Mechanics of masonry in compression

W. Scott McNary, Daniel P. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strength and deformation of clay-unit masonry under uniaxial concentric compressive force were investigated. Biaxial tension-compression tests of bricks and triaxial compression tests of mortar were done to establish constitutive relations for each material. Mortar strengths and brick types were varied. Interaction effects of these two materials were examined using a theory proposed by others. A numerical model based on this theory was used to compute the force-deformation relationship for a stack-bond prism. Results of the analysis were compared with measured strengths and deformations of test prisms. Results of the study indicated that mechanics of clay-unit masonry in compression could be well represented with a relatively simple model, and the most significant parameter to consider was the dilatant behavior of the mortar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-870
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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