The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal

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Multi-Scale Analysis of In-plane Behaviour of Tuff Masonry

C. D’Ambra, G.P. Lignola*, A. Prota
Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, I-80125 Napoli, Italy


Various methodologies are available today in engineering professional practice to analyse structures, in particular in the field of masonry structures. Many of the methods are derived from reinforced concrete frames but sometimes they suffer of lack of comprehensive experimental validation due to difficulties to simulate the many different kinds of masonries and they suffer from lack of critical comparison between them. In fact some methods seem to be able to provide accurate results, but are extremely expensive from a computational point of view and they require detailed material characterization and knowledge of actual geometry of the masonry and its constituents. However the usual uncertainty on the material mechanical properties and geometry details jeopardizes seriously the accuracy of the most refined analyses. Previous works by the authors remarked that nonlinear properties like as fracture energy, crucial for instance in the definition of post peak behaviour and ductility of masonry, have a crucial role at the single panel scale level analysis, while their impact is less and less crucial on the behaviour of entire walls and masonry structures. The aim of the overall work is to compare the most common methods of analysis for masonry from micro-scale to macro-scale, where not only geometrical refinement of the analysis is crucial, but also the number and details of required mechanical parameters. It is seen that macro-models are important to analyse large structures and the computational expense and required knowledge level are usually reasonable. To this scope a simple nonlinear material model for tuff masonry is proposed and results are compared between refined and simple models to simulate a tested real scale wall prototype with an opening.

Keywords: Masonry, Material characterization, Numerical modelling, Rocking effect.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2016
Volume: 10
Issue: Suppl 2: M10
First Page: 312
Last Page: 328
Publisher Id: TOBCTJ-10-312
DOI: 10.2174/1874836801610010312

Article History:

Received Date: 15/1/2015
Revision Received Date: 15/5/2015
Acceptance Date: 9/7/2015
Electronic publication date: 31/05/2016
Collection year: 2016

© D' Ambra et al. ; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Claudio 21, I-80125 Napoli, Italy; Tel: +39(081)7683492; Fax: 39(081)7685921; E-mail:

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