Simulation of Brittle Collapse Mechanisms in Historical Masonry Using Sequentially Linear Analysis (SLA)

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Sequentially Linear Analysis (SLA) is known for robust and reliable finite element simulations of masonry constructions, often considered challenging because of the brittle behaviour of the masonry material. Herein a sequence of scaled linear analyses is performed with decreasing secant stiffness of one integration point per analysis, representing local damage increments. This procedure is especially suited to simulate highly nonlinear collapse mechanisms. In this article, a benchmark experiment on structural historical masonry is first chosen. This benchmark is simulated using SLA, using the micro-modelling approach, with linear blocks/bricks and nonlinear interfaces using a multi-surface interface model. The results are compared against those of the experiment, nonlinear finite element analysis, and the Discrete Element Method (DEM), good agreement is found with those of the experiment, and the collapse mechanisms are also captured in a robust manner.