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International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation

International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation (IJMRI)

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International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation (53 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • The mediating role of sustainability and quality on the relationship between management practices and risks management in construction industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Bassam S. Mansour, Janani Selvam, Amiya Bhaumik 
    Abstract: The success of society’s efforts to achieve sustainable progress is directly reliant on the building sector. The purpose of such a research aims to investigate the influence of managing practices affecting risks control in the constructions sector in Palestine, as well as the influence that qualities and sustain abilities play as mediators. Two cases studies were prepared with X and Y companies. The study showed that there is an impact of management practices on the quality, sustainability and risk management, also, there is an impact of sustainability and quality on the risks management, besides, the sustainability concept, which provides a function in mediating the interaction between managerial practices as well as risk managing, has an effect on that interaction that perhaps the company’s profit may be increased by the use of managing methods that take into account comprehensive qualitative management and enable it to face challenges.
    Keywords: sustainability; total quality management; TQM; risk management; management practices and construction industry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10056666
  • The role of sustainability and quality on the relationship between management practices and risks management in construction industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Bassam S. Mansour, Janani Selvam, Amiya Bhaumik 
    Abstract: Sustainability in society is largely dependent on the building sector. This research aimed to examine the mediating function of sustainability and quality in the relationship between management practises and risk management in the construction industry in the Gaza Strip. A small sample of 30 forms was used to conduct preliminary research on the questionnaire. Sixty-one factors, broken down into four classes, were found by a survey questionnaire. 110 questionnaires were distributed and received as follows: 87 (79%) from contractors and consultants as respondents. According to the results, management practises have an effect on quality, sustainability, and risk management; sustainability has an effect on the relationship between management practises and risk management; and quality and sustainability both have effects on risk management. The survey showed that having quality management practices helps to overcome work risks and problems; as well, it helps in providing sustainable work services.
    Keywords: sustainability; total quality management; TQM; risk management; human resources management; construction industry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10056673
  • Process parameter mix design approach and analysis of variance of fly ash-lime-gypsum masonry bricks by Taguchis method   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammed Rihan Maaze, Sandeep Shrivastava 
    Abstract: Environmental and economic considerations of manufacturing bricks play an essential role in the growth of sustainable construction. The present study investigates the optimisation of the mix design of fly ash-lime-gypsum (FaL-G) bricks by Taguchi’s process parameter approach. Experiments have been designed using L9 orthogonal arrays with three factors and three levels. Mechanical and physical properties of brick mix were investigated. Compressive strength was maximised by considering the larger-the-better condition. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on a mix, and its significance levels are presented in this paper. According to the orthogonal array design of the experiment, fly ash (50%), lime (25%), and water to binder (W/B) ratio (0.38) were the optimal levels to have maximum compressive strength. Additionally, microstructural studies like SEM, XRD and TG analysis were performed to study the optimum mix’s morphology, phase structure and thermal resistance.
    Keywords: fly ash; FaL-G bricks; process design approach; maximisation; compressive strength.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10057871
  • Investigating project internal organisational culture mechanism and impact on construction project success and sustainability   Order a copy of this article
    by Rana Maya 
    Abstract: It has been established that organisational culture is the primary factor that promotes the growth of the building sector, even though the mechanisms by which organisational internal factors impact the culture in construction are still unknown enough at the project level. The study aimed to investigate the mechanism that projects organisational culture and internal factors have been practiced, and how they are influencing construction project success and sustainability. A multidimensional construct of the project’s internal organisational factors was suggested. Semi-structured interviews to investigate organisational culture were conducted with ten project managers who managed diverse construction projects in Syria. As a result, the mechanism of how internal organisational factors affected project performance was presented. The outcomes highlighted the mechanism of adequately handling organisational project internal factors to achieve project success. Thus, experts in the construction can use these results to improve their management practices and increase the project’s success and sustainability.
    Keywords: organisational culture; project internal organisational factors; project success; project sustainability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10060657
  • An experimental and analytical study of the effect of mechanical properties of Syrian recycled aggregates on torsional behaviour of RC beams   Order a copy of this article
    by Falah Mubarak, Ihssan Tarsha, Muneeb Al-Allaf 
    Abstract: In this research, an experimental and analytical study was carried out to understand the behaviour of reinforced concrete beams subjected to torsion with full and partial replacement ratios (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%). The current study revealed that the mechanical properties of concrete had been affected by increasing the ratio of the recycled aggregates, the results showed that increasing the ratio of recycled aggregate led to a decrease in compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, and split tensile strength compared to the reference sample consisting of natural aggregate (R0). The experimental study was also conducted by applying a torsional moment on R.C beams, made with natural and recycled aggregates, the results showed that the torsional torque decreases by (8.9%-13.1%-20.4%-26.7%) according to the groups (R25-R50-R75-R100) respectively compared to the reference group (R0). The FE results showed acceptable agreement with the experimental results in terms of values, shape, and distribution of cracks.
    Keywords: recycled aggregates; compression strength; reinforced concrete beams; torsional moment; finite element method; FEM.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10061260
  • Effect of chemical additives and recycled aggregate size on the properties of pervious concrete pavement   Order a copy of this article
    by Fatima Alsaleh, Feras Al Adday 
    Abstract: This research investigates how changes in aggregate diameter and percentage of chemical additives affect the performance of pervious concrete (PC) made from recycled aggregates (RA) in Syria. In the first stage, three distinct mixing methods of adding chemical plasticizer (CP) to the other mixture constituents [recycled aggregates (RA), water, and cement] were tested. In the second stage, two types of RC (coarse and fine) are treated with a viscosity-modifying plasticizer (added at rates of 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2%). The study’s findings revealed that the third mixing method, which involves the creation of a cement slurry, is superior. Furthermore, the optimal ratio of viscosity-modifying plasticizer was found to be 1.6% and 1.9% for coarse and fine RC, respectively. When using fine aggregates, a higher compressive strength value was obtained than when using coarse aggregates. Additionally, the third-generation viscosity-modifying plasticizer resulted in higher compressive strength.
    Keywords: pervious concrete; chemical additives; flexible pavement; recycled aggregates; compressive strength; viscosity-modifying plasticiser.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10061941
  • Soft computing and statistical analysis methods to forecast the uniaxial compressive strength of marl rocks   Order a copy of this article
    by Krikar M. Gharrib Noori, Younis Mustafa Ali Alshkane, Kamal Ahmad Rashed 
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to forecast the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) of marl rocks, which is a crucial indicator in understanding the rock strength and evaluating their suitability for engineering applications. Simple linear regression (SLR) and artificial neural networks (ANN) are two examples of soft computing techniques used in the research. The study places a focus on data normality, model quality, and accuracy using information from 119 samples of marl rock in Iraq-Kurdistan. With an R-squared value of 0.76 for UCS prediction, the point load index Is(50) parameter of the SLR models produced the model (M4) that was most appropriate. However, the ANN-M4 model performed the best, producing the most precise UCS predictions. Montmorillonite clay minerals were discovered during mineralogical and geochemical analyses using SEM, EDX, XRD, and XRF. This information explained why the rock was susceptible to changes in moisture content and potential disintegration.
