Elasto-plastic Hardening and Shakedown of Masonry Arch Joints

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The behavior of joints made of sand–lime mortar, such as used in a wide variety of structures from ancient times through the early twentieth century, can be clearly distinguished from the behavior of joints made with hydraulic cement mortar. Experiments on confined mortar specimens have confirmed that the weaker and more ductile sand–lime mortar can be accurately modeled as a Drucker–Prager material with a compression cap and exponential hardening on the cap portion of the yield surface. Joints of sand–lime mortar subject to axial thrust and moment are found experimentally to yield under very small loads, and to follow a linear hardening rule beyond the yield point. This behavior can be replicated analytically using a Drucker–Prager constitutive law with exponential hardening. The yield surface and hardening function for an entire mortar joint are representable by Maier's theory of piecewise linear yield function and interacting yield planes. As a consequence, an arch jointed with sand–lime mortar is found to shake down under moving loads above the yield limit and below the collapse load. The shakedown behavior of a sand–lime mortar jointed masonry arch is confirmed experimentally.

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