, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 1737–1755 | Cite as

Level set-based generation of representative volume elements for the damage analysis of irregular masonry

  • Thierry J. Massart
  • Bernard Sonon
  • Karim Ehab Moustafa Kamel
  • Leong Hien Poh
  • Gang Sun
New Trends in Mechanics of Masonry


Computational homogenization has been used extensively over the past two decades for the analysis of masonry structures based on various averaging schemes (periodic homogenization, transformation field analysis,...), focusing on regular periodic masonry. Irregular masonry has subsequently also been scrutinized using multiscale approaches. In such efforts, an efficient strategy is required for the generation and meshing of realistic representative volume elements (RVEs) geometries. In complement to existing generation approaches, the present contribution deals with a level set-based methodology to generate irregular masonry RVE geometries. Starting from inclusion-based RVEs, combinations of distance fields are used to produce typical geometries of irregular masonry RVEs. The resulting geometries are described by implicit functions. Such implicit geometry descriptions are next exploited in an automated procedure for producing high quality conformal 2D finite element meshes on implicit geometries. This automated RVE generation and discretization procedure is then illustrated by producing failure envelopes for irregular masonry, using an implicit gradient damage formulation. The interest of recently developed gradient models with decreasing interaction length parameters is also illustrated on a specific example.


Irregular masonry Computational homogenization Representative volume element generation Level sets Damage modelling 



The third author acknowledges the support of FRIA under Grant No. 29340757. The first and second authors acknowledge the support of FRS-FNRS under Grant PDR No. 19471061.


The third author was funded by FRIA (Grant No. 29340757). The first and second authors benefited from the support of FRS-FNRS (Grant PDR T.1002.14F—No. 19471061).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thierry J. Massart
    • 1
  • Bernard Sonon
    • 1
  • Karim Ehab Moustafa Kamel
    • 1
  • Leong Hien Poh
    • 2
  • Gang Sun
    • 2
  1. 1.Building, Architecture and Town PlanningUniversite libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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