    Keywords: rock engineering parameters; statistical analysis SLR; soft computing ANN-MLP; mineralogical investigation; marl rock type.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10061961
  • Characterisation of Superpave recycled asphalt mixtures utilising optimum contents of fatty amine-based asphalt additive   Order a copy of this article
    by Firas Barraj, Ali Hatoum, Joseph J. Assaad, Ghida Alhakim, Jamal Khatib, Yasser Assaf, Adel Elkordi 
    Abstract: This paper investigates the properties of warm asphalt mixtures containing varying levels of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and a novel fatty amine-based asphalt additive. Addressing limitations of warm mix asphalt (WMA) and RAP, the study employs Superpave design and optimal additive content. Dynamic modulus (DM) and flow number (FN) tests assess additive impact on RAP mix behaviour. Results reveal increased creep compliance, lower dynamic and relaxation moduli, and higher rutting susceptibility in warm mixes with RAP. However, they exhibit enhanced resistance to cracking compared to standard and recycled mixes. Notably, phase angle values remain consistent across mixes, except for a significant increase in warm mixes with low and medium RAP content at specific reduced frequencies of 10-1 and 10-2 Hz. This research highlights the potential of combining WMA, RAP, and a novel additive to optimise asphalt mixture performance.
    Keywords: linear viscoelastic range; asphalt properties; sustainability; mastercurves method; time-temperature superposition.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10061962
  • Assessment of spatial and temporal variations in Qattinah Lake using statistical analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Lina Khouri, Ruba Dahham Alsaeed, Bassam Alaji 
    Abstract: The temporal and spatial variation of 18 water quality indicators were studied in this study over a period of 16 years in seven stations along Qattinah Lake; to develop water quality standards and improve the evaluation of the water suitability for various uses. To determine the indicators correlation in order to classify different pollution levels cluster analysis was used, it gave two clusters. Discriminant analysis was applied to classify the indicators based on their similar characteristics. It led to a significant decrease in the number of variables needed to determine the type of pollution. The best results were for temporal changes, it gave four basic variables that have a significant impact on water quality: (T, COD, PO4, NO3) with a variance ratio of 100% of the total variance which is considered an excellent ratio for determining water quality.
    Keywords: discriminant analysis; DA; multivariate statistical; spatial variation; temporal variation; water quality.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062188
  • Influence of gradation on fresh stabilised adobe mixes   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohd Imran Ahmed, Namratha Bharadwaj, Ashwin M. Joshi, S.M. Basutkar, Ajay Nagaraj 
    Abstract: Adobe is one of the oldest construction materials in use for ages. Soil, as a construction material is the key ingredient of adobe construction wherein, the gradation characteristics, stabiliser type, stabiliser content and moisture content are pivotal to achieve desired properties. In addition, the gradation characteristics specifically the combination of silt and clay along with sand-size particles in appropriate proportions is instrumental in achieving aesthetic finish, in addition to desired engineering properties. This experimental study attempts to evaluate the influence of gradation, fresh and hardened properties for 18 combination of stabilised adobe mixes by modifying the silt (20%-45%) and clay (5%-15%) contents while maintaining a constant stabiliser content (cement 8%). Maximum fresh density was observed when the silt content was in the range of 20-30% for varying clay proportions and increased clay to silt ratio and clay to sand ratio reduced water absorption in blocks.
    Keywords: adobe; gradation; silt; clay; stabilised adobe; silt/clay ratio; sand/fines ratio.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062260
  • A predictive model for project progress index in EPC projects using data mining techniques   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Mohamad Ahmad, Fayez Jrad, Samah Makia 
    Abstract: This study proposes a database that utilises online analytical processing (OLAP) to help project management in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies. It uses data mining techniques to create a model that predicts the project progress index (PPI) at any stage of the project based on historical data. The model is evaluated using statistical parameters such as root mean squared error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE). The results show that the model can predict PPI values accurately throughout the project life cycle. The study suggests using the model to improve forecasting and tracking of EPC projects, which can enhance decision-making and economic performance. This research addresses the challenges faced by EPC construction companies when collecting and organising historical operational data to support project-tracking decisions.
    Keywords: EPC projects; earned duration management; EDM; project progress index; PPI; online analytical processing; OLAP; data mining.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062324
  • Enhancement of concrete performance by using compound mixture of waste pottery and red brick powders   Order a copy of this article
    by Umer Safeer, Raja Bilal Nasar Khan, Anwar Khitab 
    Abstract: Waste pottery objects and broken bricks were collected from dumping sites, crushed, and milled to a fine powder. The compound mixture was added to concrete blends as a partial replacement for cement at the rate of 0%, 5%, 10%, and 15%. The hardened specimens were subjected to density and various mechanical strength tests. Test results revealed that with a 2%-3% rise in density, the strength could be increased by 11%-15%. The increase in density and strength was caused by the development of higher calcium-silicate-hydrate gel and dense packing. Waste ceramic particles absorbed more water and caused a delay in cement lubrication at the mixing stage (retarding effect). The water absorption in the fresh state reduced shrinkage cracks within the matrix at later stages. The compound mixture of pottery and brick powder as cement replacement reduces the cost and shrinkage and enhances the density, strength, and durability of cementitious composites.
    Keywords: concrete; cement; partial replacement; ceramic powder; brick powder; workability; density; shrinkage; mechanical strength.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062676
  • Glass panels supported by spider fittings: advantages, challenges, and applications in modern masonry facades   Order a copy of this article
    by Muhammad Tayyab Naqash, Antonio Formisano 
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of point-supported glass systems using spider fittings, highlighting their advantages and challenges. A parametric analysis is performed on horizontal and vertical glass panels in canopies and curtain walls supported by spiders. Different glass thicknesses (6 mm, 8 mm and 10 mm) and wind loads (1 kPa, 1.25 kPa and 2 kPa) are considered. The paper also includes the case study of a building with a unique facade design that employs spider fittings, outlining the engineering considerations necessary for a successful installation. Two cases have been shown herein: a canopy with glass panels and a curtain wall, both supported by spider fittings. The curtain wall comprises double-glazed units with a 6 + 1.52 + 6 air gap (12 mm) on one side and an 8 + 1.52 + 6 air gap. The entire structural system is found safe according to different acceptance criteria that structural codes recommend.
    Keywords: glass panels; point-supported glass systems; spider fittings; masonry architecture; fa├žade design; curtain walls.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063211
  • Structural behaviour of unbonded post-tensioned masonry walls with threaded rods in clay block   Order a copy of this article
    by Bregy Choque, Caori Takeuchi 
    Abstract: Masonry is one of the oldest and least expensive construction techniques, however, its fragile failure mode and its low performance to tension stress make it necessary to complement its system with the use of reinforcement steel. In some cases, it is ineffective since the compressive resistance that masonry can resist is wasted, and at this point it is preferred to use pre-stressing force. In this context, the behaviour of the masonry wall was studied with a given pre-compression before service loads. This study aimed to present the evaluation of a new post-tensioning system in clay block structural masonry through an experimental methodology, in which the characterisation of the materials (mortar, masonry units, aggregates, steel bars) and the characterisation of the masonry (compression walls, diagonal tension, monotonic and cyclic lateral loading) were carried out. It was found that the application of a 5kN concentric vertical pre-stressing in the masonry significantly increases the in-plane ultimate strength of the wall (5.72 kN19.88 kN). The hysteresis cycle envelope for the post-tensioned wall showed a ductility (= y/max.) of 16.12, which is evidence of adequate ductility for this proposed post-tensioning system.
