Journal article

Force-displacement response of in-plane loaded URM walls with a dominating flexural mode

This article presents a new mechanical model for the non-linear force-displacement response of unreinforced masonry (URM) walls developing a flexural rocking mode including their displacement capacity. The model is based on the plane section hypothesis and a constitutive law for the masonry with zero tensile strength and linear-elastic behaviour in compression. It is assumed that only the compressed part of the wall contributes to the stiffness of the wall and therefore the model accounts for a softening of the response due the reduction of the effective area. Stress conditions for limit states are proposed that characterise the flexural failure. The new model allows therefore to link local performance levels to global displacement capacities. The limit states criteria describe the behaviour of modern URM walls with cement mortar of normal thickness and clay bricks. The model is validated through comparison of local and global engineering demand parameters with experimental results. It provides good prediction of the effective stiffness, the force capacity and the displacement capacity of URM walls at different limit states.

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