Simulating masonry wall behaviour using a simplified micro-model approach

Kurdo F. Abdulla*, Lee S. Cunningham, Martin Gillie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)
145 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, a simplified micro-model approach utilising a combination of plasticity-based constitutive models and the extended finite element method (XFEM) is proposed. The approach is shown to be an efficient means of simulating the three-dimensional non-linear behaviour of masonry under monotonic in-plane, out of plane and cyclic loads. The constitutive models include surface-based cohesive behaviour to capture the elastic and plastic behaviour of masonry joints and a Drucker Prager (DP) plasticity model to simulate crushing of masonry under compression. The novel use of XFEM in simulating crack propagation within masonry units without initial definition of crack location is detailed. Analysis is conducted using standard finite element software (Abaqus 6.13) following a Newton Raphson algorithm solution without employing user-defined subroutines. The capability of the model in terms of capturing non-linear behaviour and failure modes of masonry under vertical and horizontal loads is demonstrated via comparison with a number of published experimental studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-365
Number of pages17
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date12 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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