    Keywords: posttensioned masonry; prestressed; clay; numeric model; unbonded pre-stressing.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063399
  • Improving building energy performance based on building information modelling approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Yousif Youkhanna Zaia, Sarhat Mustafa Adam, Farsat Heeto Abdulrahman 
    Abstract: The construction industry has predominantly relied on conventional building methods that prioritise elevated energy consumption over the entire life cycle of a structure. Most greenhouse gas emissions occur while operating the building. In Iraq, the use of insulation materials is optional, and most buildings are built using traditional materials. Therefore, retrofitting existing buildings using renewable materials can reduce global energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions. For that reason, the utilisation of technology in the construction industry is imperative to attain enhanced productivity outcomes. Thus, one of the most valuable technologies is building information modelling (BIM). This study aims to analyse and optimise the energy efficiency of a building through the utilisation of Autodesk Revit and Insight 360. The results indicated that the energy consumption in the building decreased from $6.28/m2/year to $3.56/m2/year. Applying parameters to energy analysis can lead to enhanced conceptual designs that are effective from an environmental standpoint.
    Keywords: building information modelling; BIM; building parameters; energy analysis and optimisation; energy modelling; energy costs.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063400
  • Improve the behaviour of ancient limestone walls using mortar with glass fibre under cyclic loads   Order a copy of this article
    by Ghada Al Esrawy, Hala Hasan 
    Abstract: Masonry buildings represent an important part of the human heritage worldwide and preservation of these old structures is one of the priorities of both private owners and the authorities. Masonry structures suffer from their inappropriate performance under extreme loads such as earthquakes and the retrofitting operations require correct control of the quality of the original mortar. Indeed, the use of cementations repairing material instead lime joint mortar leads to the apparition of cracks on the stone-mortar interfaces. In the present work, an experimental program was first conducted to study the effect of the joint mortar and limestone qualities on the cyclic performance of masonry walls. Fifty mortars were prepared using available local pozzolanic powders, recycled brick and glass fibres at different contents and tested to achieve the optimal mix design. One layer and multi-layers masonry prisms were built using glass fibre reinforced mortars to assess the overall performance under uniaxial and flexural loadings. Numerical analysis was performed using a micro-mechanical model to validate the obtained experimental results. In addition to the results obtained in this work, the results of other tests available in the literature were also validated. The obtained results showed a clear enhancement in the overall seismic behaviour and the ductility by using the glass fibre mortar.
    Keywords: lime mortar; glass fibre; masonry; cyclic loads.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063469
  • Effect of waste PET fibre on rheological and mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete   Order a copy of this article
    by Shireen T. Saadullah, James H. Haido, Yaman S.S. Al-Kamaki 
    Abstract: One of the prevalent environmental issues is the disposal of solid waste, particularly polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which primarily originates from plastic drinking bottles. The objective of this study is to observe the impact of incorporating PET waste fibres (PETWF) on the rheological and mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete (SCC). Different volumetric ratios of waste PET fibres (0%, 0.25%, and 0.5%) with fibre lengths of 2 cm and 4 cm were used. Fresh concrete tests showed that mixes with PETWF having a length of 2 cm meet the criteria of self-compactability of concrete, irrespective of the fibres content. The hardened concrete tests showed a slight enhancement in compressive and tensile strength of mixtures that incorporating 0.25%PET fibre (2 cm), and also showed that the plastic fibres have a significant impact on enhancement the flexural strength of mixtures containing (0.5%PET) fibres (4 cm). The achieved results are very interesting and suggest the potential use of PETWF in structural components of SCC, as the inclusion of these fibres in concrete retards the formation of micro-cracks.
    Keywords: self-compacting concrete; SCC; waste PET fibre; rheological properties; mechanical properties.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10064002
  • Performance of lime-based coating mortars with aggregate from different industries   Order a copy of this article
    by Poliana Bellei, João Pacheco, Maria Paula Mendes, Julio Veloso, Runar Solstad, Isabel Torres, Inês Flores-Colen 
    Abstract: This study focuses on the reuse of various types of waste, including industrial waste from aquaculture (oyster shells), plastics (disposable protective masks), and construction and demolition waste used as aggregates in hydraulic lime mortars. The researchers conducted mortar characterisation tests in the fresh state, as well as in the hardened state. The mortars containing oyster shells and construction and demolition recycled aggregates did not exhibit significant differences compared to the reference mortar. However, the mortars produced with construction and demolition recycled aggregates demonstrated higher mechanical strengths than the other mixtures. The viscosity of the reference mortar and of the mortars with 100% construction and demolition recycled aggregate showed similar results. The type IIR face mask waste incorporation into the mortars resulted in the lowest density of all lime-based mortars tested. Utilising industrial waste in composites contributes to a circular economy, reducing raw material extraction, and minimising landfilling.
    Keywords: oyster shell; type IIR face mask; construction and demolition recycled aggregate; hydraulic lime mortar.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10064113
  • Investigation of the behaviour of recycled aggregate concrete columns under bi-eccentric compression   Order a copy of this article
    by Bushra D. Alakkari, Soleman A. Alamodi 
    Abstract: This paper investigates the behaviour of recycled aggregate concrete columns under bi-eccentric compression. In order to assess the results, samples of concrete mixes containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% recycled aggregate were prepared and tested. In addition, reinforced concrete columns designated C0, C25, C50, C75 and C100 were fabricated and tested under monotonic biaxial eccentric compression loading using three eccentricity values. The results show that the stress-strain curve for concrete made with recycled aggregates has a similar shape to that of concrete made with natural aggregates, with a lower peak stress and more deformability in the descending branch. The results led to the conclusion that recycled aggregate concrete with a controlled particle size distribution, a plasticizer and a calibrated W/C ratio could be used for columns subjected to eccentric compression. The loss in load-bearing capacity is between 2% and 20%, with the same failure modes.
    Keywords: recycled aggregate; RA; natural aggregate; bi-eccentric pressure; replacement; strain-stress curve.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10064122
  • Predicting compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete using natural aggregate concrete compressive strength and material proportions   Order a copy of this article
    by Wasfi Diab, Ghoson Danhash 
    Abstract: This research aims to find an empirical relationship to predict the compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete at 28 days and another one for different ages based on a set of variables; with different wide ranges of the parameters. An experimental database from 40 previous research studies was created, containing 435 results, to propose an empirical relationship for predicting the compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete. For verifying the proposed relationships, two groups of mixes were designed: the first one with a constant plasticiser ratio and the second one with a variable plasticiser ratio, and each group contains five concrete mixes using recycled aggregates with replacement ratios of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% to conduct a compression test and compare the experimental results with those obtained from the proposed relationships. The efficiency of the suggested relationships is proven by the good concordance between the empirical and experimental data.
