Creating the finite element mesh of non-periodic masonry from the measurement of its geometrical characteristics: a novel automated procedure

Simone Tiberti, Gabriele Milani


This paper presents an automated procedure that enables the creation of a finite element mesh directly from the image file representing the rasterized sketch of a generic masonry element. This procedure goes under the name “pixel strategy” if a 2D finite element mesh is needed, where the elements are planar and rectangular; conversely, its extension in the 3D case is named “voxel strategy”, and there the resulting finite elements are solid bricks. The finite element meshes so obtained are then used for extracting homogenized in-plane failure surfaces for historical masonry cells, which display a non-periodic arrangement of units. These surfaces are consistent with the expected results, and their shapes suggest that the behavior of such type of masonry may range between orthotropic (if bed mortar joints are clearly noticeable) and quasi-isotropic (if some units spread over two or more masonry layers).

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