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COMSOL Multiphysics® Simulations of Cracking in Point Loaded Masonry with Randomly Distributed Material Properties

A.T. Vermeltfoort[1], A.W.M. van Schijndel[1]
[1]Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

This paper describes COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations of the stress and crack development in the area where a masonry wall supports a floor. In these simulations one of the main material properties of calcium silicate, its E-value, was assigned randomly to the finite elements of the modeled specimen. Calcium silicate is a frequently used building material with a relatively brittle fracture characteristic. and its initial E-value varies, as well as tensile strength and post peak behavior vary. Therefore, in the simulation, initial E-values were randomly assigned to the elements of the model and a step function used for describing the descending branch. The method also allows for variation in strength to be taken into account in future research. The performed non-linear simulation results are compared with experimental findings. They show the effects of varying material properties on stress distribution and cracking behavior in point loaded masonry.