Small-Scale Models for Testing Masonry Structures
Experiments may be used to verify numerical and analytical results, but large-scale model testing is associated with high costs and lengthy set-up times. In contrast, small-scale model testing is inexpensive, non-invasive, and easy to replicate over several trials. This paper proposes a new method of masonry model generation using three-dimensional printing technology. Small-scale models are created as an assemblage of individual blocks representing the original structure’s geometry and stereotomy. Two model domes are tested to collapse due to outward support displacements, and experimental data from these tests is compared with analytical predictions. Results of these experiments provide a strong understanding of the mechanics of actual masonry structures and can be used to demonstrate the structural capacity of masonry structures with extensive cracking. Challenges for this work, such as imperfections in the model geometry and construction problems, are also addressed. This experimental method can provide a low-cost alternative for the collapse analysis of complex masonry structures, the safety of which depends primarily on stability rather than material strength.
Xianglin Gu and Xiaobin Song
A. Quinonez et al., "Small-Scale Models for Testing Masonry Structures", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 133-134, pp. 497-502, 2010