    Keywords: compressive strength; recycled aggregate concrete; RAC; replacement ratio; water/cement ratio; plasticiser.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10064603

Special Issue on: Recent Trends in Historic Masonry Building Assessment Principles, Models, Methods, and Practices – Part 2

  • Experimental investigation of the horizontal load orientation on masonry corner failure   Order a copy of this article
    by Carla Colombo, Nathanaël Savalle, Marco Francesco Funari, Georgios Vlachakis, Anastasios I. Giouvanidis, Shaghayegh Karimzadeh, Paulo B. Lourenço 
    Abstract: Field earthquake reconnaissance has revealed that masonry corner failure is one of the most common failure mechanisms. In literature, few studies have focused on the experimental investigation of such a mechanism, and they were usually performed considering the seismic action passing from the corner bisector. The present study conducts an experimental campaign on masonry corners and investigates how the orientation of the seismic action affects both the seismic capacity and the collapse mechanism. The experimental campaign involves two masonry corner configurations with different wall aspect ratios. Both configurations are made of a single-leaf dry-joint specimen, built with calcium silicate blocks. Results demonstrate how the orientation of the pseudo-static load simulated by means of a tilting table affects the structural capacity.
    Keywords: tilting test; flexural failure; rocking-sliding failure; dry-joint; interface stiffness; failure mechanisms; masonry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10054545
  • Consolidation of historic buildings damaged by settlements with composite materials   Order a copy of this article
    by Mihai Fofiu, Marius Mosoarca, Gigi Olariu, Marius Palade 
    Abstract: The current study presents the vulnerability assessment of two listed historical buildings, namely the episcopal palace Sibiu and the church called `Buna vestire si SF. Ioan' from Golesti. A thorough investigation was carried out to identify existing cracks and damage to the buildings. A detailed analysis of the structure for both gravitational and seismic loads is presented, and the buildings are placed in a seismic risk class according to the Romanian code. After the analysis, appropriate retrofit measures were proposed to increase the load bearing capacity and improve the behaviour. A special situation arises for these buildings due to the differentiated settlements the building is separated into distinct sections between which there is no longer a transfer of forces. In order to restore spatial cooperation between these sections of the same building, composite materials are used that ensure the transfer of forces between the load-bearing elements of the building and reduce the out-of-plane yielding mechanisms of the walls.
    Keywords: retrofitting; preservation; masonry buildings; rehabilitation; steel mesh; foundation stabilisation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10057244
  • Motion magnification technique for the monitoring of masonry structures   Order a copy of this article
    by Martina Modesti, Cristina Gentilini 
    Abstract: Motion magnification (MM) is a recently introduced technique that allows displaying small structural vibrations, otherwise imperceptible to the naked eye, by amplifying movements from videos taken with common cameras. Vibrations of structures caused by micro-earthquakes, such as traffic-induced tremors, are perceived through pixels comparison in video frames as their intensity is increased so that they become visible. Motion magnification analysis allows to identify which parts of the building are most vulnerable to earthquakes and to determine structural natural frequencies. Three simple structures are first considered to check the method reliability, then the technique is applied to different structures in situ as bell towers as well as bridges. The results show a clear correspondence between the theoretical frequencies of vibration and those identified by the processed videos. As such, motion magnification can be considered as a valid tool for a non-invasive, fast and low-cost analysis of the dynamic characteristics of buildings.
    Keywords: motion magnification; masonry structures; mode shapes; natural frequencies; video frames; amplification; structural vibrations; amplified movements.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10053443
  • The detect-ageing prototype building, a benchmark for structural health monitoring of masonry structures   Order a copy of this article
    by Giorgio Virgulto, Andrea Meoni, Antonella D'Alessandro, Nicola Buratti, Filippo Ubertini 
    Abstract: According to a 2001 survey made by ISTAT, masonry buildings represent the 61.5% of the of Italian's building heritage. The adoption of monitoring's systems on buildings allows to analyse the variations of structural parameters allowing the detection of damages. Detect-ageing is a PRIN promoted by MIUR and involves four Italian universities. The main purpose of the project is to develop a new analytical-instrumental approach aimed at the quantitative assessment of the effects of aging and material degradation on structural safety of cultural heritage, with particular reference to masonry structures. The research unit of Bologna, built a real scale mock-up of a two-storey masonry building equipped with a hybrid SHM system managed by the University of Perugia. The present paper illustrates the main features of the case study and presents the first results of the experimental campaign.
    Keywords: structural health monitoring; SHM; masonry structures; modal analysis; damage detection; degradation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10064005
  • Garisenda Tower in Bologna (Italy): structural assessment and numerical simulation   Order a copy of this article
    by Angelo Di Tommaso, Gian Carlo Olivetti, Giuseppe Lacidogna, Stefano Invernizzi, Alberto Carpinteri 
    Abstract: The Garisenda Tower in Bologna is a city symbol and one of the most valuable medieval heritages. The tower was built on compressible soils and suffered from the very beginning for increasing tilting. For this reason, Dante Alighieri refers to the tower to describe the fear caused by the giant Antaeus bending over him when he tries to descend from the eighth to the ninth circle of hell, in the Divina Commedia. Consequently, the tower has always deserved special attentions to preserve its structural safety. The paper describes some of the most recent results obtained from non-destructive monitoring techniques and presents a finite element model suitable to represent the structural behaviour of the tower, included the effect of thermal deformation.
    Keywords: cultural heritage; masonry tower; non-destructive techniques monitoring; finite element modelling; structural assessment.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10053441
  • FE modelling for the nonlinear dynamics of a historic tower in Central Italy   Order a copy of this article
    by Angela Ferrante, Ersilia Giordano, Gianluca Standoli, Mattia Schiavoni, Francesco Clementi 
    Abstract: The dynamics of a medieval tower, on the upper side of San Severino Marche (Central Italy), subjected to transversal dynamic loadings was analysed. An advanced numerical model is utilised to have an insight into the modalities of progressive damage of the structure under strong nonlinear dynamic excitations, namely the FE concrete damage plasticity (CDP) model. A full 3D detailed discretisation is adopted. From the numerical results, both the role played by the actual geometries and the insufficient resistance of the constituent materials are envisaged, showing a good match with crack patterns observed after the seismic sequence of 2016-2017.
    Keywords: masonry tower; architectural heritage; nonlinear dynamic analysis; finite element method; concrete damage plasticity; CDP.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10053943
  • Sensitivity to uncertainties in the dynamic response of masonry arches   Order a copy of this article
    by Massimiliano Lucchesi, Barbara Pintucchi, Nicola Zani 
    Abstract: The evolution of the probability density function for some parameters of interest, during the motion of a masonry arch under seismic actions, is determined by solving a first-order partial differential equation. The arch is represented as a one-dimensional structure and is examined in both the unreinforced and fibre-reinforced configurations. In both cases, the influence of the uncertainties of Young's modulus and of the viscous damping coefficient on some displacements and on the amplitude of the cracked regions is determined. Among other things, the results show the potentialities of the method for investigating the effectiveness of FRP-retrofitting to improve the arches' seismic performance.
    Keywords: masonry; arches; data sharing; dynamics; seismic; mechanical parameters uncertainties; evolution of probability density function.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10055672
  • Damage assessment of Apennine masonry churches severely damaged during the 2016 Central Italy seismic sequence   Order a copy of this article
    by Ersilia Giordano, Georgios Panagiotis Salachoris, Francesca Bianconi, Francesco Clementi, Stefano Lenci 
    Abstract: The masonry churches in the Apennine area of Central Italy were severely affected by the 2016 earthquakes. The damages of some of these are analysed by considering their typical features such as slender walls, bell-gables, vaults, etc. The behaviours exhibited by these churches are compared with the numerical results on 3D Finite Element Models. This study aims to show how the role of geometry and irregularities present in the structures are fundamental in the analysis of local and global behaviours. Another objective is to investigate the applicability of the nonlinear approach recommended by manuals and codes. This work confirms that with the usual nonlinear static analysis, despite the approximations introduced in the models, it is possible to identify (qualitative way) the critical areas of the structure that could trigger collapses. Therefore, this type of analysis shows once again that it is a suitable tool for planning interventions to preserve the heritage.
