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12th North American Masonry Conference Masonry: Science • Craft • Art Denver, Colorado May 17

12th North American Masonry Conference Masonry: Science • Craft • Art Denver, Colorado May 17 20, 2015

• Craft • Art Denver, Colorado May 17 – 20, 2015 EXPERIMENTAL SEISMIC BEHAVIOR OF A

EXPERIMENTAL SEISMIC BEHAVIOR OF A REINFORCED MASONRY

WALL OF STACKED UNITS WITHOUT MORTAR IN THE JOINTS

Daniel Quiun 1 , Omar Chávez 2 and Francisco Seminario 3

Abstract

The possibility of using mortarless reinforced masonry walls made of concrete units in seismic regions of Peru is examined through an experimental project. The absence of mortar in the joints of the wall made of stacked units could reduce the seismic capacity; however, such wall is built in less time than traditional walls. A comparison is done between two reinforced walls, subjected to in plane cyclic lateral load tests. One wall was built in the traditional way, while the second wall was built of stacked units without using mortar in the joints. Control tests were also performed on the concrete block units and on masonry prisms. All the construction and tests were done in the Catholic University of Peru.

The comparison also took into account the construction process, the construction time, as well as the cost of the walls, in order to evaluate if the mortarless wall is economically and structurally worth. The results indicate a similar behavior between the two types of masonry (traditional and stacked units without mortar); only the cracks developed under very high loads were different. Therefore, the mortarless masonry walls with stacked units could be acceptable for seismic purposes.

Keywords: Experimental, mortarless, concrete blocks, lateral load, stacked units

1 Professor, Department of Engineering Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Av Universitaria 1801, Lima 32, PERU, dquiun@pucp.edu.pe

2 Civil Engineer, ochavezl@pucp.pe 3 Civil Engineer, fseminario90@gmail.com

Introduction

The reinforced masonry walls made of stacked units without mortar in the joints can be built very quickly. A previous work has been reported on the possibility of using this kind of masonry [Casabonne 2007]. However, the absence of mortar could produce a lower seismic load capacity of the wall. Most design Codes, including the Peruvian Masonry Code [SENCICO 2006], do not include such kind of masonry.

For the purpose of this research, two masonry walls were built and tested under cyclic lateral load. The same materials, hand labor, dimensions and reinforcement were used in the construction. Wall W1 was mortarless, with only a thin cement paste to fill up the small irregularities of the blocks; wall W2 used common mortar between masonry blocks. In this way, only the effect of the mortar between the units in the seismic behavior is compared. Also, complementary tests were performed on the block units, masonry prisms and wallets.

Masonry Concrete Blocks

The concrete blocks producer specifies the properties of Table 1, a set of tests were done on a sample of 5 units for verification. These blocks are used for reinforced masonry. According to the Peruvian Masonry Code, the blocks are able for use in bearing walls (Figure 1).

Table 1.- Masonry block properties

Property

Producer Value

Tested value

Dimensions

140x190x390 mm

----

Void percentage on bed area

46.5%

----

Mass

12.3 kg

----

Dimensional Variation

less than 2.0 mm

Less tan 2%

Compressive strength

7.0 MPa

7.35 MPa

.

Less tan 2% Compressive strength 7.0 MPa 7.35 MPa . Figure 1. Concrete Masonry block dimensions
Less tan 2% Compressive strength 7.0 MPa 7.35 MPa . Figure 1. Concrete Masonry block dimensions

Figure 1. Concrete Masonry block dimensions and placement.

Masonry Prisms and Wallets

The masonry properties were obtained from the tests on 3 prisms and 3 wallets, for each kind of joint used. For the mortarless masonry, a very thin cement paste was used for placement, while the conventional masonry had 10 mm mortar joints. The prisms had 3 layers and a height of 600 mm, while the wallets were square with 800 mm side (Figure 2). The block voids were filled with grout and after 28 days, the prisms were tested under axial compression and the wallets were tested under diagonal compression.

and the wallets were tested under diagonal compression. Figure 2. Masonry prisms and wallets construction The
and the wallets were tested under diagonal compression. Figure 2. Masonry prisms and wallets construction The

Figure 2. Masonry prisms and wallets construction

The characteristic strength was obtained by the average less one standard deviation. Regarding the axial compression test results, the mortarless masonry gave f’m=8.6 MPa, and the traditional masonry gave f’m=9.0 MPa. Regarding the diagonal compression test results, the mortarless masonry gave v’m=0.4 MPa, while the traditional masonry gave v’m=0.8 MPa. It must be mentioned that the mortarless masonry wallets had a stepwise failure and a relatively low shear resistance.

