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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 (21 papers in press)

Special Issue on: Simple Mechanical Models for Unreinforced Historic Masonry Constructions

  •   Free full-text access Open AccessStability and load-bearing capacity assessment of a deformed multi-span masonry bridge using the PRD method
    ( Free Full-text Access ) CC-BY-NC-ND
    by Antonino Iannuzzo, Tom Van Mele, Philippe Block 
    Abstract: Most of the computational approaches based on Heymans theory rely on the safe theorem and can only tackle kinematical problems (KPs) with non-homogeneous boundary displacements for simple geometries. So far, no computational tools have been developed to directly address the KP for generic 2D structures taking into account different mechanical scenarios and foundation settlements simultaneously. With this aim, compas_prd, a new computational, Python-based tool has been developing. It is based on the piecewise rigid displacement (PRD) method, which couples the KP with the equilibrium problem (EP), allowing the search for a mechanism and its corresponding internal stress state even in large displacements. Both KP and EP are framed as linear programming problems, allowing fast computational solving. Looking at an approximate cross-section of a multi-span masonry bridge, different mechanical scenarios are addressed to illustrate the abilities of compas_prd, also taking into account an initial deformed configuration.
    Keywords: masonry; historical structures; PRD method; limit analysis; settlements; large displacements; load-bearing capacity; seismic assessment.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10038415
  • Experimental and numerical analysis of a scaled dry-joint arch on moving supports   Order a copy of this article
    by Chiara Ferrero, Michela Rossi, Pere Roca, Chiara Calderini 
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the response of a scaled segmental dry-joint masonry arch to the settlement of one support. An experimental test and numerical simulations were performed by applying incremental vertical displacements at the right support up to collapse. The experimental test was carried out on a 1:10 small-scale model of the arch made of bi-component composite blocks with dry joints. Numerical simulations were performed using a finite element (FE) micro-modelling approach, where the arch was discretised as a set of very stiff voussoirs connected by nonlinear interfaces. Experimental and numerical results were compared in terms of displacement capacity and collapse mechanisms. The sensitivity of the numerical results to the interface stiffness was also evaluated.
    Keywords: masonry arches; experimental tests; FE micro-modelling; support displacements; collapse mechanisms; rigid blocks.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10035577
  • Analytical modelling for the seismic assessment of pointed arches supported by buttresses   Order a copy of this article
    by Giuseppe Brandonisio, Antonello De Luca 
    Abstract: The seismic behaviour of arches is investigated to provide a contribution to the stability of arches with a pointed shape supported by buttresses. The limit analysis (LA) for masonry structures has been herein implemented in analytical modelling based on the use of nonlinear programming techniques for investigating the potential failure mechanisms associated with pointed arches under horizontal forces. A critical assessment of the positioning of hinges over the arch embrace is conducted here. This will allow for a better prediction of the capacity of these structures under seismic actions. The lateral action, which activates the investigated failure mechanisms, is also computed by implementing this new analytical model. This is assessed both in terms of horizontal loading multiplier and associated ground accelerations. Furthermore, by comparing numerical results derived from scientific literature, it was possible to validate the reliability of the here presented analytical model.
    Keywords: masonry; pointed arches; pier walls; limit analysis; seismic assessment; analytical modelling.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10035996
  • P-Bezier energy optimisation for elastic solutions of masonry-like panels   Order a copy of this article
    by Antonio Fortunato, Antonio Gesualdo, Ida Mascolo, Michela Monaco 
    Abstract: The equilibrium problem for masonry-like materials in the Heyman sense can be formulated looking for a minimum of the complementary energy functional defined in the field of admissible stress tensors, belonging to the class of negative semi-definite tensors. The classical mixed boundary problem for a masonry panel is developed assuming that the stress is uniaxial so it is possible to express the complementary energy as a function of the slope of compressive rays which characterise the uniaxiality of the stress field. In this work, a family of proximity curves defined starting from a Bezier curve with three control points to model the slope function is employed. Two structural cases are solved, pure shear displacements and shear-flexural-tensile ones, showing the usefulness of the method when applied to the analysis of masonry piers.