    Keywords: masonry churches; damages; collapses; seismic sequence; eigenvalues analyses; nonlinear static analyses; 3D finite element models; Italy.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10054072

Special Issue on: ICCE-2022 Sustainable Solutions for Earthquake-Resistant Materials and Structures Balancing Environmental Impact and Structural Integrity

  • Framework to develop mechanistic-empirical pavement design towards sustainable road construction systems in data-scarce areas: Lebanon case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Hatoum, Jamal Khatib, Firas Barraj, Adel Elkordi 
    Abstract: Pavement performance modelling is a crucial element of pavement management systems, aiding in forecasting maintenance plans. This study focuses on a mechanistic-empirical process for pavement design in Lebanon and investigates the impact of overweight axles on pavement deterioration. Overloading axles significantly affects pavement performance, challenging sustainable development goals. Using KENLAYER software, critical strains were evaluated across pavement sections, assessing rutting and fatigue damage. New models, developed via MATLAB’s regression learner app, establish connections between factors and critical pavement strains. These models streamline data processing, offer improved pavement life assessment, and decrease virgin material usage. Findings reveal that exceeding permissible axle loads by 10% reduces fatigue and rutting lives by 18% and 40%, respectively. Balanced pavement sections are also obtained for various overweight axle loads to achieve equilibrium between fatigue and rutting lives and prevent quick deterioration of the pavement.
    Keywords: fatigue life; mechanistic-empirical; ME; overweight; pavement performance; rutting life; sustainability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10061189
  • Evaluation of the performance of slurry infiltrated fibre concrete slabs exposed to hydrocarbon fire   Order a copy of this article
    by Anwar S. Abbas, Wisam K. Tuama, Mohammed M. Kadhum, György L. Balázs 
    Abstract: The current work investigates the impact of the scenario, duration, and type of fire load on the behaviour of normal strength concrete (NSC) and slurry infiltrated fibre concrete (SIFCON) slabs. Four groups were moulded and tested before and after exposure to high temperatures. All 800 x 800 x 40 mm slabs were exposed to two types of loads until failure at the age of 56 days before and after being exposed to high temperatures of 927 C and 1,010 C, after 60 and 120 min, respectively. The slabs were exposed to fire from the upper side, lower side, and edges. It was observed that the SIFCON slabs have higher efficient compared to NSC slabs, as the proportions of the residual load-bearing capability of burned SIFCON are greater than those of NSC. The punching and uniform strength resistance decreased by (31.7-39 and 34-50.5)%, respectively, for SIFCON slabs and (47.7 and 52.8)%, respectively, for NSC slabs.
    Keywords: SIFCON slabs; fire; steel fibre; punching strength; uniform load.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10061960
  • Numerical investigation and optimisation of a combination of a rubber isolator and steel U-shaped dampers   Order a copy of this article
    by Dalia Najjar 
    Abstract: Seismic isolation systems with rubber isolators are effective tools to minimise damage of structures subjected to earthquakes. Large displacements in isolators often can lead to instability of the structure due to initiation of overturning moments, and sometimes these systems suffer from problems corresponding to insufficient dissipated energy. Therefore, additional steel devices may be utilised to improve the seismic behaviour of such isolators. This research aims to study multi-criteria optimisation of a rubber isolator equipped with steel U-shaped dampers. Numerical models are proposed using finite element simulation implemented in ABAQUS software. The effect of changing geometric properties of steel dampers on mechanical properties of a rubber isolator is investigated. Based on obtained hysteretic curves of a combination system: isolator and dampers, a comprehensive parametric study is carried out. The results demonstrated that selecting the maximum length of the dampers led to best improvement in the overall efficiency of the combination system.
    Keywords: rubber isolator; steel U-shaped damper; multi criteria optimisation; finite element method; FEM.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062001
  • Development and characterisation of roller compacted concrete by using marble powder: as partial replacement of cement   Order a copy of this article
    by Muhammad Tausif Arshad, Arslan Azeem, Muhammad Adnan Altaf, Anwar Khitab, Ayub Elahi 
    Abstract: Concrete is the most used construction material nowadays, but it poses environmental hazards due to the emission of CO2 . One sustainable alternative is the partial replacement of cement with marble powder, a byproduct of the marble industry. This study aims to analyse the feasibility of using marble powder from 5%-15% as a substitute for cement in roller compacted concrete. Mechanical as well as durability aspects were investigated. Optimum dosage for mechanical properties was 5% replacement. Durability study revealed that this replacement is not beneficial for acid attack, but it exhibited resistance to freeze thaw and sulphate attack. By partially replacing cement with marble powder (MP), concrete can attain sustainable development and increased strength.
    Keywords: cement; marble powder; roller compacted concrete; RCC; compressive strength; pollution; durability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062325
  • Prediction of effective strain for near-surface mounted FRP strips in strengthened RC beams using a neuro-fuzzy network   Order a copy of this article
    by Thara’a Mubarak, Issam Nasser, Bassam Hwaiji 
    Abstract: Experimental and analytical research have shown that the near-surface mounted (NSM) FRP technique is efficient and important in strengthening reinforced concrete (RC) beams. However, determining the effective strain for FRP strips remains a major challenge. In this paper, we investigated the possibility of using intelligent systems to determine the effective strain of FRP strips. For this purpose, we used the adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) to predict the effective strain of FRP strips. The proposed model employed variable compression strength of concrete, the bond length of the strengthened strip, and equivalent reinforcement ratio as inputs while the effective strain of FRP strips was the output. We compared the results of the ANFIS model with the experimental results that we collected from published literature using the coefficient of determination (R2) and root-mean-square error (RMSE), the results indicated that the considered neuro-fuzzy model was able to accurately and rapidly predict the effective strain of FRP strips in comparison to the artificial neural network and fuzzy approaches, where R2 = 0.971, RMSE = 0.04757 were achieved with ANFIS while this values did not exceed the (R2 = 0.923, RMSE = 0.07305) for the rest of approaches.
    Keywords: strengthening; FRP; near surface mounted; strips; effective strain; ANFIS.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062367
  • Risk factors affecting the performance of public works construction projects in developing countries: a case study of Lebanon   Order a copy of this article
    by Olivia Kalakesh, Walid Shatila, Ali Hatoum 
    Abstract: Construction projects in Lebanon face significant challenges, including poor quality work, cost overruns, and time delays. These issues stem from the insufficient consideration of risk factors during the planning stage, making it crucial to address them for sustainable development in the industry. This research focuses on risk assessment and management as vital components to aid project participants in fulfilling their commitments and fostering sustainability. Conducted in Lebanon, the study involved a questionnaire survey of 25 contractors, 18 consultants, and 12 owners, exploring 52 risk factors grouped into seven categories. Financial risks emerged as the most critical across all groups, while environmental risks ranked the lowest. The study also established significant associations between rankings provided by owners, contractors, and consultants, as well as project types.
