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Model masonry wall

Details of Model masonry wall

  • Module code ESA1119
  • Software
    • SCIA Engineer
  • FAQ topic

The masonry wall can be modelled in two ways:

  • By using orthotropy
  • By using non-linearity 'Compression-only 2D members'


In both cases, we can also use a non-linear line hinge on the edge of the wall to ensure that moments are not transmitted to the wall and, in the event of tension, cause the structure to disconnect.

For this option we turn on 'Beam local nonlinearity'  in the project settings.

For nonlinear hinge behavior, 'Pressure only' and 'Tension only' functions are predefined. The stiffness field that appears after selecting a nonlinear behavior (marked in yellow) is considered in a linear calculation.

Note: Possibility of nonlinear behavior of line hinge is possible since version 19.0


Model the masonry wall by using orthotropy

This method eliminates the arch effect in the wall.

In the project settings we set the material 'Masonry'.

In the construction service select 'Masonry wall'.



The masonry wall has a predefined orthotropic element that eliminates the vaulting of internal forces. 

To eliminate the arch effect, the coefficient d33 should be reduced to a minimum value.

Note: This option is available since version 19.0. In earlier versions it is necessary to use a regular wall and set the orthotropy manually.


Model the masonry wall by using nonlinearity 'Compression-only 2D members'

The modelling of this wall leads to a nonlinear calculation with nonlinear 'Compression-only 2D members' which have to be turned on in the project settings.

Then we can change the 'FEM nonlinear model' of the wall.


More about modelling and behavior of masonry walls can be found on our webinar "Recent development in analysis and evaluation of results"

[EN] SCIA Engineer - Recent development in analysis and evaluation of results - YouTube