Influence of openings on two-way bending capacity of unreinforced masonry walls

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Perforated unreinforced masonry (URM) walls in out-of-plane (OOP) two-way bending are commonly encountered in natural hazard investigations. However, related research is rather limited. This study focuses on the influence of openings on the two-way bending capacity of URM walls. An experimental database about the perforated URM walls in OOP two-way bending was created. A brief review of the experimental results show that the arrangement of the opening area can significantly affect the two-way bending capacity of walls (defined as the peak pressure on the wall net area): when the opening area is non-covered and non-loaded, the two-way bending capacity of the perforated wall is higher than that of its solid counterpart; when the opening area is covered with timber or glass plates loaded as the rest of the wall, the two-way bending capacity of the perforated wall is lower than that of the corresponding solid wall. These observations from the experiments were confirmed by an analytical estimation using the Yield Line Method (YLM). Next, to study the influence of openings on the two-way bending capacity, a numerical study has been carried out by employing the 3D simplified brick-to-brick modelling approach. The results of calibration and validation show that this modelling approach can precisely predict the two-way bending capacity and crack patterns. By applying the validated numerical models, the influence of the arrangement for the opening area from the experimental results and YLM evaluation was confirmed. Further, a parametric study focusing mainly on cases with the opening area non-covered and non-loaded was conducted. The influence of the geometric parameters of openings, namely, the opening size, shape and position was investigated on walls with different aspect ratios. Results show that the two-way bending capacity increases as the opening size or aspect ratio (height to width) increase, but it is insensitive to the opening position. Eventually, based on the numerical results, analytical equations were proposed to account for the influence of the considered parameters on the two-way bending capacity. A comparison with the Australian Standard (AS3700) indicates that the proposed equations incorporate more opening parameters such as opening shape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104222
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • 3D simplified brick-to-brick modelling
  • Opening
  • Standard
  • Two-way bending
  • Unreinforced masonry


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