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DOI 10.4010/2016.

ISSN 2321 3361 2016 IJESC

Research Article Volume 6 Issue No. 6

Finite Element Thrust Line Analysis of Masonry Dome

Vrushali V. Nalawade1, Dr. Mrs.S.B.Shinde2
M.E Scholar in Structure1, Professor2
Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College, Aurangabad, India
nalawadevrushali22@gmail.com1, sb_shinde@yahoo.co.in 2

Analysis of masonry dome is very tedious job for existing as well as new construction. Masonry domes are built in the form of
rings without centering and remain stable mainly due to compression in hoop and meridional direction. Finite element thrust line
analysis is nothing but the combination of simplicity of the thrust line and the versatility of the finite element approach. Failure of
masonry structures are generally studied in terms of the formation of unstable mechanism and the thrust line approach is
considered to be the most useful tool for this. And finite element analysis is versatile but computationally more intensive. This
method is able to obtain the thrust line of an axisymmetric masonry dome more accurately than the existing graphical approaches.
Thrust lines are used to visualize the forces within the masonry and to predict possible failure modes. This paper presents a linear
elastic finite element thrust line analysis of masonry dome.

Keywords: FEM, Dome, Masonry, Thrust line, ANSYS

I. INTRODUCTION section lists out the significant conclusions of this study.

Finite Element Method is a numerical method used to solve
differential & integral equations. This method is also makes the Types of masonry finite element modelling
application of complicated boundary condition to physical Masonry finite element modelling can be divided in three
problems easy. Complicated geometries & variations of categories as:
material properties can also be handled using Finite element 1. Detailed micro-modeling: Units and mortar in the joints are
method. Due to these advantages FEM has emerged as a represented by continuum elements whereas the unit-mortar
versatile and powerful tool in computational engineering. The interface is represented by discontinuum elements. The major
thrust line approach is a relatively simpler approach and cannot difficulty in using this approach is intricacy in predicting
be applied for complicated structures. This paper proposes a mortar joint position or its thickness for new construction as
simple method of combining the thrust line and the finite well for old construction. Buhan and Felice (1997), Milani et al.
element approach so that this shortcoming of the thrust line (2006) have pointed out difficulties with this approach in
approach is eliminated. This paper then discusses the proposed practicing due to numerical difficulties with increased size of
method and provides one demonstration example. The last the problem. (See Figure 1 a).

(a) (b) (c)

Figure 1. Advanced modelling approaches

2. Simplified micro-modelling: Expanded units are and the stability is judged by strength criterion. (See Figure 1
represented by continuum elements whereas the unit-mortar c).
interface is lumped in discontinuum elements. The limitation of
micro modeling applies to this approach as well. (See Figure 1 II. FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS
b). Following are the steps of finite element analysis in ANSYS,
3. Macro-modeling: Units, mortar and unit-mortar interface 1) Pre-processing In preprocessor you provide the majority
are smeared out in a homogeneous continuum. Mostly of the input to the program. In this step we have to create
homogenization approach is used in predicting the stress value or import the model geometry. Its main purpose is to

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generate the finite element model, which consists mainly b) Stresses: Component and principle stresses are typically
of nodes, elements and material property definition. And available for a 3-D model. Which are best viewed as
then meshing of the geometry is done. contour plots, which allow you to quickly locate the
This step also includes: - Obtaining elemental trouble regions. There two types of solutions Nodal
equation, Assembly and Application of boundary solutions and Element solutions. In Nodal solution, stresses
conditions. are averaged at the nodes, showing smooth, continues
2) Solution In this step we apply loads and then solve the contours. And in Element solution no averaging and
problem. resulting in discontinuous contours.
There are five categories of loads Checking validity of the result: It is always a good idea to do a
a) DOF constraints Specified DOF values, such as sanity check and make sure that the solution is acceptable.
displacements in a stress analysis or temperatures What you need to check is depends on the problem you are
in a thermal analysis. solving.
b) Concentrated loads Point loads, such as forces Proposed Methodology
or heat flow rates. Here the method is proposed to post process the linear
c) Surface loads Loads distributed over a surface, elastic FEA stress results for plotting the thrust line. The
such as pressures or convections. software tool developed, extracts stress output (in Cartesian
d) Body loads Volumetric or field loads, such as coordinate system) generated by the finite element analysis
temperatures or internal heat generation. package ANSYS (http://www.ansys.com/) for nodes in Section
e) Inertia loads Loads due to structural mass or file (generated by user, containing node number for each
inertia, such as gravity and rotational velocity. section). The stresses so extracted and resolved normal to
3) Post-processing In this step we have to review the section, S1 and S2, are used to locate the position of resultant
results and also to check the validity of the solution. This is force as shown in Fig. 2.
the most important step in an analysis. You may be Equivalent resultant moment acting over the section is
required to make design decisions based on the results, so M = (S2 - S1) D2 / 12 (1)
it is good idea not only to review the results, but also to Equivalent resultant axial force over the section is
check the validity of the solution. P = (S1 + S2) D / 2 (2)
ANSYS has two post-processors Resultant distance from midpoint of section is
a) POST1, the General Postprocessor, to review the single set e = M / P (3)
of results over the entire model. This eccentricity e from middle of section O gives point A,
b) POST2, the Time-History Postprocessor. To review results as shown in Figure 1(d). Point A represents the position of the
at selected points in the model over time. Mainly used for resultant of stress over the section. The line of thrust indicates
transient and nonlinear analyses. the position of the resultant of the stress acting at a section
Reviewing results of a stress analysis generally involves: (O'Dwyer 1999); hence, joining such points along the
a) Deformed shape: Gives a quick indication of whether the circumferential length of the arch gives the thrust line. The
loads were applied in the correct direction. Legend column output from software are Thrust line calculation and drawing
shows the maximum displacement. You can also animate in .dxf.
the deformation.

