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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 18, Number 1, July 2004 , pages 1-20

A numerical method for the limit analysis of masonry structures
Silvia Degl\'Innocenti and Cristina Padovani

    The paper presents a numerical method for the limit analysis of structures made of a rigid no-tension material. Firstly, we formulate the constrained minimum problem resulting from the application of the kinematic theorem, which characterizes the collapse multiplier as the minimum of all kinematically admissible multipliers. Subsequently, by using the finite element method, we derive the corresponding discrete minimum problem in which the objective function is linear and the inequality constraints are linear as well as quadratic. The method is then applied to some examples for which the collapse multiplier and a collapse mechanism are explicitly known. Lastly, the solution to the minimum problem calculated via numerical codes for quadratic programming problems, is compared to the exact solution.
Key Words
    limit analysis; masonry structures; finite elements.
Silvia Degl\'Innocenti and Cristina Padovani; Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell\'Informazione, \"Alessandro Faedo\" ISTI-CNR, Area della Ricerca CNR, Via Moruzzi, 1 56124 Pisa, Italy

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