    Keywords: risk factors; risk management; risk identification; construction projects; Lebanon.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062479
  • Investigation of efficient practices of construction and demolition waste management   Order a copy of this article
    by Kaliyaperumal Sugirthamani Anandh, Prasanna Kuchelar, Rahimi A. Rahman, Melwin Joseph, Ramalingam Senthil 
    Abstract: The generation of construction waste is critical due to its adverse environmental impact. This work assesses the construction and demolition waste (CDW) scenario in construction sites of Chennai and Kerala, India. The primary sources of CDW generation are procurement issues, waste handling, improper design, poor management, human factors and a lack of awareness. A mixed method approach analyses the effectiveness and statistically identifies the highly efficient practice of seven best practice measures of CDW. A structural equation model depicts the relationship between waste generation and management practices. The best fit among the factors of CDW is estimated. Proper procurement and design phases are the most efficient best practices observed in the current study. Creating awareness and handling materials are the least efficient practices. The significant findings benefit all stakeholders and policymakers in the construction sector to meet the United Nations sustainable development goal 11: sustainable cities and communities.
    Keywords: construction site waste; waste generation factors; waste management practices; structural equation model; assessment methods.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062532
  • Performance of recycled aggregate concrete containing silica fume at elevated temperatures   Order a copy of this article
    by Sahil Abbas Zaidi, M. Arsalan Khan, Tabassum Naqvi 
    Abstract: This study is undertaken to address the environmental problems associated with the large-scale concrete production. To prevent the natural stone reserves, 50% of the recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) are used. Since, the cement used in concrete is responsible for huge CO2 emissions, 10% of its weight is replaced by silica fume. Silica fume improves the properties of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) by its excellent filling and pozzolanic properties. The compressive and split-tensile strength of the concrete so formed are investigated at room temperature (20 C) as well as elevated temperatures up to 800 C and compared with a reference concrete mix not containing silica fume. It has been observed that silica fume has a beneficial effect upon the compressive as well as split-tensile strength at all exposure temperatures. With the addition of silica fume, an increment of 3.6-14.9% in compressive strength, and 10.9-22.5% in split-tensile strength is found over a temperature range of 20-800 C.
    Keywords: construction and demolition waste; CDW; recycled aggregate concrete; RAC; recycled concrete aggregate; RCA; recycled aggregate; RA; silica fume; elevated temperatures; sustainable development.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062533
  • The path to sustainable concrete: a unified grading equation for concrete mix design   Order a copy of this article
    by Soumia Kheira Sebsadji 
    Abstract: In recent years, the cement and construction industries have worked to reduce the cement content in concrete mixes due to increased awareness of the environmental and economic impacts associated with cement production. One effective method for producing low-cement concrete is to optimise the combined grading of the concrete skeleton to achieve the highest packing density. This reduces the volume of voids that need to be filled with cement paste. The present study investigates an innovative equation that consolidates optimal equations commonly used in the optimisation of concrete mixtures. The proposed model aims to streamline the identification of critical properties of the concrete mix, such as aggregate mass ratios, cement content, and interparticle spacing between aggregates. This interparticle spacing is an indicator of the flowability and the mechanical strength of the concrete. This research streamlines concrete mix design for specific properties, minimises reliance on cement, and promotes sustainable, resource-efficient construction practices.
    Keywords: low cement; mix design; optimal grading curve; concrete skeleton; median particle size; aggregate mass fraction; interparticle spacing; mechanical strength; flowability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062534
  • Performance of RC deep beams containing eco-friendly waste PET aggregate: experimental investigation   Order a copy of this article
    by James H. Haido, Shireen T. Saadullah, Sundis M.S. Taher, Qahar Mustafa Abdullah, Bashar A. Mahmood 
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate the rheological properties, mechanical strength, and structural behaviour of self-compacting concrete (SCC) deep beams incorporating waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as partial replacement of fine and coarse aggregate. The replacement ratios were set at 10% and 20%. The engineering properties of SCC were examined such as slump flow test, slump flow time (T50cm), J-ring test, V-funnel and L-box test, compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, flexural strength. Additionally, the structural behaviour of the beams was assessed based on load-deflection curves, load-strain relationships, and cracking patterns. The results indicate that a replacement ratio of up to 10% has a minimal impact on the reduction of load-bearing capacity of deep beam. Furthermore, visual examinations were performed to determine the mode of failure. It was found that a certain amount of waste plastic can be used in structural applications without compromising the flexural characteristics of reinforced concrete beams.
    Keywords: self-compacting concrete; SCC; waste polyethylene terephthalate; PET; deep beams; engineering properties.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062677
  • Nonlinear seismic analysis of a reinforced concrete frame building using fibre distributed plasticity element model and fibre hinge model   Order a copy of this article
    by Rania Al-Ahmar, Mayada Al Ahmad Al Kousa 
    Abstract: Numerical modelling, a useful technique for simulating structural behaviour, is challenging when choosing analytical models for structural elements and nonlinear associated material models. The seismic behaviour of a reinforced concrete frame building designed to withstand earthquake loads is evaluated in the current work using nonlinear static and dynamic analyses. The distributed inelasticity element model, the fibre hinge model, and a combined version of the two prior models are used to simulate the columns and beams of RC frames. These three models are validated using the results of the RC column test while the plastic hinge’s length in fibre models is estimated using empirical equations. The study revealed that the results varied depending on the various analysis techniques, modelling approaches of elements, and plastic hinge lengths. Nonlinear static analysis is shown to be safe and more conservative for evaluating a residential RC frame building whose dynamic response is controlled by the first mode of vibration. Nevertheless, for modelling the frame elements, it is preferred to use the distributed plasticity model or a combination of the distributed plasticity and fibre hinge models.
    Keywords: nonlinear analysis; material models; fibre models; distributed inelasticity; fibre hinge; plastic hinge; combined model; RC column; frame building.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10062779
  • The use of friction bearing isolate developed by shape memory alloys wire toward earthquake resistant buildings and more sustainable   Order a copy of this article
    by Alaa Barmo, Hala Tawfek Hasan, Mayada Al-Ahmad Al-Kousa 
    Abstract: Seismic isolation systems are crucial for buildings to withstand earthquake loads and manage deformations. Shape memory alloys (SMA), like superelastic SMA, offer exceptional self-centring ability and dissipate seismic energy effectively. This study explores the hybrid use of SMA-based triple friction bearings (TFBs) for response control in standalone reinforced concrete structures. Parametric analysis compares the performance of SMA-based TFB systems with traditional TFBs, revealing reduced residual displacement in bearings (9%-17%) without significant increases in drift, displacements, and forces. This effectiveness in decreasing displacement and lateral deformation preserves efficacy and durability, safeguarding superstructures.
    Keywords: seismic isolation; shape memory alloys; SMA; superelasticity; Triple friction bearing; TFB; smart materials.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063011
  • Early warning system in drinking water purification plants for modelling both residual turbidity and aluminium   Order a copy of this article
    by Ruba Dahham Alsaeed, Bassam Alaji, Mazen Ibrahim 
    Abstract: Environmental decision supporting system (EDSS) was developed in this article using the full-scale purification plant’s data. After reprocessing the data by K-means clustering, the clusters’ results were used to make the three sets of data, for the models; ANN, GA-ANN and GEP to predict residual turbidity, the results were compared. The hybrid genetic-neural model was the best; it gave a smaller network and reduced overfitting. It gave a very good results, RMSE = 0.20 NTU, R = 0.95. In the regard of predicting residual aluminium, a network with 17 neuron in the hidden layer was obtained and gave a result of RMSE = 0.021 mg/L, R = 0.93. At the end, a graphical user interface was generated; by MATLAB software. Based on the best networks gained, in order to make the networks more globalised and easier to be used from different kind of users.
