Full-Field Deformation Measurement and Crack Mapping on Confined Masonry Walls Using Digital Image Correlation

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering


The understanding of the load-resistance mechanisms and failure modes of large-scale concrete and masonry structures relies on accurate measurements of surface motions and deformations, and faithful crack maps. Measurements are typically taken using surface-mounted point-wise sensors (PWSs), and crack maps are hand-drawn based on visual inspection. It is impractical to obtain detailed displacement and deformation maps that describe the complex response of large structures based on PWS measurements. In addition, manual crack drawing is difficult, time-consuming, and prone to human errors, which makes it challenging to consistently produce faithful crack maps. This paper reports on a pilot study to test the use of three-dimensional digital image correlation (3D-DIC) as a non-contacting method to measure surface deformation fields on full-scale masonry walls, and produce detailed crack maps. Three confined masonry walls were tested under horizontal in-plane reverse-cycle loads. The specimens were designed to attain different levels of strength and deformability through different load-resistance mechanisms. Representative 3D-DIC measurements of drift, diagonal deformations, and interface slip between the reinforced concrete tie columns and the masonry infill were evaluated vis-à-vis benchmark PWS measurements, showing a comparable accuracy. Strain maps based on 3D-DIC measurements were enlisted to visualize the development of the fundamental strut-and-tie resisting mechanism in confined masonry walls subjected to horizontal in-plane loads, and illustrate practical structural analysis and design implications. More detailed crack maps compared with traditional hand-drawn maps were obtained based on 3D-DIC maximum principal strain contours.