The Peruvian Code specifies that usual values of axial compression strength and shear strength are f’m (Code) = 9.3 MPa, and v’m (Code) = 0.95 MPa. The experimental results attained in this research are quite similar for the traditional masonry, while the mortarless masonry results are lower than the Code values.

Masonry Walls Construction

The masonry walls were designed and constructed according to the Peruvian Masonry Code provisions, so that they had a flexure failure, avoiding the shear failure and sliding failure. Steel dowels were therefore added into the beam foundations to prevent sliding failure (San Bartolome et.al. 2009). The rest of the reinforcement was the same for both walls, as shown in Figure 3. The thickness of the walls was set to 140 mm, with the mortarless W1 wall 2.32m tall and 2.34m long; and the traditional W2 wall 2.4m tall and 2.4 m long.

Figure 3. Masonry traditional wall W2 dimensions and reinforcement The collar beam had 140x200 mm

Figure 3. Masonry traditional wall W2 dimensions and reinforcement

The collar beam had 140x200 mm cross section, with 4-95mm diameter longitudinal bars, with 6mm stirrups, 1@50, 4 @100, and rest 200 mm. The nominal concrete strength was specified as f’c=17.15 MPa (2.5 ksi).

Other construction features that were followed include the following, as shown in Figure 4. The blocks were used in their dried condition; for the blocks that would have the horizontal bars, their lateral borders were opened with a cutting machine. The placement of the mortarless blocks was done with a thin cement paste as a ribbon, only to cover the block irregularities in the bed face. For the traditional wall, cleaning window openings were opened for the blocks of the first layer, to take away the mortar debris. The blocks were placed in two days so that the mortar joints could achieve resistance. Both walls were wetted with a hose the day after their finishing.

After the walls reached 28 days old, they were moved from the construction yard to the test area as shown in Figure 5 (left).

Figure 4. Masonry blocks placement and curing of the walls. Cyclic Lateral Load Tests A
Figure 4. Masonry blocks placement and curing of the walls. Cyclic Lateral Load Tests A

Figure 4. Masonry blocks placement and curing of the walls.

Cyclic Lateral Load Tests

A set of seven displacement transducers LVDT’s were used to record different displacements within the walls (Figure 5, right). These included the following: D1, is the topmost lateral displacement; D2 is the relative lateral displacement between the foundation beam and the wall; D3 and D4 are the vertical displacement at the bottom borders; D5 and D6 are the central diagonal displacements and D7 is the mid center horizontal displacement.

The test was conducted in steps, increasing the topmost displacement, D1. Each step had three cycles of loading and unloading, as shown in Table 2.

three cycles of loading and unloading, as shown in Table 2. Figure 5. Masonry wall moved
three cycles of loading and unloading, as shown in Table 2. Figure 5. Masonry wall moved

Figure 5. Masonry wall moved to the testing area and instruments used.

Table 2.- Cyclic lateral load steps

Step

1

2

3

5

4 6

7

8

9

10

11

D1

(mm)

0.5

1.5

2.5

5 10

7.5

12.5

15

17.5

20

25

The wall structural behavior is described as follows. In step 1, wall W1 did not have cracks, while for Wall W2, horizontal flexural cracks started to appear. In Steps 2 and 3, cracks started at the base of wall W1 and some other cracks in a stepwise pattern along the joints from the wall base to mid height; wall W2 also had stepwise cracks and the horizontal cracks at the wall base joined but no sliding occurred. In step 4, wider cracks in wall W1 and wall W2 go through a few blocks and the joints, which could mean the shear failure. In steps 5, 6 and 7, the diagonal cracks cut the blocks and joints in both walls and the horizontal base cracks has a width of 2mm, but still without sliding. In step 8, wall W1 is cracked in all of its height with some sliding; wall W2 had a similar behavior without sliding. In step 9 the sliding failure could be seen in both walls, as well as the crushing of one border of wall W2. In step 10, both walls had a sliding failure but the load remained without significant reduction from the maximum. Step 11 for wall W1 featured a large crack at one border with block crushing; wall W2 had a sliding failure with crushing of the borders.