    Keywords: aluminium; clustering; ANN; GA-ANN; EDSSs; residual turbidity; predicting.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063037
  • Non-contact strain measurement of loading-unloading splitting test on concrete   Order a copy of this article
    by Ismail Bello, George Wardeh, Belen González-Fonteboa, Fernando Martínez-Abella 
    Abstract: The exact modelling of reinforced concrete structures necessitates a thorough control of post-cracking behaviour and the evolution of plastic deformations of concrete during loading-unloading cycles. Conducting a direct tensile test is more complex than the other tests, like the splitting test. This study investigates using the splitting test with digital image correlation (DIC) technique to analyse concrete deformation. By filming and processing images of splitting cylindrical specimens using GOM Correlate software, full stress-strain curves up to failure are obtained. Strain gauges are also employed for comparison. Results are validated against an analytical model, showing good agreement between stress-strain curves from both methods. The study concludes that DIC offers several advantages over conventional methods, including enhanced post-peak data acquisition and the ability to monitor cracks individually, regardless of their location on the surface. This approach improves the understanding of post-cracking behaviour and the evolution of plastic deformation in concrete structures.
    Keywords: concrete; splitting test; digital image correlation; DIC; stress-strain analysis; analytical modelling.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063065
  • Effect of incorporating plant-based natural fibres on the mechanical and durability properties of pastes and mortars   Order a copy of this article
    by Rawan Ramadan, Hassan Ghanem, Jamal Khatib, Adel Elkordi 
    Abstract: Amidst global concerns over depleting natural and energy resources, waste generation, and gas emissions, sustainability has gained significant traction. Utilising renewable resources such as plant fibres, such as Phragmites australis (PhA), offers an environmentally friendly solution for concrete production. This study investigates the impact of incorporating PhA fibres on the mechanical and durability properties of paste and mortar samples. PhA was added to mixes at varying volumes (02%) with a water to cement (W/C) ratio of 0.55 and sand to cement (S/C) ratio of 2. The stems were processed into 1 cm x 2 mm fibres and treated with 4% NaOH solution. Tests on paste and mortar samples after seven days included chemical shrinkage (CS), drying shrinkage (DS), autogenous shrinkage (AS), expansion (Exp), compressive strength and flexural strength. Results demonstrate that PhA integration effectively reduces shrinkage in both pastes and mortars and modestly enhances compressive and flexural strength. This eco-friendly approach holds potential to mitigate shrinkage and contribute to sustainable construction practices.
    Keywords: Phragmites australis; chemical shrinkage; autogenous shrinkage; drying shrinkage; expansion; compressive strength; flexural strength; correlations.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2025.10063751

Special Issue on: ICoNSoM 2022 Non-Linear Behaviour Of Vaulted Masonry Structures

  • On the construction stage analysis of historical masonry vaults   Order a copy of this article
    by Marco Zucca, Emanuele Reccia, Flavio Stochino, Antonio Maria Cazzani 
    Abstract: A growing interest in the preservation of historical masonry constructions led to analysing in detail the structural behaviour of masonry vaults. In the last decades, several approaches have been proposed to analyse vaults behaviour under static and dynamic loads, which depends on different parameters such as shape, mechanical properties of masonry and brick patterns. In this paper, the static behaviour of a historical masonry sail vault, characterised by a complex brick pattern and by a segmental shape, is analysed. Such typology of vaults is widely diffused in the area of Cagliari, where many of them have been built during the XIX century. Some hypotheses about the constructive techniques adopted are investigated. In particular, the role played by the arrangement of the bricks is considered. The purpose is to check whether the adopted bricks pattern allows construction of vaults without formwork. Starting from a geometry model which has been reconstructed from a complete laser scanner survey, a finite element model is developed to perform a construction stage analysis. Thus, the evolution of the stresses acting on the different parts composing the vaults during the construction process is studied, assuming that no formwork has been used.
    Keywords: masonry vaults; segmental shape; brick patterns; construction stage analysis.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10054537
  • Experimental and numerical analyses of curvilinear masonry structures exposed to high temperatures   Order a copy of this article
    by Alessandro P. Fantilli, Nicholas S. Burello 
    Abstract: Despite masonry arches and vaults are recurring structural members within architectural heritage, experimental and numerical analyses on these structures exposed to fire are still not much addressed. The present paper deals with five tests carried out on masonry barrel vaults, made with clay solid bricks, cement-lime mortar, and subjected to standard fire at intrados and to different load arrangements on the extrados. Two vaults were also insulated with fire protectives to mitigate the effects of elevated temperatures. In addition, a simplified numerical model, previously introduced and herein improved with a more refined thermal analysis, is used to calculate the fire resistance R. As results, by comparing the test data and the numerical outcomes, more reliable, but still conservative, predictions of R can be obtained in the case of barrel vaults.
    Keywords: arches; vaults; structural design; limit analysis; resisting area; standard fire; fire insulating; fire protective; clay masonry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10055405
  • Numerical investigation of the post-elastic seismic response of the multi-vaulted Beit-El-Din Hammam   Order a copy of this article
    by Amal Gerges, Maria Cristina Porcu, Antonio Cazzani 
    Abstract: The Beit-El-Din Hammam is a Lebanese masonry monument characterised by vaults pierced by holes. Despite its huge importance for the Lebanese heritage, the vulnerability of this monument to exceptional actions has not yet been assessed. The present study aims to contribute to filling this gap by carrying out a dedicated dynamic numerical investigation. Environmental modal tests were carried out to find the natural frequencies, through which a detailed 3D model was identified. Nonlinear dynamic analyses under spectrum-consistent earthquakes were performed, where the inelastic behaviour of the masonry was described through a concrete damage plasticity model. The results of the study predicted the damage pattern that could affect the monument. A twin model led to assessing the effect of holes on the tensile damage of vaults. The paper offers a contribution to the debate on the post-elastic and ductile behaviour of masonry Hammams with multi-holed vaults, typical structures in Arabic countries.
    Keywords: holed masonry vaults; nonlinear dynamic analysis; masonry hammam; seismic vulnerability of historical buildings; seismic damage.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10058266
  • Micromechanical modeling of masonry domes accounting for damage and friction phenomena   Order a copy of this article
    by Daniela Addessi, Cristina Gatta, Elio Sacco 
    Abstract: This paper investigates the mechanical response of masonry domes to improve evaluation of their structural capacity. Numerical simulations are performed considering a small-scale specimen. A micromechanical modelling approach is adopted, where each masonry constituent is separately modelled and all the information about the microstructure are considered. Linear elastic bricks, discretised with three-dimensional solid finite elements, are connected to each other with interfaces representing mortar joints and their interaction behaviour with the bricks. For the interfaces, modelled with 4+4 node elements, a damage-friction constitutive law is assumed, able to track the microcracking evolution due to tensile and shear states. Firstly, the experimental response of the dome under vertical load is reproduced exploiting the ideal symmetry conditions of the structure. Then, the effect of the variation of masonry texture is investigated. Finally, the dome behaviour is studied under horizontal actions mimicking seismic excitation. Response curves and failure mechanisms are monitored.
