Numerical modelling of cavity wall metal ties

Onur Arslan, Francesco Messali, Eleni Smyrou, Ihsan Engin Bal, Jan Rots

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

60 Downloads (Pure)


The assessment of the out-of-plane response of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings with cavity walls has been a popular topic in regions such as Central and Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and several other countries.
Cavity walls are particularly vulnerable as the out-of-plane capacity of each individual leaf is significantly smaller than the one of a solid wall. In the Netherlands, cavity walls are characterized by an inner load-bearing leaf of calcium silicate bricks, and by an outer veneer of clay bricks that has only aesthetic and insulation functions. The two leaves are typically connected by means of metallic ties. This paper utilizes the results of an experimental campaign conducted by the authors to calibrate a hysteretic model that represents the axial cyclic response of cavity wall tie connections. The proposed
numerical model uses zero-length elements implemented in OpenSees with the Pinching4 constitutive model to account for the compression-tension cyclic behaviour of the ties. The numerical model is able to capture important aspects of the tie response such as the strength degradation, the unloading stiffness degradation and the pinching behaviour. The numerical modelling approach in this paper can be easily adopted by practitioner engineers who aim to model the wall ties more accurately when assessing the structures against earthquakes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2020
Event17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering - Sendai, Japan
Duration: 13 Sep 202018 Sep 2020


Conference17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Abbreviated title17WCEE


  • earthquakes
  • building construction


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical modelling of cavity wall metal ties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this