Experimental characterisation of flexural bond behaviour in brick masonry

Maria B. Gaggero*, Rita Esposito

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The brick-to-mortar bond often represents the weakest link leading to cracking and failure of masonry structures. For this reason, the in-situ characterization of masonry’s flexural bond behaviour (here defined as flexural bond strength and flexural bond fracture energy), is essential for the assessment of existing buildings. Among masonry bond properties, the flexural bond strength is commonly determined on-site, given the minimal invasiveness of the so-called bond wrench test. However, often the reliability of the results is questioned inputting their large variability to the operator. The present study discharges this assumption by comparing the accuracy of various testing set-ups (manually-operated vs computer-controlled set-ups). Additionally, the influence of the specimen’s type (with/without head joints and couplets vs wallet) on the flexural bond strength assessment is studied providing preliminary correlation factors that can be of help for the in-situ measurement on single-wythe masonry. In addition, to obtain a complete description of the bond behaviour, a new test set-up able to determine the post-peak response is presented. Considerations regarding the dissipated bond fracture energy and its relation to the tensile fracture energy are provided with the support of literature data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Number of pages17
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bond wrench test
  • Brick masonry
  • Flexural bond strength
  • Fracture energy
  • Tensile behaviour


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