    Keywords: masonry panel; mixed boundary problem; complementary energy; energy optimisation; proximity curves; P-Bézier curves.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10037508
  • Structural analysis of historical masonry churches: the case study of S. Giuseppe delle Scalze (Naples, Italy)   Order a copy of this article
    by Giancarlo Ramaglia, Gian Piero Lignola, Francesco Fabbrocino, Andrea Prota 
    Abstract: Structural analysis represents a valid tool to evaluate the seismic capacity of existing structures and to plan retrofit strategies. Howsoever, structural modelling performed on existing masonry buildings could become very complex. This issue increases when the interest focuses on heritage buildings due to the strong heterogeneities that characterise them. This study focuses on the analysis of a religious masonry building: the case study of S. Giuseppe delle Scalze in Naples (Italy). The structure is characterised by a clear deterioration and several damages. Various modelling approaches have been carried out to estimate the main structural behaviour of the church. Starting from surveys, a finite element (FE) model was developed. According to a limited knowledge level, various structural models have been developed, to take into account many variables. Starting from these numerical models, several analyses have been performed: static gravitational, linear dynamic and linear time history analyses. The goal of the analyses is to assess the main sources of damage by comparing the peak stresses with the current damage. Given the linear-elastic assumption due to the limited knowledge level, the results are useful to assess triggering of damage only.
    Keywords: heritage masonry; churches; numerical modelling; seismic damage; Italy.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10037509
  • A new membrane equilibrium solution for masonry railway bridges: the case study of Marsh Lane Bridge   Order a copy of this article
    by Carlo Olivieri, Antonio Fortunato, Matthew DeJong 
    Abstract: Masonry railways bridges were built and are still in use all over Europe and in many other countries all over the world. Limit analysis is widely adopted to assess the equilibrium of these structures under self and train loads and, mainly, assuming uniaxial stresses only in the span direction. In the last decade, some of these bridges, as our case study, have been subjected to detailed structural health monitoring (SHM) campaigns whose primary outcome is that these structures exhibit biaxial stresses. In this paper, within the framework of the Heyman masonry unilateral model, an application of membrane equilibrium analysis (MEA) is presented. MEA provides an efficient approach to account for biaxial stress states and, thus, taking into account beneficial 3D effects for load capacity analyses. This paper illustrates how various assumptions of the membrane behaviour yield a range of potential equilibrium solutions, all of which demonstrate higher capacity than the traditional 2D assessment methods.
    Keywords: masonry; membrane equilibrium analysis; MEA; historic structures; railway bridges; structural health monitoring; SHM.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10037557
  • Considerations about the static response of masonry domes: a comparison between limit analysis and finite element method   Order a copy of this article
    by Concetta Cusano, Grigor Angjeliu, Andrea Montanino, Giulio Zuccaro, Claudia Cennamo 
    Abstract: Masonry domes constitute a large part of the international architectural heritage. The issue of its conservation has long been a challenge both for architects and engineers. To limit any problems related to degradation, arising from structural damage or external factors, historical buildings are continuously restored and strengthened. Reliable tools are therefore needed to assess their structural safety. The present work discusses how modern methods can be used to understand ancient structures addressing the comparison between different methods of structural analysis, exploring the range of applications of limit analysis and finite element analysis in the stability assessment of masonry domes, focusing on the pros and cons of each approach. By applying equilibrium approaches and deformation-based models (finite element method), this paper provides two demonstration examples to compare the utility of each of them within a longstanding debate on the most proper way to evaluate traditional structures in masonry.
