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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 8, Number 5, November 1999 , pages 491-504

Gross dynamic failure of toppling block structures
Wilson JF

    The initiation of toppling is explored for a uniform stack of blocks that rotates slowly about its mid-base. As the stack passes through its vertical position (theta=0), it is in free-fall rotation, and a critical inclination angle theta(c) is reached at which the toppling stack fails\" or begins to crack or separate. For tall stacks (high aspect ratios), two modes of failure are hypothesized, for which the dynamic failure analyses are shown to correlate with experimental results. These block failure modes are similar to those observed for tall, toppling masonry structures with weak binding material between their brick or stone blocks.
Key Words
    block dynamics, block stacks, block toppling, chimney failure, masonry structures, masonry towers, structural dynamics, structural failure, tower failure
Wilson JF, Duke Univ, Dept Civil & Environm Engn, Durham, NC 27708 USA
Duke Univ, Dept Civil & Environm Engn, Durham, NC 27708 USA

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