We are joined by Professor Paulo Lourenco of the University of Minho for this special online lecture.
Masonry is an ancient but still widely used material. Its usage has been mainly fostered by the simplicity of this type of construction, where masonry units are laid together with or without the use of bonding mortar. Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings are a relevant part of the worldwide building stock. These include stone, brick, adobe or earthen masonry structures and represent in countries such as Mexico, Pakistan, and Peru, more than 75% over its total buildings’ inventory. In other countries as Iran, Australia, Indonesia or Italy, the relative percentage is higher than 50%.
The widespread of most of this built heritage has been achieved based on empirical knowledge passed by generation to generation and, therefore, URM structural behavior was often ill-understood. These constructions have been typically made to withstand vertical loads only and, having a low strength/mass ratio, are rather vulnerable to dynamic horizontal loads as earthquakes, impact or blast actions. This addresses the importance of carrying out urgent measures in the URM built stock to avoid human and societal consequences and to minimize future economic impacts. Yet, intervening in these constructions is a complex process, due to the lack of structural information and due to their high importance. A scientifically based process is less susceptible to inadequate actions, which clearly sets a convenient context for the continuous development of more powerful numerical strategies.
Advanced computational strategies have been developed in the last few decades. Conversely to concrete and steel structures, the design guidelines for masonry did not go always hand in hand with the application of innovative methods. Still, it is nowadays well accepted that sophisticated strategies, mainly based on the finite element (FE) method, constitute important tools and are the ones which deserve more attention from the scientific community, where different modeling strategies for the mechanical study of masonry can be found. An engineering compromise between the solution accuracy and the time-cost demand needs to be achieved and can, depending on the nature of the study, constitute a real challenge and this is addressed in the webinar.
This technical webinar is open to the public and no registration fee is required.