    Keywords: architectural heritage; masonry; domes; limit analysis; finite element method; FEM; membrane equilibrium analysis; MEA.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10037898
  • Limit analysis based interactive tool for bidimensional studies of complex masonry   Order a copy of this article
    by Paul Nougayrede, Thierry Ciblac, François Guéna 
    Abstract: In a context of growing interest about historic masonry buildings, there is an identified need for a simple and efficient approach for stability studies. An adaptative tool, LITHFI, has been developed as a plugin of Rhinoceros software to interactively analyse the stability of complex bidimensional masonry structures with rectilinear joints. Using the theoretical framework of limit analysis under Jacques Heyman hypothesis with the static theorem and interactive lines of thrust search methods, the main goal is to take into account the diversity of multiple cases and different kinds of needs (various complexity of geometries, topologies and loading, hinges positioning, search for extreme thrusts domains). The algorithmic architecture of the tool and the possible uses in actual case studies are also presented.
    Keywords: structural masonry; limit analysis; yield design theory; lower bound theorem; line of thrust; numerical modelling; interactivity; multi-agents programming; genetic algorithm.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10038674
  • A new experimental approach for small-scale dynamic tests on masonry arches aimed at seismic assessment   Order a copy of this article
    by Anna Castellano, Isabella Elia, Aguinaldo Fraddosio, Carlo Olivieri, Mario Daniele Piccioni 
    Abstract: This paper considers the dynamics of stone or brick masonry modeled a la Heyman. Current regulations prescribe for such structures to adopt response spectra based on the identification with a harmonic oscillator. Since 1963, Housner observed that the dynamic of structures behaving unilaterally is more correctly described by the rocking motion. This approach enabled lately other scientists to reconstruct response spectra for arches, portals, and more complex structures. In this light, the present paper focuses on response spectra for masonry arches obtained by performing laboratory tests on a shaking table of scale models produced through 3D printing formworks. The difficulty due to the scaling of friction is overcome by special indents at the interfaces of the blocks enforcing no-sliding conditions. The comparisons with numerical solutions represent the first results, being the final goal to obtain a robust experimental method to test scale models of complex masonry structures.
    Keywords: masonry arches; dynamic tests; seismic assessment; scale models; 3D printing.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10039003
  • When cracks are (not) a structural concern: the case of 'Giovanni Vinciguerra' School in Anagni   Order a copy of this article
    by Chiara Ferrero, Concetta Cusano, Mehmet Nuri Yavuzer, Yu-Xian Wu, Antonino Iannuzzo 
    Abstract: This paper presents the structural assessment of a portion of Giovanni Vinciguerra School, located in the municipality of Anagni, Italy. In 2009, the presence of some cracks in the vaults of the basement led the authorities to close the building and declare it not usable. In this work, firstly a proper knowledge of the history, geometry and structural configuration of the school was achieved by means of bibliographic research, laser-scanner survey and visual inspections. During onsite inspections, the damage observed was also surveyed and mapped in detail. Then, structural analysis applying graphic statics and inverse piecewise rigid displacement (PRD) analysis was carried out with the aim to identify the causes of damage and evaluate the residual structural safety of the building. The results obtained allowed to prove that the structure is safe despite the occurrence of some damage in the basement.
    Keywords: historic structures; damage assessment; structural analysis; effects of settlement; masonry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10039144
  • Between stereotomy and mechanics: joints inclination and minimum thickness in frictionless pointed and circular arches   Order a copy of this article
    by Danila Aita 
    Abstract: This research is inspired by an issue strictly linked to the art of stereotomy and rarely tackled in the contributions on the statics of arches and vaults, i.e., the search of the inclination to be assigned to each joint able to ensure the respect of the equilibrium conditions when the friction between the voussoirs is absent, by assuming that the intrados and extrados curves are known. After presenting some brief notes on the state-of-the-art on this subject, both a numerical and an analytical approach, based on the maxima and minima Coulomb method revisited through a re-edition of Durand-Clayes method, is developed in order to determine the inclination of the joints as well as the minimum archs thickness compatible with equilibrium. The analysis is performed for frictionless pointed and circular arches for different values of the embrace angle (i.e., the complement of springing angle).
