University of Plymouth, UK


SUI and RAFIQ [1] mentioned that yield-line analysis, which was mainly developed to define the failure criteria for reinforced concrete slabs had been adopted as an analytical method for the analysis and prediction of the failure criteria for masonry panels subjected to lateral loads. It was also stated that due to the highly composite nature of the masonry material, the use of yield line theory cannot be theoretically justified. The search to find a suitable analytical method has continued to the present time. Due to the popularity of the finite element analysis (FEA) method, developed to solve complex engineering problems, particularly in the area of aeronautical engineering in 1970s, there was a surge in applying the technique in a variety of engineering disciplines. The method was successfully implemented for the analysis of reinforced concrete elements. Researchers in the masonry area also utilised FEA for modelling the behaviour of masonry panels subjected to lateral loads. This paper will give a detailed overview of the method and its application to masonry panels. Research on this topic is still in progress in many countries and due to difficulties in finding a suitable material model to satisfy the composite nature of masonry, results obtained so far have not been very successful.

As discussed in SUI and RAFIQ [1] researchers from the early days of testing masonry panels identified that the panel boundaries have a major influence on the response of masonry panels to lateral loads. Recent research on predicting the response of masonry panels by combining system identification and evolutionary computing techniques, carried out at the University of Plymouth has resulted in a proposed solution in this area that is simple to use for many practical applications. These researchers have combined experimental data, with theoretical, analytical and heuristic methods for predicting the response of masonry panels more accurately than previously. This paper will summarise the analytical methods for masonry panels from early days to recent times. Any omissions and shortfalls are not intentional.