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Experimental Research of Hollow Concrete Block Masonry Stress


Deformations

Article  in  Procedia Engineering · December 2013


DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2013.04.061

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Bronius Jonaitis Robertas Zavalis


Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
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Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 473 – 478

11th International Conference on Modern Building Materials, Structures and Techniques,


MBMST 2013
Experimental Research of Hollow Concrete Block Masonry Stress
Deformations
Bronius Jonaitisa, Robertas Zavalisb,*
a,b
Dept of Reinforced Concrete and Masonry Structures, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Saulėtekio al. 11, 10223 Vilnius, Lithuania

Abstract

The article discusses the results of experimental investigation of highly hollow concrete block masonry and concrete infill block masonry
behaviour under compression. The research revealed that upon failure of hollow block masonry, the longitudinal shells are detached from
the web which results in crumbling. Masonry deformations of the blocks with concrete infill are similar to those of the infill concrete
control samples for longitudinal deformations, which proves fairly good mutual block and infill concrete performance.

©
© 2013 TheAuthors.
2013 The Authors. Published
Published by Elsevier
by Elsevier Ltd. Ltd.
Selection andpeer-review
Selection and peer-review under
under responsibility
responsibility of theof the Vilnius
Vilnius Gediminas
Gediminas TechnicalTechnical
UniversityUniversity.

Keywords: hollowness; concrete masonry units; concrete infill; compressive strength; deformations.

Nomenclature
K coefficient
f compression strength
Subscripts
k characteristic
b masonry unit
m mortar

1. Introduction

Highly hollow concrete masonry units are ever more commonly used in masonry construction. It allows the construction
process itself to be accelerated, and work expenses at the construction site to be reduced. Hollow masonry units lower
natural weight of masonry constructions, improve physical properties of walls, such as noise and thermal insulation.
Occasionally, particular masonry construction elements, such as cavities between hatches, wall corner joints can be
reinforced by filling in the hollowness, also, reinforced in-wall columns or ring beams can be installed. Hollow masonry
units of a special construction solution can be used as a residual mould. In such cases, monolith concrete or reinforced
concrete walls are installed.
While designing masonry constructions one of the critical mechanical features is compressive strength and deformations.
Mechanic properties of masonry to a great extend depend on constitution of masonry units construction [6], [4], hollowness,
type of materials and mortar of the bed joints [1-3], [5].

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +3-705-274-5225; fax: +3-705-274-5225.


E-mail address: robertas.zavalis@vgtu.lt

1877-7058 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2013.04.061
474 Bronius Jonaitis and Robertas Zavalis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 473 – 478

It is characteristic of highly hollow concrete masonry units to possess hollowness of 50 and more per cent, whereas
thickness of the shell is 18-30 mm and area of the web is small.
Resolving to the above mentioned masonry construction solutions, it is critical to precisely evaluate mechanical
properties of the masonry, such as compressive strength and deformations under static compressive load, gather results of
experimental research which would allow precise evaluation of masonry mechanical properties.
The current article focuses on behaviour of highly hollow concrete masonry blocks under compressive loads, and
provides results of experimental research of specimens of such blocks.

2. Experimental programme

Experimental research of hollow concrete block masonry was carried out at the Department of Reinforced Concrete and
Masonry Structures of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. 4 series of masonry specimens were tested. Samples were
made using S6 (SM6) and P6-20 (30) hollow concrete blocks (Fig. 1). Properties of masonry units are provided in Table 1.

Table 1. Properties of masonry units.

Normalized compressive Mean compressive Compressive cylinder


Code of Thickness of
Series Type of units strength of units fb, strength of mortar strength of concrete
specimens bed joints, mm
N/mm2 fm,N/mm2 infill, fck, N/mm2
S6-1
S6(M) 8,26
S6 S6-2 10 3,9 (0,187*) _
S6(P) 9,1
S6-3
S6M-1
SM6(M) 7,9
S6M S6M-2 10 3,9 (0,187*) _
SM6(P) 9,63
S6M-3
P6-20-1
P6-20(M) 10,53 22,7
P6-20 P6-20-2 _ _
P6-20(K) 10,78 2,16E4**
P6-20-3
P6-30-1
30,9
P6-30 P6-30-2 P6-30 6,78 _ _
2,92E4**
P6-30-3
Note: * Coefficient of variation. ** Modulus of elasticity

Fig. 1. Hollow concrete masonry blocks used in experimental programme

Samples of the S6 and S6M series were set of S6 (hollowness 50 %) and SM6 (hollowness – 50–53%) hollow concrete
blocks. General purpose mortar was used for masonry.
Samples of the P6-20 and P6-30 series were produced using P6-20(M, K) (hollowness – 55–60%) and P6-30 (hollowness –
68%) hollow concrete blocks. In this case, the blocks were used as residual mould. Upon assembling the blocks in a “dry”
manner (without mortar bed joints), after humidifying them, hollowness was filled in with infill concrete, resulting in monolith
concrete wall specimens. Mechanical properties of the blocks and infill concrete are provided in Table 1.
Samples (masonry specimens) were tested under a short time static load in accordance with LST EN 1052-1 [7].
Mechanical properties of masonry units – concrete blocks, mortar and infill concrete were established while testing the
blocks in accordance with LST EN 772-1 [8], and mortar and infill concrete control tests in accordance with
Bronius Jonaitis and Robertas Zavalis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 473 – 478 475

LST EN 1015-11 [9], and LST EN 12390-3 [10] accordingly. While testing masonry specimens, longitudinal and transverse
deformations of the blocks, masonry and bed joints were measured (Fig. 2), and behaviour of masonry under compression
was observed.