    Keywords: frictionless arches; pointed arches; circular arches; minimum thickness; stereotomy; Coulomb; limit analysis.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10039392

Regular Issues

  • Technical viability of construction and demolition waste reuse in paving blocks industrial production: an experimental study   Order a copy of this article
    by Cleber E. F. Leal, José C. Marques Neto, Guilherme A. Parsekian, André L. Christoforo, Fernanda G.S. Ferreira 
    Abstract: This research aimed at evaluating the partial replacement of the regular sand with a recycled sand from concrete and mortar waste to produce concrete paving blocks (CPB), as a strategy to reduce waste disposal and save natural resources. The recycled aggregate was collected at a municipal construction and demolition waste (CDW) recycling plant. Its physical properties were evaluated and compared with those from regular non-recycled aggregates. The units were manufactured in an industry plant, with 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% aggregate replacement ratios and same cement content. Compressive strength, tensile splitting strength, abrasion resistance and water absorption were determined at 7 and 28 days. As result, the statistical analysis showed no differences among mechanical properties from reference mix (0%) and the other replacement ratios. All mixes met abrasion limits and showed satisfactory water absorption. In conclusion, the natural sand replacement up to 30% is technically viable for CPB scale-up production.
    Keywords: construction and demolition waste; CDW; recycled aggregate; concrete paving block; CPB; industrial production; physical properties; mechanical properties.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10038416
  • Investigations on eco-friendly masonry structural elements developed using slag-fly ash-glass powder-based alkali activated concrete   Order a copy of this article
    by Shriram Marathe, I. Ramesha Mithanthaya 
    Abstract: The present study attempts a detailed investigation on the strength performances of alkali activated concrete (AAC) mixes incorporating slag, fly ash, and powdered waste glass as binding ingredients for structural masonry applications. All the concrete mixes were prepared by using graded stone crusher dust as fine aggregates. The tests were performed to investigate the mechanical strength performances, and the results were compared with the conventional OPC-based blocks. Tests were also extended to investigate the effect of one type of geogrid reinforcement on the strength performances of AAC masonry blocks. The prism strength and the cost analysis of the conventional and AAC masonry blocks were also carried out. All the test results strongly prove that the alkali-activated masonry blocks are comparatively better than the conventional blocks made up of OPC. Thus, the use of AAC blocks can be highly recommended as a sustainable alternative to traditional OPC structural masonry executions.
    Keywords: alkali activation; masonry blocks; strength; geogrid reinforcement; masonry prism strength.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10038417
  • Stimulus on strength and durability of granite powder in the waste-based masonry units with copper slag and crumb rubber as partial substitute of fine aggregate   Order a copy of this article
    by S. Praburanganathan, S. Chithra 
    Abstract: In this research, an extensive experiment was made to utilise industrial waste rejects for the production of bricks by pressing technique in a factory-controlled environment. A total of 650 bricks were cast and each brick’s recipe consists of a fixed percentage of primary raw materials akin to lime and gypsum. Along with granite powder as partly substituted for fly ash composed with copper slag and crumb rubber as a partial replacement with stone dust were used in different percentages. A range of mechanical, durability, morphology, FTIR and UPV studies are presented. The investigations reveal that the bricks of a prototype mix design using granite waste and copper slag using an optimum percentage of fly ash and lime-gypsum binder provide better strength and durability. The advantage of the proposed bricks is twofold: having utilised sustainable wastes make an eco-friendly product and the developed product can be used for load-bearing structural elements.
