Discrete Element Modeling of Stone Masonry Walls With Varying Core Conditions: Prince of Wales Fort Case Study

A. Isfeld, N. Shrive
Taylor & Francis
International Journal of Architectural Heritage: Conservation
Discrete element modeling, historic structures, Masonry, Numerical modeling, stone masonry

The Prince of Wales Fort was constructed in the 18th century as a Vauban style stone masonry fortification where the Churchill River flows into Hudson’s Bay, across the river from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Since completion the fort has been exposed to harsh weather conditions which have led to significant deterioration and deformations in the walls, with some cases of localized collapse. Recently, an increase in the rate of degradation has made preventative conservation an issue of interest. For this to be possible, an understanding of the cause of failure of the walls is first required. Discrete element modeling using the non-smooth contact dynamics method utilized in the Program LMGC90 has been used as a first step in understanding the failure mechanism of the wall system. The results of the modeling show that the rubble core of the walls can transition from stability to instability as the cohesion between the stones is altered. Grouting the core will alter the bond between stones, increasing the stability of the core, and is thus one possible conservation method.

KeyWords: masonry, historic structures, stone masonry, discrete element modeling, numerical modeling

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