The renaissance bell tower of San Benedetto in Ferrara (Italy) has been investigated to understand its nonlinear dynamics correctly with the Non-Smooth Contact Dynamic (NSCD) method. The masonry structure has been modeled with the Discrete Element Methods (DEM), assuming rigid blocks and frictional joints, with the aim to recreate the tower in the actual configuration with the inclination and in a fictitious perfect vertical shape in order to assess the influence of the initial slope on its dynamics. The contacts between blocks are governed by the Signorini's impenetrability condition and by dry-friction Coulomb's law. Both configurations have been analyzed inducing real seismic excitations of various types and intensities, corresponding to the six main seismic events of the last few decades in Italy. Thus, the seismic vulnerability of the examined tower is clearly expressed in the numerical results, proving the effects due to the inclination on the amplification of the vulnerability and the several possible collapse mechanisms. Moreover, the NSCD has demonstrated to be a powerful numerical technique to obtain highly accurate results in the structural analyses of masonry structures in the nonlinear range.
Dynamic Behavior of an Inclined Existing Masonry Tower in Italy / Ferrante, Angela; Clementi, Francesco; Milani, Gabriele. - In: FRONTIERS IN BUILT ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 2297-3362. - STAMPA. - 5:(2019), pp. 1-16. [10.3389/fbuil.2019.00033]