Analysis of Masonry Walls with Smeared and Discrete Crack Models

by H. R. Lotfi, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
P. B. Shing, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


To design modern reinforced masonry structures for seismic loads and to evaluate the seismic safety of existing unreinforced masonry buildings, the shear resistance of masonry shear walls is of main concern. Modern reinforced masonry can be assumed homogeneous and isotropic before cracking. It is shown that the smeared crack approach can accurately predict the flexural behavior, but cannot capture the brittle shear behavior of modern reinforced masonry panels. This deficiency is alleviated by incorporating a discrete crack approach in the analysis. On the other hand, the behavior of unreinforced masonry structures is dominated, to a large extent, by the fracture of mortar joints. Hence, a finite element approach in which mortar joints are modeled with interface elements and masonry units are modeled with smeared crack elements is utilized to analyze these structures. It is shown that the numerical model is capable of predicting not only the load carrying capacity, but also the failure mode, ductility, and the damage patterns of unreinforced masonry panels.

Subject Headings: Masonry | Numerical models | Shear walls | Cracking | Structural models | Shear resistance | Mathematical models | Structural analysis

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