Out-of-Plane Seismic Capacity of Masonry Depending on Wall Section Morphology
To what extent does a wall subjected to out-of-plane seismic action behave monolithically and fail by overturning or, conversely, split into separate leaves? How much does the workmanship—the set of construction specifications that historical treatises collect under the definition of “rule of art”—influence the structural behaviour of the wall? These research topics have proved highly significant in the recent seismic events, but yet remain insufficiently known and handled without the appropriate analysis tools. In this article, the dependence of the out-of-plane seismic capacity of masonry walls on the morphology of the wall section is investigated starting from real masonry sections, surveyed from historic buildings, which are modelled using the distinct element method. The seismic capacity is estimated by pushover analyses with uniform increasing horizontal forces and dynamic analyses under acceleration pulses. The results highlight the effective reduction in strength and displacement capacity of masonry sections depending on the transverse bond provided by stones.
Keywords: masonry, seismic assessment, discrete element method, collapse mechanisms, pushover, dynamic analysis, historical manuals