An adaptive multi-scale approach to the modelling of masonry structures

M. Ainsworth, L.A. Mihai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We present an adaptive multi-scale approach for predicting the mechanical behaviour of masonry structures modelled as dynamic frictional multi-body contact problems. In this approach, the iterative splitting of the contact problem into normal contact and frictional contact is combined with a semismooth Newton/primal-dual active-set procedure to calculate deformations and openings in the model structures. This algorithm is then coupled with a novel adaptive multi-scale technique involving a macroscopic scale, which is the size of the masonry structure, and a mesoscopic scale, which is the size of the constituents (bricks, stone-blocks), to predict appearance of dislocations and stress distribution in large-scale masonry structures. Comparisons of the numerical results with data from experimental tests and from practical observations illustrate the predictive capability of the multi-scale algorithm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1163
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2009


  • dynamic contact
  • Coulomb friction
  • finite elements
  • optimization problems
  • linear elasticity
  • masonry structures
  • contact problem
  • adaptive algorithm


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