University of Mons – Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering and Structural Mechanics


The will to preserve heritage buildings and, therefore, to study the pathologies they suffer has led to the development of new tools useful to engineers. “CrackOffice” is a practical toolbox that introduces in numerical finite element analyses a simplified discrete cracking phenomenon. The routines created under a MatLab environment permit one to interact with the finite elements software by interpreting the results and by reintroducing the new cracked geometry of the structure to be analysed again. This iterative process makes it possible to observe the stress and strain redistribution within a masonry structure submitted to crack evolution.
This paper presents the mechanical behaviour of masonries that has been taken into account, the criteria and the principles for introducing and propagating cracks that have been implemented in this tool with MatLab. Some simple structural analyses have been carried out using ABAQUS which validate the results obtained using CrackOffice.
Then, practical case studies are introduced. The design tool has been applied to the MagdaleneChurch and to the UNESCO protected Our-Lady Cathedral in Tournai, Belgium. Furtherimprovements are being investigated to study cycle load cases and their effects on crack evolution.

Key words
iscrete cracking, MATLAB, load redistribution, FEM