Non-Linear finite element simulation of combined and confined masonry walls

R. Illampas, A. Tena-Colunga, D. C. Charmpis, G. Juárez-Luna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study focuses on the simulation and analysis of combined and confined masonry walls, which are composed of both fired clay bricks and concrete blocks bounded within reinforced concrete tie-columns and bond-beams. In this paper, numerical results that have been derived using nonlinear finite element (FE) simulations are compared with experimental data obtained by compression and diagonal tension tests on masonry wallettes and on a lateral loading experiment conducted on a wall-frame module. The computational investigation conducted is based on a discrete micro-modelling approach. Within this context, the masonry constituents and concrete elements are explicitly modelled using continuum plasticity-based damage constitutive laws, while interaction among different members is represented by friction contact formulations and damage-based cohesive crack models. The modelling parameters adopted are based on experimental material data and on relevant information from the literature. The outcomes of the FE analyses are evaluated in terms of the failure mechanism prediction and the correlation with the recorded load-deformation response of the physical specimens. The FE analysis results indicate that the proposed modelling approach can capture with adequate accuracy the highly nonlinear and complex behaviour of combined and confined masonry walls. Furthermore, the work conducted enables the identification of the factors (i.e. properties of the unit-mortar and wall-frame interfaces), which pose a critical effect on the simulated response and hence require further research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCivil-Comp Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Combined masonry
  • Confined masonry
  • Discrete finite element analysis
  • Micro-modelling
  • Nonlinear analysis


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