    Keywords: brick; granite waste; copper slag; crumb rubber; strength; durability; masonry units; industrial waste rejects; ultrasonic pulse velocity.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10039867
  • Mechanical behaviour of novel earth concrete walls   Order a copy of this article
    by Thi-Loan Bui, Minh-Cuong Le, Tien-Dung Nguyen, Xuan-Huy Nguyen, Tan-Trung Bui, Vasillis Sarhosis 
    Abstract: This paper presents outcomes of an experimental campaign focused on investigating the mechanical behaviour of a novel earth concrete made of raw earth which is quarry waste from washing aggregates at Luong Son quarry (Vietnam). At material scale, it was found that when the raw earth content varies from 10% to 20% and a low cement content of 4-8% used, the strength of the earth concrete ranges from 8 to18 MPa in compression and 1 to 2.5 MPa in splitting tensile strength. In addition, increasing the content of raw earth, reduces the workability of the earth concrete but increases its strength. However, it seems that there is a limit of strength which corresponds to the case where the compaction of aggregate mixture is optimal. At structure scale, four walls with dimensions (1250 x 1160 x 300 mm) were constructed using earth concrete and subjected to in-plane and out-of-plane loading.
    Keywords: ‘earth concrete’ material; out-of-plane behaviour; in-plane behaviour; walls.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10039926
  • Present Day Status and Numerical Modeling of Heritage Masonry Bridges of Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railways   Order a copy of this article
    by Vinay Shimpi, Madappa V.R. Sivasubramanian, S.B. Singh 
    Abstract: This study is conducted on two masonry arch skew bridges located on UNESCO recognised Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railways, India, built in the year 1905 with stone masonry located in Seismic zone IV as per Indian Standard Code 1893 (2016). Hence, the present day assessment and seismic performance evaluation of the bridges is necessary for conservation. In this study, field measurement of the bridges is conducted using ambient vibration testing (AVT) and operational modal analysis (OMA) with sensitive accelerometers and data acquisition system. Further, modal parameters have been extracted using frequency spatial domain decomposition (FSDD) technique from recorded data. Furthermore, the measured response of the bridges is compared with the developed initial numerical model to estimate the present day status of the bridges in terms of material degradation. A reliable model is then developed adopting modal updation trial and error procedures. At last, the study is concluded towards understanding status of material degradation and preparation of reliable numerical models of the heritage bridge structures.
    Keywords: historical structure; masonry; arch bridges; ambient vibration test; AVT; operational modal analysis; OMA; finite element modelling; finite element modal updation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10040997
  • Numerical modelling of grouted anchors in masonry walls   Order a copy of this article
    by João M. Pereira, Federico Rossetti, Paulo B. Lourenco 
    Abstract: This work aims to numerically simulate experimental pull-out tests in masonry wall anchors. Advanced finite element (FE) 3D models were built to fully reproduce the loadbearing capacity, the failure mode, the stresses and the force-displacement curve and, in general, all the phenomena involved for both brick and stone specimens. Three different modelling approaches were considered. First, a macro-model was adopted, where both brick and stone masonry were assumed as a homogeneous isotropic material. The steel bar and the grouted mortar of the anchor system were considered linear elastic and the system was placed in the specimen using interfaces. The second approach was a unit model, developed with the aim to reproduce the influence of the unit where the anchoring fastening is located. The last approach studied was a micro-model, where both the units and the mortar are considered. The challenge in modelling these systems is highlighted from the different modelling strategies used and compared.
    Keywords: asonry; grouted anchors; numerical modelling; finite element method.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10040998
  • Studying the equilibrium of oval-base pointed masonry domes: the case of Pisa Cathedral   Order a copy of this article
    by Francesco Barsi, Riccardo Barsotti, Stefano Bennati 
    Abstract: This paper addresses the equilibrium problem of an oval-base, pointed masonry dome, that of famous Pisa Cathedral. Set within the framework of the safe theorem of limit analysis, the analysis involves searching for compressive-only statically admissible internal actions for the dome under vertical loads by using the concept of 'thrust surface'. According to Heyman's hypotheses, it is assumed that no in-plane tensile stresses can be transmitted within the thrust surface. The equilibrium problem is tackled by finding an explicit solution for the stresses within a suitable collection of thrust surfaces having the shape of ellipsoids, all contained within the dome thickness. The dome intrados and extrados surfaces have been carefully reconstructed by laser scanner survey and approximated by regular surfaces. The analytical expressions used for both the stress field and the intrados and extrados surfaces have enabled determining estimates of the safety level by means of an expressly developed optimisation procedure.