Pressure

Masonry
sample

1 4 8
5 7
5 1 6
3
8
2 8

z
y
x

Fig. 2. General view of the hollow concrete block masonry specimens and arrangement of measuring equipment

3. Results of the experiment

3.1. Specimens of hollow concrete block masonry

Results of the masonry specimens’ experimental research are provided in Table 2. As mentioned above, it is typical of
highly hollow concrete blocks to have small thickness as well as area of the web and the shell; therefore, big compressive
stresses appear in the bed joints. The research revealed that failure of the hollow block masonry specimens started from the
failure of the bed joints. Big transverse block deformations of the wall flat were observed during the test, stumble of the
shell was also noticed. Shells were detached from the web and sudden failure (crumbling) took place (Fig. 3), rupture load
made up about 80% of breaking load. Transversal deformations measured in the middle of the specimen in plain exceeded
transversal deformations of the block at the end of the specimen 2–3 times, see Fig. 4. It illustrates the fact that longitudinal
shells are detached from the transverse webs, see Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. Failure of the S6 and SM6 concrete blocks masonry specimens.

Typical transversal deformations of the specimens are presented in Fig. 4a, whereas longitudinal deformations in
Fig. 4 b. Vertical (longitudinal) deformations of hollow concrete block masonry are defined by deformations of bed joints,
which are respectively 3–4 times bigger than masonry and block longitudinal deformations, see Fig. 4b. Crumbling
properties of hollow block masonry wall KE was 1100, which meets EC6 recommendations [6].
476 Bronius Jonaitis and Robertas Zavalis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 473 – 478

4,5 4
4 3,5
3,5 3
3 2,5
2,5

σz, N/mm2
2
2
1,5
1,5
1
1
0,5 0,5

0 0
0 100 200 300 400 500 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
(a) (b)

Fig. 4. Typical deformations of hollow concrete block masonry specimen (a) – transversal, (b) – longitudinal: 1 – longitudinal deformation of a masonry
specimen, 2 – longitudinal deformation of a block, 5 – longitudinal deformation of a bed joint; 6 – transversal deformations of the specimen end at the
joint, 7 – transversal deformations of the specimens end at the middle of the block, 8 – out of plain transversal deformations of the specimen

Table 2. Test results of masonry specimens.

Series of Code of Cracking load, kN Compressive strength of masonry, N/mm2 Modulus of Characteristic
specimens specimens elasticity Ecm E-04, of masonry
fi,obs Average Characteristic
N/mm2 elasticity KE
fm,obs fk,obs
S6 S6-1 510 3,0 0,309 1030
S6-2 720 4,2 3,6 3,0 0,499 1188
S6-3 520 3,6 0,167* 0,418 1161
S6M S6M-1 600 3.9 0,387 992
S6M-2 780 4,5 4,3 3,6
S6M-3 780 4,.4 0,075* 0,549 1248
P6-20 P6-20 –1 3200 21,5 2,6
P6-20 -2 4700 23,3 22,9 2,36
P6-20-3 4300 23,9 0,055* 2,59
P6-30 P6-30 -1 8225 27,4 3,32
P6-30 -2 3500 24,5 26,5
P6-30-3 8175 27,5 0,064* 3,12

Note: * Coefficient of variation

3.2. Masonry specimens of hollow concrete blocks with concrete infill

Research results are presented in Table 2. Failure of concrete blocks with concrete infill is similar to that of a concrete
prism, see Fig. 5a, 5b. Cracks were formed under load of 90–100 % of breaking load, before the very failure of the
specimen a sudden (crumbling) breakage took place.
Bronius Jonaitis and Robertas Zavalis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 473 – 478 477

Fig. 5. Failure of P6-20 (a) and P6-30 (b) concrete blocks with concrete infill specimen of masonry and contact zone (c) of masonry unit and concrete infill

25 35
3 6
2 30
7 1
20 G1
4 25

15 5 20

15
10
10
5
5

0 0
-100 -50 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 -50 0 50 100 150 200 250
(a) ε×10-5 (b)

Fig. 6. Deformations of masonry set with concrete infill (a) P6-20 and (b) P6-30 blocks: 1 – longitudinal deformation of a specimen, 2 – longitudinal
deformation of a block, 3 – transversal deformation of a block including the vertical joint, 4 – in plain transversal deformation of a block, 5 – longitudinal
deformation of the bed joint, 6 – transversal deformation of specimens end at the joint, 7 – transversal deformation of the specimens end at the middle of
the block, G1 and G2 – longitudinal deformation of the infill concrete control sample

Until the moment of failure, concrete blocks (residual mould) and concrete infill operated together, no scaling was
observed, see Fig. 5 c. Longitudinal deformations of specimens which constitute 50–60% of the specimen compressive
strength are similar to longitudinal deformations of infill concrete control samples, see Fig. 6. The character of longitudinal
deformations tells of sufficiently good mutual work of the blocks and infill concrete. Masonry speciment elasticity module
was designated under the stress of σc=0,33 fc [7] (where fc – compressive strength of the specimen) (Table 2) and is similar
to elasticity module of infill concrete, which was estimated upon testing control samples, see Table 1.