Cyclic Lateral Load Tests Results

The load-displacement hysteretic loops for both walls are shown in Figure 6, in which the topmost displacement D1 was plotted against the lateral load. It may be observed how both walls look to have similar structural behavior.

how both walls look to have similar structural behavior. Figure 6. Mortarless wall W1 and traditional
how both walls look to have similar structural behavior. Figure 6. Mortarless wall W1 and traditional

Figure 6. Mortarless wall W1 and traditional wall W2 load-displacement relations

The experimental initial stiffness of each wall was calculated using the lateral load- displacement relation. Figure 7 shows plots of both walls data, using the load and top displacement D1, in the first cycle of step 1 of the tests. The linear relation was established between the displacements of 0.05 and 0.25 mm for which the corresponding loads and lateral stiffness is presented in Table 3. It may be observed that both walls have a similar initial lateral stiffness, in which the traditional wall W2 value is 13.5% larger than the mortarless wall W1.

wall W2 value is 13.5% larger than the mortarless wall W1. Figure 7. Initial stiffness calculation
wall W2 value is 13.5% larger than the mortarless wall W1. Figure 7. Initial stiffness calculation

Figure 7. Initial stiffness calculation for mortarless wall W1 and traditional wall W2.

Table 3. Experimental lateral stiffness

Wall

D (mm)

F (kN)

K (kN/m)

W1

0.05

10.84

88150

0.25

28.47

W2

0.05

9.26

101920

0.25

29.645

The first cracks due to tension by flexure caused by the applied lateral load, occur at the wall borders. These cracks were obtained analyzing the plots of the load displacement relation for each wall. For the mortarless wall, the tension crack appeared in the first cycle of step 2, with a load of 61.7 kN. For the traditional wall, even though some thin cracks appeared in the first cycle of step 1, the cracks were better defined in step 2, with a lateral load of 58.8 kN.

When the following load steps are applied, diagonal cracks appeared in the walls, due to shear failure. There is a slight decay in resistance, because after the cracks occur, the horizontal reinforcement in the walls start to deform and they take part of the load. The instruments LVDT D5 and D6 were useful to determine the moment when these diagonal cracks develop, and therefore find the corresponding loads. In both walls, these diagonal shear cracks started in the first cycle of step 4 and became visible at eyesight during step 5. The diagonal cracking load was found to be 112.7 kN for wall W1 and 137.2 kN for wall W2. Afterwards, these cracks increased in width and length as the load-displacements steps were increased, as it is displayed in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Load-displacement LVDT D5 for mortarless wall W1 and traditional wall W2. Both walls
Figure 8. Load-displacement LVDT D5 for mortarless wall W1 and traditional wall W2. Both walls

Figure 8. Load-displacement LVDT D5 for mortarless wall W1 and traditional wall W2.

Both walls were tested up to a lateral displacement of 25 mm, equivalent to a lateral drift of 0.01. To compare the overall structural behavior, an envelope of the lateral load vs. displacement was prepared using the maximum values reached at each step in the third cycle, in which the performance become stable (Figure 9).

cycle, in which the performance become stable (Figure 9). Figure 9. Lateral load-displacement envelope The Peruvian

Figure 9. Lateral load-displacement envelope

The Peruvian Seismic Code [Sencico 2003] establishes a maximum drift of 1/200=0.005 for masonry walls. In these research, this limit drift corresponds to a lateral displacement of 12.5

mm (step 7 of the test) It could be obtained that the maximum load was reached for a lateral

displacement of 12.5 or 15 mm, which correspond to drifts slightly larger than 0.005. The maximum loads reached were 157 kN for wall W1 and 186 kN for wall W2, a difference of 18%. However, this difference is relatively small, and we feel that the mortarless wall with stacked units is viable for seismic purposes, given that the differences occurred for a drift larger than the maximum allowed by the Code. On the other hand, the faster speed for construction could be an important issue to be considered in accepting this kind of masonry walls.

