Mechanical characterization of masonry on the macro scale from experimental testing and numerical meso scale modelling

Leidy Bejarano-Urrego, Els Verstrynge, Nathalie Van Roy, Naveen Shetty, Anastasios Drougkas, Giorgia Giardina, Koen Van Balen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


Limited experimental data of mechanical properties of brick masonry are available in the literature, especially for those properties that determine the cracking behaviour, such as tensile strength and fracture energy. Moreover, the cracking behaviour is influenced by several other factors such as the type of components, bond type, size of the element and loading conditions. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to determine properties of the masonry composite as a function of the properties of its components. The proposed methodology uses numerical analyses to obtain the material properties of a continuum smeared cracking model from discrete cracking models loaded in different directions. For that purpose, discrete cracking meso-models of masonry panels are subjected to tension and compression to numerically determine the stress-strain curves and the mechanical properties of the composite. For evaluation, material properties for the meso-models are taken from laboratory testing and from the literature. For model calibration, experimental tests on bricks, mortar and couplets are performed. The laboratory testing includes compression tests on masonry panels monitored with digital image correlation (DIC). Parameters such as the Young's modulus, tensile strength and tensile fracture energy for the masonry composite are determined for loading applied parallel and perpendicular to the bed joints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1614
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Masonry Society Conferences
Issue number222279
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Masonry Conference,IMC 2018 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 9 Jul 201811 Jul 2018


  • Discrete cracking
  • Macro-modelling
  • Masonry
  • Meso-modelling
  • Numerical analysis
  • Smeared cracking


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