4. Compressive strength assessment of hollow concrete block masonry

In accordance with LST EN 1996-1-1 [6] typical compressive strength of masonry with general purpose masonry mortar
bed joints is estimated by applying the following empirical formula:

f k = K ⋅ fb0,7 ⋅ f m0,3 (1)

In accordance with hollowness of concrete blocks the coefficient K= 0,45, estimated typical compressive strength values
are provided in Table 3. Data provided in Table 3 displays a fine match of experimental and calculated strengths in
accordance with LST EN 1996-1-1 [6].
478 Bronius Jonaitis and Robertas Zavalis / Procedia Engineering 57 (2013) 473 – 478

According to LST EN 1996-1-1 [6], when estimating typical compressive strength of masonry set using general purpose
masonry mortar and groups 2 and 3 masonry units, vertical cavities of which are filled with concrete, by applying empiric
subordination, normalised compressive strength of a masonry unit fb is established considering masonry units to be of the
first group, and their compressive strength equals the compressive strength of the units or the concrete infill choosing the
one that is lower. LST EN 1996-1-1 [6] does not investigate an instance when concrete blocks are set in a “dry” manner
(without mortar bed joints), and they perform the function of residual mould.

Table 3. Typical compressive strengths of hollow concrete block masonry and blocks with concrete infill masonry.

Series of Characteristic strength of masonry, N/mm2 Characteristical compressive


specimens
Experimental fk,obs Calculated according to LST EN 1996-1-1, fk strength of concrete infill fc, N/mm2
S6 3,0 2,98 –
S6M 3,6 2,88 –
P620 22,9 – 22,7*
P630 26,5 – 30,9*

Note: * Typical infill concrete compressive strength

Tests of P6-20, P6-30 concrete block with concrete infill masonry revealed that compressive strength estimated by
masonry experiments is close to typical cylindrical compressive strength of concrete control samples, see Table 3.
Conclusion can be drawn that when estimating compressive load of masonry walls with residual mould, when the
compressive strength of infill concrete is greater than that of the blocks (residual mould), typical compressive strength of
masonry is to be chosen in accordance with the strength of infill concrete, and compressed area is to be estimated without
considering area of the residual mould shell.

5. Conclusions

Experimental study revealed that:


• Deformations of highly hollow concrete block masonry are determined by deformations of bed joints.
• Failure of hollow block masonry starts with the failure of bed joints. It is typical that longitudinal block walls are
detached from the transversal web, during the failure, big transversal deformations from the wall flat can be observed.
• Tests of concrete block with concrete infill masonry revealed that compressive strength estimated by masonry
experiments is close to typical cylindrical compressive strength of infill concrete.

References

[1] Hendry, A. W., Fairbairn, D. R., & Khalaf, F. M., 1992. Mechanical properties of materials used in concrete blockwork construction, Magazine of
Concrete Research 44(158), p. 1.
[2] Khalaf, F. M., 1996. Factors influencing compressive strength of concrete masonry prisms, Magazine of Concrete Research 48(175), p. 95.
[3] Köksal, H. O., Karakoç, C., & Yildirim, H., 2005. Compression Behavior and Failure Mechanisms of Concrete Masonry Prisms, Journal of Materials in
Civil Engineering 17(1), p. 107.
[4] Mohamad, G., Lourenço, P. B., & Roman, H. R., 2007. Mechanics of hollow concrete block masonry prisms under compression: Review and prospects.
Cement and Concrete Composites 29(3), p. 181.
[5] Steadman, M., Drysdale, R. G., & Khattab, M. M., 1995. “Influence of Block Geometry and Grout Type on Compressive Strength of Block Masonry”.
Proceedings of the 7th Canadinan Masonry Symposium, pp. 1116–1127.
[6] LST EN 1996-1-1 Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures – Part 1-1: Rules for reinforced and unreinforced masonry, 2005.
[7] LST EN 1052-1 Methods of test for Masonry – Part 1: Determination of compressive strength, 1999.
[8] LST EN 772-1 Methods of tests for masonry units – Part 1: Determination of compressive strength, 2011.
[9] LST EN 1015-11 Methods of tests for mortar for masonry – Part 11: Determination of flexure and compressive strength of hardened mortar, 1999.
[10] LST EN 12390-3 Testing hardened concrete – part 3: Compressive strength of test specimens, 2011.

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