Materials and Structures

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 829–839 | Cite as

Structural behavior of low- and normal-strength interface mortar of masonry

  • Thomas Zimmermann
  • Alfred Strauss
  • Konrad Bergmeister
Original Article


Building with masonry is based on the experience of many centuries. Although this design is used worldwide, knowledge about the material behaviour of masonry is still subject to uncertainties. The determination of safety of these structures against earthquakes is a complex challenge. For instance it depends on the resistance of the structure, the seismic action and on many uncertain structural details. One of the key parameters regarding the resistance is the shear strength of the masonry. A series of tests on mortar prisms according to EN 1015-11 was performed in which the mortar properties were varied in order to measure bending and compressive strength. In a second test program, the shear strength of the masonry was tested according to EN 1052-3. Shear triplets were made to establish the shear strength variation due to deliberate variation of the mortar properties. In addition, for both tests on mortar prisms and tests on shear triplets, descriptive statistical parameters were calculated and an attempt was made to describe the datasets with probabilistic distributions for further dimensioning and stochastic assessments.


Shear strength Coefficient of friction Old masonry 



Research results discussed in this paper were carried out within the European research project SEISMID, supported and financed in cooperation with the Centre for Innovation and Technology (ZIT). We also wish to thank Mr. Walter Brusatti (Brusatti GmbH) for providing bricks and further Mr. Johann Lang from the College of Civil Engineering (HTBL Krems) Austria, for his efficient help during testing in the laboratory.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Zimmermann
    • 1
  • Alfred Strauss
    • 1
  • Konrad Bergmeister
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Structural EngineeringUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria

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