Thin layer concrete blockwork in compression: an experimental analysis
The compressive strength of concrete block masonry is dependent upon the unit compressive strength, the type of unit, the mortar and the form of masonry construction (Mirza et al. 1995). The design codes allow masonry compressive strength to be established (or better: estimated) by calculation, from tests, or from tabulated values. In this way the current European masonry standard EN 1996: Part 1-1 (LST EN 1996-1-1) tabulates the masonry strength for concrete blocks with thin layers of mortar. In France, doubts exist on the validity of these tabulated values for the blocks made with lightweight aggregates. To provide data for an extension of the use of the tabulated values for lightweight aggregates blocks and at the same time to provide input to the development of Eurocode 6, a major research program was set up. The research program aims to evaluate the mechanical strength of the thin joints hollow concrete masonry made with dense or lightweight aggregates. Tests have been carried out on a very large type of hollow blocks. Different geometries of blocks and different types of aggregates are tested. All these tests are based on CEN standards to meet Eurocode 6 requirements. This work proves that the formula proposed by Eurocode 6 to calculate the characteristic compressive strength of hollow concrete masonry are largely safe. It was also found that the strength of masonry depends only on the block resistance and is independent of the nature of aggregate.
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