Published in Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering Vol. 17 (3), pp. 299-325, 2010
A review of methods applicable to the study of masonry historical construction, encompassing both classical and advanced ones, is presented. Firstly, the paper offers a discussion on the main challenges posed by historical structures and the desirable conditions that approaches oriented to the modeling and analysis of this type of structures should accomplish. Secondly, the main available methods which are actually used for study masonry historical structures are referred to and discussed.
The main available strategies, including limit analysis, simplified methods, FEM macro- or micro-modeling and discrete element methods (DEM) are considered with regard to their realism, computer efficiency, data availability and real applicability to large structures. A set of final considerations are offered on the real possibility of carrying out realistic analysis of complex historic masonry structures. In spite of the modern developments, the study of historical buildings is still facing significant difficulties linked to computational effort, possibility of input data acquisition and limited realism of methods.
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