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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 83
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero and R. Montenegro
Paper 82

An Induced Tension Model for Masonry Structures

A. Mébarki1, Q.H. Bui1, R. Ami Saada1, P. Delmotte2 and L. Abdou1

1LaM, Laboratory of Mechanics, University of Marne-La-Vallée, France
2CSTB, Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment, France

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
, "An Induced Tension Model for Masonry Structures", in B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero, R. Montenegro, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Computational Structures Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 82, 2006. doi:10.4203/ccp.83.82
Keywords: masonry, induced tension, joint mortar, probability, thin layer joint mortar, bearing capacity.

This paper deals with the bearing capacity of masonry walls under lateral loads. Four different series of experimental measures have been collected, representing a total number of twenty walls tested at the Scientific and Technical Center for Buildings (CSTB, France) [1]. The constitutive materials of the walls and the geometrical features of the walls are:
  • Orthotropic blocks (masonry or concrete units), with either horizontal or vertical cells. Their geometrical dimensions are such that the thickness is either equal to 0.2m or 0.38m while the ratios (height/length) range from 0.4 up to 1. The compressive strength of the blocks are in relative ratios (horizontal/vertical strengths) ranging from 0.11 up to 3.11.
  • Joints made of mortar or thin layers of mortar. The vertical joints might be either empty or full while the horizontal joints are full for the whole experiments reported in the paper.
  • Walls with lengths ranging from 1 m up to 3.75 m while the height ranges from 2.5 m up to 2.8 m.

An existing model [2,3,4,5], relying on the principle of wall failure by its diagonal in compression, has herein been applied and its results have been compared with the experimental values for the twenty available walls. The model for the compression diagonal provides results that range within the interval [0.52 up to 2.67] times the experimental bearing capacity of the masonry walls.

The authors have therefore developed a simplified model that assumes that the wall will fail by induced tension in the perpendicular direction of the diagonal of either the blocks or the walls. Compared to the experimental values collected in this paper, this simplified mechanical model provides theoretical bearing capacity values that are in good agreement with the observed values.

CSTB, Rapport d'étude No ES 553 03 0142 (CSTB) and No ES 553 04 0181.
Cruz Diaz J.I., "Etude des murs de contreventement en maçonnerie d'éléments de terre cuite", Thèse de Doctorat Université de Marne La Vallée, France (2000).
Cruz Diaz I., Sellier A., Capra B., Delmotte P., Rivillon P. & Mébarki A., "Resistance of masonry wind braced walls. Simplified model and experimental validation", International Masonry Journal, 15 (3) 73-79 (2002).
Abdou L., Ami Saada R., Meftah F. & Mébarki A., "On the sliding behaviour of the brick-mortar interface: An experimental study", Masonry International Journal, British Masonry Society, UK, 17 (3) 129-134 (2004).
Abdou L., Ami Saada R., Meftah F. & Mébarki A., "Experimental investigation of the joint mortar behaviour", Mechanics Research Communications, Elsevier (in Press, 2005). doi:10.1016/j.mechrescom.2005.02.026

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