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Contact representation in rigid block models of masonry

Published Online:pp 321-334

Rigid block models are widely used in the analysis of masonry structures, as they provide a sound and efficient approximation of the observed behaviour, namely for modelling collapse modes that do not involve the internal failure of the units. The options available for the numerical representation of contact in rigid block models are discussed, in particular the well-known point contact approaches. The accuracy of the various options is compared for static and dynamical test problems involving bending of columns and walls. Proposals are made concerning the level of contact discretisation, namely the number of contacts and weight rules, required for a good model performance.


contact modelling, discrete element method, masonry, numerical modelling, rigid block models