Economic comparison between walls

The economic comparison that follows takes into account the differences between both kinds

of wall construction. This means that the construction steps that are different are emphasized, like the placing of the blocks and grout filling for each wall. On the other hand,

the placement of steel bars for reinforcement was the same for both walls and need not be considered in the economic comparison.

We recall that the mortarless masonry wall uses a thin cement paste in each joint, and that

the blocks used in wall W1 were not the proper blocks for stacked masonry. Therefore, a third case was added, assuming that the proper blocks were used (with a better finishing

detail, a bit more expensive), and that no cement paste need to be used in the joints between block units. The costs were obtained in Peruvian currency and the current exchange rate

was used to obtain US dollars, see Table 4 in US dollars per m2 of masonry wall.

Table 4. Economic comparison, US$ per m2

Description

Placing Cost

Grout Cost

Total Cost

Traditional reinforced masonry

24.37

12.64

37.01

Mortarless reinforced masonry Used in Wall W1 in this paper

18.81

12.64

31.46

Reinforced masonry using special blocks

10.57

10.93

21.50

In table 4 it can be observed that the mortarless masonry is cheaper than the traditional masonry, even with the use of the cement paste between the joints. The voids of the blocks in the bed area make that part of the mortar fells and get loss; this amount has been estimated in 5%, but can even be larger depending on the construction site conditions and the skill of the mason worker.

Traditional reinforced masonry requires a form for block placement and an architectural way

to cover de area of cleaning windows of the first layer.

cost of traditional masonry respect to mortarless masonry with stacked units.

This is a reason that increases the

Conclusions

The concrete blocks used in this research satisfied the Peruvian Masonry Code requirements for bearing walls. In the case of the mortarless masonry, it would be helpful if the units had some type of tooth for a better connection between the blocks during the stacking process. The masonry prisms results for axial compression were similar to the values indicated in the Code. Regarding the diagonal compression, the shear resistance was quite low in the mortarless masonry due to a low bond between the units.

The cyclic lateral load tests showed a series of cracks along the joints in the mortarless

masonry wall (stepwise failure), and a rather mixed failure in the traditional masonry wall. In

a quantitative way, the maximum load for the mortarless wall was only 18% less than the

traditional wall. At the end of the test, some sliding was observed, with crushing of the wall borders without the buckling of the reinforcing vertical bars, but this effect happened after surpassing the limiting drift of the Seismic Code.

It can be concluded that the mortarless masonry wall with stacked units fulfilled the purpose

of this research in terms of structural behavior. The system could be used with a lowered wall resistance, but it is has the advantage of the easiness of construction and the lower cost as compared to the traditional masonry wall.

Acknowledgements

This research was conducted mainly by professor Angel San Bartolomé, who passed away in February 2014. This paper is dedicated to his hard work and research in the field of masonry. The construction and the tests explained in this paper were done in the Structures Laboratory of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP). They provided technical staff and equipment, so the authors are grateful to them.

References

Casabonne 2007: “Ductile Reinforced Masonry Walls Built With Mortarless Blocks,” Proceedings of the 10th North American Masonry Conference. St. Louis, Missouri,

2007.

San Bartolomé 2009: San Bartolomé A., W. Silva, E. Melendez, G. Castro, D. Quiun Experimental study to avoid the sliding failure in Reinforced masonry walls under lateral loads,” Proceedings of the 11th Canadian Masonry Symposium. Toronto, Ontario, 2009. Sencico 2006: “Norma E.070 Albañilería” (Peruvian Masonry Code, in Spanish) Lima, Perú, 2006. Sencico 2003: “Norma E.030 Diseño Sismo Resistente” (Peruvian Seismic Code, in Spanish) Lima, Perú, 2003.