    Keywords: masonry domes; limit analysis; thrust surface.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10041000
  • Seismic response of plain and timber-laced masonry building models before and after interventions   Order a copy of this article
    by Elizabeth Vintzileou, Lucia Karapitta, Chrissy-Elpida Adami, Charalambos Mouzakis 
    Abstract: Two two-storey stone masonry building models of the same geometry were built at 1:2 scale. In one of the models, masonry was unreinforced, while in the other timber laces were provided at intervals along the height, as it is the case in historical structural systems in several earthquake prone areas. The models were subjected to base excitation tests on the earthquake simulator of the Laboratory for Earthquake Engineering/National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). Each building model was subjected to biaxial seismic tests with the base acceleration increasing stepwise until repairable damages occurred. Afterwards, the building models were repaired (i.e., re-pointing of mortar joints, re-fixing of failed timber connections) and strengthened by: 1) grouting of the three-leaf masonry using a natural hydraulic lime-based grout; 2) enhancing the diaphragm action of the floors and the floor-to-wall connection. Subsequently, the models were re-tested up to severe damage. This paper provides comparison of the response of the two models in their as-built and strengthened state with the purpose of documenting the beneficial effect of the selected strengthening techniques, as well as the beneficial effect of timber laces on the seismic performance of historical masonry buildings.
    Keywords: three-leaf stone masonry; timber-laced stone masonry; interventions; diaphragm action; grout injection; seismic response; seismic tests; shaking table.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10041034
  • CO2 capture of concrete units for pavement through accelerated carbonation cure   Order a copy of this article
    by Lívia Regueira Fortunato, Guilherme Aris Parsekian, Alex Neves Junior 
    Abstract: The process of extracting and manufacturing the raw materials needed to obtain concrete emits large amounts of CO2 to the environment. However, recent research has shown that Portland cement-based materials have the ability to store CO2 in the form of CaCO3 through the accelerated carbonation process during the early ages. This technology can be applied to structural elements without reinforcing steel, as concrete used in pavers. Therefore, the present work performed the CO2 curing in concrete pavers produced on an industrial scale. The samples were placed in a carbonation chamber with 20% of CO2 concentration, the temperature and relative humidity were set in 23 C and 65% respectively and the curing process occurred in 4 and 16 hours. The amount of CO2 absorbed by the samples was determined by the method of mass gain. After the curing process, the mechanical properties were measured. The concrete pavers cured with CO2 reached the highest compressive strength, especially in the first ages (2 days), and the resistance to abrasion and water absorption presented satisfactory values, but there were no variations at 2 and 28 days.
    Keywords: CO2 cure; accelerated carbonation; concrete units for pavement; CUP; concrete.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10042057

Special Issue on: Latest Developments in Digital Technologies, Experimental Testing and Numerical Simulation of Earthen Constructions

  • Numerical simulation of shaking table test on an adobe masonry building through nonlinear macro-element analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Luigi Fenu, Valeria Colasanti, Fulvio Parisi 
    Abstract: Earthen constructions are often built in seismic areas, notwithstanding their vulnerability to even low-intensity earthquakes. Numerical simulations and design methods to predict the seismic response of earthen constructions under future earthquakes and, if any, to design and implement retrofitting systems are hence required. This study aims at evaluating the applicability of the equivalent frame method (EFM) to assess the seismic performance of adobe masonry buildings through nonlinear static analysis, allowing a trade-off between computational efficiency and accuracy in the simulation of earthquake damage. Experimental results of shaking table tests performed on a half-scale adobe building specimen were compared to the output of numerical simulations performed on the prototype building through the EFM. A satisfactory numerical-experimental agreement was found both in terms of seismic capacity features and damage to load-bearing walls. Such results indicate that the EFM can be suitably used also in adobe buildings, hence confirming previous validations on other building typologies.
    Keywords: earthen constructions; adobe buildings; shaking table testing; nonlinear static analysis; equivalent frame method.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJMRI.2021.10040995