Figure 2: Methodology for plotting thrust line from stress results

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Problem description: - The geometry and material properties considered for modelling are summarized as in Table1 and 2.
Table 1: Geometry
Problem Radius(mid surface) Thickness Material used Element along thickness
1 5 meter 0.7 meter Solid 45 12
Table 2: Material Properties
Property Value
Boundary Condition Fixed
Modulus of Elasticity 2 x 107 N/m2
Poissons Ratio 0.1
Density 2000 Kg/ m3

Figure 2. Shows the modelling of dome with the given geometry and material properties as mentioned in above problem

Figure 2. Modeling of dome in ANSYS Figure 3. Thrust line at different sections

The analysis results are summarized in Table 3. Thrust line departs from section 1-1 at bottom to section 10-10 at top as shown in
Node1 Node2 H1 H2 P M e e/D
1-1 1 3 -65340 -175070 -84143 4480.64 -0.053 -0.076
2-2 2 4 -120346 -99187 -79837 -863.98 0.011 0.015
3-3 7 17 -143817 -57593 -70494 -3520.8 0.050 0.071
4-4 8 18 -136276 -45706 -63694 -3698.3 0.058 0.083
5-5 9 19 -117051 -47200 -57488 -2852.2 0.050 0.071
6-6 10 20 -94805 -54415 -52227 -1649.3 0.032 0.045
7-7 11 21 -76347 -62531 -48608 -564.15 0.012 0.017
8-8 12 22 -61422 -68620 -45515 293.93 -0.006 -0.009
9-9 13 23 -52675 -72457 -43796 807.77 -0.018 -0.026
10-10 14 24 -46364 -74737 -42382 1159 -0.027 -0.039

Table 3. Thrust line calculation

Solution and Post-processing assumed that masonry is not capable to resist any tension. It
The derivation of thrust line using axisymmetric element is observed that the deviation in the boundary region is
with ANSYS result using Solid-45 element shows that thrust reducing with the fine discretization in ANSYS.
line are matching with some deviations in boundary region Following are the some of the important result contours,
and in crown region of the dome. In this analysis, it is

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Figure 3. Nodal solution of displacement vector sum Figure 4. X-component of stress

Figure 5.Y-component of stress Figure 6.Z-component of stress

RESULT are well comparable with ANSYS analysis after releasing of

From this study it is apparent that the result of thrust line tension stiffness. The difference in boundary region is
using Solid 45 element with release of hoop tension stiffness reducing with the fine discretization in ANSYS.

Figure 7.Thrust line obtained from given analysis

International Journal of Engineering Science and Computing, June 2016 6299 http://ijesc.org/
Fig.7 shows the thrust line plotted using finite [10] Milani, G, Lourenco, P, and Tralli, A (2006).
element output. Hence from above solution this arch is safe as Homogenised limit analysis of masonry walls, Part
the thrust line lies within arch geometry (Heyman, J.1967 & I: Failure Surfaces. Computers and Structures, 84,
Heyman, J.1966). 166-180.

CONCLUSION [11] Zucchini, A, and Lourenco, P (2004). A coupled

This paper concludes the benefits of using finite element thrust homogenisation - damage model for masonry
line analysis. Below are the some primary advantages of using cracking. Computers and Structures, 82, 917-929.
this method:
This method can achieve versatility and simplicity for [12] Auroville earth institute, Building with arches, vaults
complicated masonry structures. and domes training manual for architects and
This method offers versatility of finite element for engineers, www.earth-auroville.com.
incorporating complex geometry and boundary
condition. [13] The ANSYS software website. [Online].
This method is an extension of finite element method, http://www.ansys.com/
and hence can be readily used by large group of
engineers and researchers, acquainted with finite
element, to study historical masonry structures without
learning new methodology.
The developed method is suitable to heritage masonry
structure stability analysis wherein mechanical
properties of material remain unknown.

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[5] Mahesh N. Varma, Prof. R. S. Jangid, Dr. V. G.

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[6] Hani Aziz Ameen (14),2011, Finite Element

Analysis of Large Diameter Concrete Sperical Shell
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