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A static and dynamic finite element analysis of unreinforced masonry walls.

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This dissertation presents a numerical study of the structural behavior of unreinforced masonry walls. The study involves creating and testing computational models that simulate the behavior of unreinforced masonry walls under static and dynamic loading. The finite element method together with ANSYS software are used to create and analyze the numerical models. A standard 1-meter square, three-dimensional unreinforced masonry wall and a full-scale wall representing that of low-cost houses found across South Africa are developed and evaluated under general static structural loading conditions as well as dynamic loading conditions. A heterogenous finite element model is used so that each brick and layer of mortar are defined separately with a contact interface existing between the two layers. This approach allows for a detailed examination of the local failure behavior of masonry. The numerical models will be used to investigate structural parameters such as the stresses, deformations and the failure behavior of masonry walls under static and dynamic loads. The Drucker-Prager failure criteria is adopted to simulate the non-linear failure behavior of masonry. The dynamic analysis is conducted using both Modal and Response Spectrum analysis. The results from the study are compared with similar research using both numerical models and experimental tests.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.