National Laboratory for Civil
Engineering, Av. Brasil 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, Portugal
Block models have been shown to provide a realistic representation of the behavior of many types of masonry structures under static and dynamic loads. When the strength of the units is such that movements along the joints govern the behavior, it is acceptable to make the simplifying assumption that blocks act as rigid bodies. This assumption is particularly useful when dealing with seismic problems, for which the computational times for time domain analysis may be substantial.
In this paper, the application of discrete element models for dynamic analysis of masonry structures is addressed. The emphasis is on the seismic behavior of block stone masonry, but the treatment is general to cover other types of masonry. First, the assumptions involved in the choice of a block representation are discussed, stressing in particular the case of rigid block models. Numerical issues are examined, including contact models, calculation of natural frequencies, time stepping algorithms, damping and boundary conditions.
A review is presented of modeling examples published in the literature for various types of masonry structures. The choice of numerical representation and its main features are discussed for each case.
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Engineering, Av. Brasil 101, 1700-066 Lisboa, Portugal; E-mail: email@example.com