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Title: Finite/discrete element analyses of masonry structures
Author: Karmi, M. S.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2003
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In contrast to concrete, masonry is a complex inhomogenous material, which exhibits distinct directional properties due to the presence of mortar joints. In the past, both finite element and discrete element techniques have been used for modelling of masonry structures. However, no comparison of these two different approaches has been made. In this study, to achieve a fundamental insight into the behaviour of masonry structures, a series of numerical analyses have been carried out using Finite and Discrete Element methods for structures such as shear walls with/out opening, masonry panel under point load, and masonry arches. In Discrete Element analyses, bricks were modelled as conventional continuum elements, while an interface contact law (instead of mortar joints) was used to capture masonry failure mechanisms in the 2D plane-strain analyses. The contact law included softening in tension, shear and compression modes. In Finite Element modelling of the same structures, separate continuum elements were used for both constituents, i.e. the brick and mortar. The results were compared with experimental data. Both methods were able to reproduce the complete deformation pattern of the structures up to and beyond the peak until total degradation of strength, without major numerical difficulties. Parametric studies of the above problems have also been carried out to demonstrate the crucial role of some of the parameters. Comparative studies using the Finite Element and Discrete Element methods have shown that collapse load as well as mechanisms of failure are significantly influenced by the choice of interface parameters used in the Discrete Element method. These parameters are also difficult to determine from experiments. On the other hand, Finite Element analyses indicate lesser influence of parameters of the constituents and no anomalies arise in their choice from experimental data.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available