    Keywords: masonry dome; damage-friction; interfaces; micromechanical modelling; finite element.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10058769
  • Closed form solutions in limit analysis for masonry cloister vaults and domes subjected to concentrated vertical loads applied at the top crown   Order a copy of this article
    by Gabriele Milani 
    Abstract: Two cases technically relevant are investigated in the field of the prediction of the load carrying capacity of masonry double curvature structural elements, namely hemispherical domes and square cloister vaults subjected to concentrated vertical loads at the top crown. Such loading condition is encountered quite frequently in practice, for instance for domes with lanterns and for cloister vaults belonging to historical buildings loaded in the middle span. A failure mechanism is hypothesised and analytical expressions for the different contributions in the internal and external power dissipation are deduced. The collapse multiplier is then obtained through the application of the principle of virtual powers. The advantage stands in the applicability of the method for a large variety of domes and cloister vaults (with a generalisation to additional special conditions, such as for instance in case of elliptic and rectangular in-plane geometries, presence of oculi and so on). The approach proposed is benchmarked on two case-studies experimentally tested, for which several numerical results coming from different models are already available.
    Keywords: masonry domes and cloister vaults; kinematic limit analysis; closed form solutions; axi-symmetric loads.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10058815
  • Damping models for dynamic analysis of masonry vaults with discrete elements   Order a copy of this article
    by José V. Lemos 
    Abstract: Discrete element block models provide a suitable tool for the numerical analysis of masonry structures, particularly apt to represent the nonlinear response governed by shearing and separation along the structure’s joints and discontinuities. Arches and vaults have been successfully analysed with this approach, for static and dynamic loading. For time domain dynamic analysis, the selection of damping is of critical importance. In this paper, the standard Rayleigh damping model is discussed and compared with an alternative damping model, based on the use of Maxwell elements in the contacts between blocks. The performance of the alternative formulation is analysed for vaulted structures, using rigid and deformable block models, under pulse and seismic loading. Maxwell damping is shown to provide solutions for vault failure loads and mechanisms which are comparable to stiffness-proportional Rayleigh damping, but with significant computational advantages for explicit solution algorithms.
    Keywords: masonry; vaults; discrete elements; dynamic analysis; damping; Maxwell elements.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10059525
  • Limit analysis of axisymmetric masonry domes under vertical loads: parametric studies and statically admissible stress fields   Order a copy of this article
    by Francesco Barsi, Riccardo Barsotti, Stefano Bennati 
    Abstract: A parametric analysis of the safety level of masonry domes subjected to their self-weight is conducted by varying a given set of geometric parameters. By adopting the well-known Heyman hypotheses that allow proving the theorems of limit analysis, statically admissible stress fields inside the dome are sought. The dome is modelled as a thin shell where both membrane forces and bending moments may arise. This allows exploring a much broader set of possible equilibrium states than the established analysis techniques found in the literature, thus enabling improved estimation of the dome safety level. The equilibrium problem is solved by the collocation method, and a convex optimisation problem is devised to search for the best stress field distribution. The case of spherical domes and equilateral pointed domes with a top opening are analysed. Finally, the results in terms of minimum admissible thickness and the corresponding stress field are illustrated.
    Keywords: masonry domes; limit analysis; thin shell; collocation method; convex optimisation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2023.10059689
  • A continuous stress-based form finding approach for compressed membranes   Order a copy of this article
    by Carlo Olivieri, Antonino Iannuzzo, Andrea Montanino, Francesca Linda Perelli, Isabella Elia, Sigrid Adriaenssens 
    Abstract: The need for highly efficient structures necessitates the development of innovative design approaches that lower the environmental impact of the construction industry. The efficient use of mechanical material properties represents a good basis to enable significant material reduction and reduce material waste. For materials with negligible tensile capacity, designing a purely compressed form enables the structure to work efficiently through membrane action under design load resulting in minimum structural thickness. Most shell and vault form-finding methods are based on discrete approaches, whose solutions are linked to the initial discretisation or mesh estimations. Such discretisation strategies might provide valuable aesthetic solutions but do not prioritise the shell’s optimal internal stress state. To overcome the challenge of inefficient mesh discretisation in a form-finding process for shell or vault forms with boundary arches, an optimised and continuous form-finding approach based on Pucher’s formulation of membrane equilibrium, is presented that achieves a compressed configuration with minimum principal stresses. Four case studies are presented where the applied vertical loads, the shape of the plan and geometrical constraints are varied.
    Keywords: shell; vault; masonry; form-finding; membrane; membrane equilibrium analysis; Pucher; airy stress function.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063945
  • Numerical model for the cyclic behaviour of a rubble stone masonry wall with opening and reinforcement   Order a copy of this article
    by Daniel Meloni, Matteo Lai, Antonio Cazzani 
    Abstract: Historical buildings in Europe are made of a variety of brick and stone masonry works, with strong critical issues concerning seismic hazard and architectural and/or functional rearrangements involving structural modifications. The latter activities frequently demand in situ investigations and structural analyses by which designers are requested, as in the case of Italian National Code, to carefully evaluate the effects of structural modifications and the need of retrofitting interventions. New openings in masonry walls are interventions often addressed, accompanied with local reinforcements, usually consisting of embedded steel frames, designed to grant no loss in terms of strength, stiffness and plastic capabilities. The present paper addresses the need of advanced numerical models assessing the behaviour of masonry walls under cycling loading, in presence of a new opening and of a reinforcing frame. For this purpose, a finite element (FE) model, accounting for plasticity and stiffness degradation, has been calibrated employing literature results from experimentations on real-size unreinforced rubble stone masonry (URM) walls subjected to shear cyclic loading (Vasconcelos and Lourenco, 2009). Thereafter the fine-tuned model has been employed for a numerical investigation on different configurations embedding a new opening and a reinforcing steel frame.
    Keywords: masonry; cyclic behaviour; cyclic damage; nonlinear FEM; calibration; unreinforced rubble masonry; URM; reinforced rubble masonry; RRM; openings.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10063508

Special Issue on: MetroLivEnv2023 Metrology for Living Environment

  • A study of the administrative water loss in the drinking water network: a case study in the seventh sector in the city of Damascus   Order a copy of this article
    by Marwa Emad El-Din Abbas, Bassam Farkouh, Mohammed Bashar Al-Mufti 
    Abstract: Water losses have been identified as one of the leading problems common to any water utility in the world. High levels of losses can significantly affect future water resources availability, energy consumption associated to water production and distribution, overall quality of service to customers, water quality levels and operational costs and life of the assets. Depending on their nature, the International Water Association categorises water losses in two components: real losses and apparent losses. Real losses are mainly caused by leakage in pipes, valves, tanks, and other elements in the network. Apparent losses include the volume of water stolen by the users, the measuring errors of the metres and data handling errors. The research includes a study aimed at determining the value of the total water loss in the water network in the seventh sector (the first three avenues of immigrants) in the city of Damascus, by applying an experimental study and determining the percentage of the administrative water loss contribution to the total water loss. The research also provides recommendations on best practices that must be taken into account in order to reduce water loss and conserve it in accordance with the permitted national levels.
    Keywords: unmonitored water; administrative water loss; minimum night flow; MNF; metre category; metre accuracy test; continuous supply; intermittent supply; components of unaccounted-for water.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2024.10061363