A Comparative study on the evaluation of different testing techniques: Evaluating the mechanical properties of masonry

Samira Jafari, Rita Esposito, Jan Rots

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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To accurately assess the performance of existing unreinforced masonry (URM) structures, the mechanical characteristics of masonry under compressive loading are required. The compression properties of existing URM can be evaluated through different methods, either performing destructive tests (DTs) or slightly destructive tests (SDTs). DTs can be performed in the laboratory on small-scale masonry samples. In practice, these tests are not easy to perform, due to technical challenges during sampling, packing and transportation. On the contrary, SDTs can be performed in-situ as proposed by the ASTM standard using double flatjack methods. Although the double flatjack method has the advantage of being less destructive and less time-consuming, the reliability of the results obtained from this method is still a matter of concern, in particular for masonry walls with low overburden that are typical for low-rise masonry houses in the Northern part of the Netherlands subjected to induced seismicity. As an alternative to the standardized DT and SDT methods, splitting tests on cylindrical cores have been recently introduced as a promising method to characterize the compression properties of masonry. Currently limited information is available about the suitability of the core testing method to evaluate the compression properties of masonry. To bridge these gaps, this research investigates the suitability of the double flatjack test and the core testing methods to characterize the compression properties of masonry. Calcium silicate brick masonry is considered as a case study. The results obtained by these SDT methods are correlated with the results of DT performed on companion specimens, aiming to suggest a quick and slightly destructive method for assessing the compression properties of masonry. Moreover, this paper addresses the effect of geometry and boundary conditions on the compression properties of masonry
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 10th international masonry conference
Subtitle of host publicationMilan, Italy, July 9-11, 2018
EditorsG. Milani, A. Taliercio, S. Garrity
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event10th International Masonry Conference - Milan, Italy
Duration: 9 Jul 201811 Jul 2018
Conference number: 10


Conference10th International Masonry Conference
Abbreviated title10th IMC
Internet address


  • Unreinforced Masonry (URM)
  • Compression properties
  • Double flatjack test
  • Cylindrical cores


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