Research Articles | Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics

Evaluation of material properties by NDT methods and FEM analysis of a stone masonry arch bridge

Emre Ercan, Ninel Alver, Ayhan Nuhoğlu



Masonry is the oldest building technique that still finds wide use in today’s building industries. The variety and natural availability of the materials that is needed for masonry combined with the easiness of the construction, has resulted in usage of masonry for thousands of years. The lack of research and underdeveloped codes in masonry results in poor applications of masonry technique which causes invaluable loss of lives of people in earthquakes. Today modeling of stone masonry structures is still very difficult because of unknown material properties.  This study focuses on estimation of the material properties by destructive testing methods (DT) and non-destructive testing methods (NDT) and analysis of a historic stone masonry arch bridge. After visual investigation, the geometry of the structure is determined and 3D model of the structure was generated and meshed for Finite Element Method (FEM). For evaluation of material properties, NDT methods such as; impact-echo and ultrasonic pulse velocity testing methods were used. Schmidt hammer test was applied for estimation of the hardness of the stones. Fallen stone and mortar samples from the bridge were taken to the laboratory and destructive tests applied on them to determine the properties of masonry components. The test results for the materials obtained from the DT and NDT methods were compared with each other. Using these results mechanical properties of the masonry were estimated using standards and codes. The gathered material properties were assigned to FE model and the model was analyzed.


stone masonry arch; non destructive testing; finite element analysis; impact-echo

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