthotropic elastic properties of masonry is comprehensively investigated. Three kinds of masonry patterns are considered, including the stack bonded pattern, the running bonded pattern and the double-leaf Flemish bonded pattern that has received limited attention so far. Special attention is paid to the homogenization schemes which have not been applied to the masonry case, such as Lielens’ interpolative double inclusions (D-I) and the interaction direct derivative (IDD) schemes. After a comparison between the well-known mean-field homogenization schemes, an improved micro-mechanical model is proposed by combining the advantages of the IDD and D-I models. The validation of the proposed model is conducted through a comparison against experimental data from literature and numerical results obtained via finite element analyses (FEA). The results show that the proposed model can accurately evaluate the orthotropic elastic properties of the three masonry typologies for a wide range of stiffness ratios between brick and mortar, ranging from 1 to 1000. The proposed model also shows better performance than the classical schemes especially when the stiffness ratios between brick and mortar are higher than 10, which is of major importance for the application of mean-field homogenization based multiscale methods to the nonlinear analysis of masonry. Furthermore, the presented homogenization method can be of interest for other anisotropic materials, e.g., laminate materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104721
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics, A/Solids
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Masonry
  • Mean-field homogenization
  • Micromechanics
  • Orthotropic stiffness tensor


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