WIT Press

Numerical and experimental study of unreinforced brick masonry walls subjected to blast loads


Free (open access)


Volume 9 (2021), Issue 4



Page Range

296 - 308

Paper DOI



WIT Press


María Chiquito, Simon K. Clubley, Santiago Martinez-Almajano, Anastasio P. Santos, Ricardo Castedo & Lina M. Lopez


Masonry walls are one of the most widely used constructive elements in buildings. They offer a cost-effective option and can satisfy many buildings requirements. However, their brittle composition leads them to generate high-speed debris under blast loads. Many casualties arise due to this kind of fragments. Strengthening of masonry walls is of much importance to increase safety inside the buildings. For this purpose, it is desirable to carry out field tests to assess the improvement of reinforcement measures, but the cost and complexity of these experiments can be very high. Therefore, numerical modelling is a good alternative to evaluate the behaviour of brick masonry walls under blast loads. Uncertainties in numerical modelling may be significant due to the composite nature of the reinforced masonry construction and the number of variables describing the constituent materials. In this work, a finite element simulation of a blast-loaded brick masonry wall validated with corresponding field tests is presented. A total of 24 brickwork masonry walls panels at full scale were tested in six different trials with explosives charges. In the configuration of each test, there was one unreinforced wall and three walls with different protective solutions. This paper focuses on the study of unreinforced walls. A 3D pure Lagrangian approach using LS-DYNA was developed with appropriate blast parameters derived from CONWEP, material models and suitable boundary conditions. Results of numerical modelling are compared in terms of wall displacement with the field data obtained in the trials. Study results show good agreement between the field test and the numerical modelling, demonstrating that the model is consistent and reliable.


explosive, FEM simulation, full-scale tests, masonry walls