Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 2259–2271 | Cite as

Displacement capacity of masonry piers: parametric numerical analyses versus international building codes

  • Maurizio Orlando
  • Luca Salvatori
  • Paolo Spinelli
  • Mario De StefanoEmail author
Original Research Paper


The nonlinear behaviour of masonry piers loaded in their plane is investigated by parametric numerical simulations. Each pier has a cantilever scheme, is loaded by a constant axial load and is subjected to an increasing horizontal displacement at the top. The macro-modelling approach is used to perform numerical analyses, adopting two different constitutive laws: a total strain crack model and a plastic model. The numerical model is calibrated on a block-masonry type for which experimental tests are available in literature. Parametric numerical simulations are performed by varying the aspect-ratio and the compression level, in order to assess the influence of such parameters on both shear strength and displacement capacity. By comparing numerical results with formulas of international codes, a good agreement for the shear strength is obtained, while significant differences are observed for the displacement capacity, which is influenced by both parameters. The authors propose a simple empirical formula for the displacement capacity, obtained by fitting the numerical results. The expression can be useful in the practical design for considering the influence of aspect-ratio and compression level, currently neglected by building codes.


Masonry piers Numerical simulations Shear strength Displacement capacity Ductility 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio Orlando
    • 1
  • Luca Salvatori
    • 1
  • Paolo Spinelli
    • 1
  • Mario De Stefano
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.DICEAUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.DIDAUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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