An improved micro-mechanical model for masonry homogenisation in the non-linear domain, is proposed and validated by comparison with experimental and numerical results available in the literature. Suitably chosen deformation mechanisms, coupled with damage and plasticity models, can simulate the behaviour of a basic periodic cell up to complete degradation and failure. The micro-mechanical model can be implemented in any standard finite element program as a user supplied subroutine defining the mechanical behaviour of an equivalent homogenised material. This work shows that, with the proposed model, it is possible to capture and reproduce the fundamental features of a masonry shear wall up to collapse with a coarse finite element mesh. The main advantage of such homogenisation approach is obviously the possibility to simulate real complex structures while taking into consideration the arrangement of units and mortar, which would otherwise require impractical amount of finite elements and computer resources.
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