, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 1613–1628 | Cite as

In plane loaded masonry walls: DEM and FEM/DEM models. A critical review

  • Daniele Baraldi
  • Emanuele Reccia
  • Antonella Cecchi
New Trends in Mechanics of Masonry


This work is dedicated to the assessment of the nonlinear behaviour of masonry panels with regular texture and subject to in-plane loads, by means of numerical pushover analysis and an analytical homogenized model. Two numerical models are considered and adopted for performing a set of numerical tests: a discrete model developed by authors and a discrete/finite element model frequently adopted in rock mechanics field and effectively extended to masonry structures. In both models the hypotheses of rigid blocks and elastic–plastic joints following a Mohr–Coulomb yield criterion are adopted. The aim of this work is twofold: (1) a comparison and a calibration of the numerical models, evaluating their effectiveness in determining ultimate loads and collapse mechanisms of masonry panels, by assuming a nonlinear homogenized model for regular masonry as reference solution; (2) the evaluation of sensitivity of masonry behaviour and numerical models to panel dimension ratio and to varying masonry texture. In a first case study, sliding collapse mechanisms changing to overturning collapse mechanisms for increasing panel and block height-to-width ratio are obtained and the results given by the numerical models turn out to be in good agreement. Furthermore, a second case study, dedicated to square panels supported at base ends and vertically loaded, shows different ‘arch mechanisms’ depending on block height-to-width ratio.


Masonry structures Discrete models Discrete/finite element models Nonlinear analysis Mohr–Coulomb yield function 



The research has been carried out thanks to the financial support of PRIN 2015 (under grant 2015JW9NJT_014, project “Advanced mechanical modelling of new materials and structures for the solution of 2020 Horizon challenges”). The financial support of Università IUAV di Venezia, Department of Architecture, Construction, Conservation is also gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture Construction Conservation (DACC)Università IUAV di VeneziaVeniceItaly

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