Influence of transverse loading on the stability of slender unreinforced masonry walls

Jennifer R. Bean Popehn, Arturo E. Schultz, Mu Lu, Henryk K. Stolarski, Nels J. Ojard

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44 Scopus citations


The buckling behavior of slender unreinforced masonry (URM) walls subjected to axial compression and out-of-plane lateral loads is investigated through an experimental program, where no such test data has been available prior to this study. Using the experimental data, two mathematical models, a finite element model and a linear, elastic buckling solution, are verified and, in turn, are used to validate the experimental results. The finite element model, applicable under various load and restraint conditions, incorporates material and geometric nonlinear analysis of slender URM walls and has the capability of capturing post-cracking and post-buckling behavior of the URM walls. Buckling solutions, proposed by other researchers, validate the highly nonlinear interaction between critical load and out-of-plane bending observed in the experiments. Using the experimental data and the mathematical models, the influence of bending buckling strength is illustrated and axial load eccentricity on buckling strength is illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2830-2839
Number of pages10
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was initiated with support from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) through grant CMS-9904110, and the University of Minnesota. Additional support was received from the International Masonry Institute; the Anchor Block Company (Brooklyn Park, MN); and the Minnesota Brick & Tile Company (Bloomington, MN). The labor to build the masonry wall panels was provided at no cost by mason instructors from the Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers Local Union 1, Minneapolis, MN.


  • Buckling
  • Eccentricity
  • Lateral load
  • Masonry walls
  • Out-of-plane bending
  • Slenderness ratio


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