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Evaluating the seismic capacity of dry-joint masonry arch structures via the combined finite-discrete element method


Li, WP and Chen, XD and Wang, HF and Chan, AHC and Cheng, YY, Evaluating the seismic capacity of dry-joint masonry arch structures via the combined finite-discrete element method, Applied Sciences, 11, (18) Article 8725. ISSN 2076-3417 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

DOI: doi:10.3390/app11188725


The behaviour of dry-joint masonry arch structures is highly nonlinear and discontinuous since they are composed of individual discrete blocks. These structures are vulnerable to seismic excitations. It is difficult for traditional methods like the standard finite element method (FEM) to simulate masonry failure due to their intrinsic limitations. An advanced computational approach, i.e., the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM), was employed in this study to examine the first-order seismic capacity of masonry arches and buttressed arches with different shapes subjected to gravity and constant horizontal acceleration. Within the framework of the FDEM, masonry blocks are discretised into discrete elements. A finite element formulation is implemented into each discrete element, providing accurate predictions of the deformation of each block and contact interactions between blocks. Numerical examples are presented and validated with results from the existing literature, demonstrating that the FDEM is capable of capturing the seismic capacities and hinge locations of masonry arch structures. Further simulations on geometric parameters and friction coefficient of masonry buttressed arches were conducted, and their influences on the seismic capacities are revealed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seismic capacity, masonry arch, constant ground acceleration, dry-joint, combined finite-discrete element method
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Civil engineering
Research Field:Structural engineering
Objective Division:Construction
Objective Group:Construction design
Objective Field:Civil construction design
UTAS Author:Chan, AHC (Professor Andrew Chan)
UTAS Author:Cheng, YY (Ms Yingyao Cheng)
ID Code:152379
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2022-08-18
Last Modified:2022-09-07
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