Silesian University of Technology, Department of Structural Engineering


The behaviour of a masonry wall subjected to shear stress is presented in this paper. Masonry walls are usually tested under compression, but in some cases they are subjected to complex stress-states. This happens when the wall is located in an area of ground motions subsidence caused either by natural reasons (earthquakes, changes of underground water level), or by human underground mining activity.
The numerical analysis of the tested specimen was carried on using the non-commercial FEM software Mafem3D, in which the elastic-plastic material model was implemented. Two numerical models were analysed. In the first of them the element’s network was adjusted to the real location of specimen materials, so that in each element there was only one material: ceramic brick or mortar. This forced significant differentiation of the size of elements. In the second model both the wall materials were technically homogenized (Gambarotta).
To prove the reliability of the applied software the results of calculations were compared with the laboratory shear tests of the masonry wall. Special marks were fixed on the specimen’s surface. During the test the distance between these marks was permanently measured. This made the constant observation of the distortion angle changes possible.

Key words
numerical analysis, FEM, elastic-plastic material model, masonry structure, technical homogenisation