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Simulating the failure of masonry walls subjected to support settlement with the combined finite-discrete element method

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:14 authored by Chen, X, Wang, X, Wang, HF, Agrawal, AK, Andrew ChanAndrew Chan, Cheng, YY
Masonry walls are usually built with individual blocks, and they are highly discontinuous and nonlinear. Therefore, it is very difficult to simulate their failure behavior with typical finite element methods. A combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) is employed in this paper to examine the failure of dry-joint masonry walls subjected to uneven support settlement. With finite elements incorporated into discrete elements, both the deformation of masonry blocks and the interaction between them can be predicted accurately. Additionally, a cohesive fracture model is implemented to account for the potential rupture of masonry blocks. Examples are validated with data from experimental and numerical sources, indicating that the FDEM is able to simulate the collapse of masonry walls well. Further simulations with the consideration of floor load and block fractures reveal that the existence of floor load will decrease the support settlement capacity of masonry walls. Once the dominant fracture damage occurs, the structures collapse quickly with very small support settlement.


Publication title

Journal of Building Engineering








School of Engineering


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

copyright 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Civil construction design

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    University Of Tasmania