J.C. GÁLVEZ, E.REYES and M.J. CASATI Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, E.T.S. Ingenieros de Caminos Av. Camilo José Cela s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain. E-mail:

Brickwork Masonry may be considered as a composite material whose mechanical properties and strength depend on its individual components. The geometric disposition of the bricks in layers, with inserted mortar, as well as the interface between them, causes the anisotropy of the mechanical behaviour and strength of the brickwork masonry. Initially, it may be assumed that joints are weakness planes. This paper presents a numerical procedure to simulate the cracking process of brick masonry under tensile/shear loading. The crack path is estimated based on fracture criteria. The proposed cracking model is based on the cohesive crack approach developed for the fracture of concrete in mode I (tension), and it is extended to mixed mode fracture of orthotropic materials. The numerical model uses the formulation of classical plasticity and has been incorporated into a commercial finite element code. The model has been tested and compared to the experimental results reached by the authors and they seem to agree. The model only involves experimentally measurable parameters all of them with physical meaning, that is an advantage for the use of the model in practical engineering.