From Brick to Element: Investigating the Mechanical Properties of Calcium Silicate Masonry

Samira Jafari*, Rita Esposito, Jan G. Rots

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1980s in the Netherlands, the demand for accelerating the construction process and subsequently reducing the construction costs has led to the replacement of traditional brick masonry with larger masonry units assembled with a thin mortar layer. Accordingly, different masonry unit sizes ranging from traditional bricks (210 × 70 × 100-mm) to larger elements (900 × 650 × 100-mm) have been produced by the calcium silicate industry and widely used for the construction of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. To properly assess the performances of URM buildings, numerical and analytical methods require a complete description of the mechanical behavior of masonry at material level. Despite the widespread application of both calcium silicate brick and element masonry, a refined characterization of the mechanical properties of masonry has not received much attention. As a result, an experimental study was conducted at Delft University of Technology for the material characterization of calcium silicate brick and element masonry, with a view to assessments for induced seismicity in Groningen. By using well-designed testing set-ups, the compression, shear and bending properties of calcium silicate specimens were measured, with an aim to understand the strength, stiffness as well as softening post-peak behavior in compression and in shear of both masonry types. This paper provides insight into the nonlinear behavior of the calcium silicate brick and calcium silicate element masonry as a support to the development and validation of numerical and analytical models for the seismic assessment of URM structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructural Analysis of Historical Constructions
Subtitle of host publicationAn Interdisciplinary Approach
EditorsRafael Aguilar, Daniel Torrealva, Susana Moreira, Miguel A. Pando, Luis F. Ramos
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-99441-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-99440-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event11th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions - Cusco, Peru
Duration: 11 Sep 201813 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameRILEM Bookseries
ISSN (Print)2211-0844
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0852


Conference11th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions
Abbreviated titleSAHC 2018
Internet address


  • Calcium silicate masonry
  • Experimental tests
  • Mechanical behavior
  • Thin-layer mortar
  • Unreinforced masonry (URM)

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