Crack Control In Long Clay Walls With Bed Joint Reinforcement

Summary

Collaborative research work conducted by ETSAM-UPM (Madrid Polytechnic University, College of Architecture) and HISPALYT (the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Clay Bricks and Tiles) looking at the influence of bed joint reinforcement on the movement of very long clay brick masonry walls under natural weather conditions is described.  Tests were carried out under different climatic conditions (in Pamplona, with a mild and very humid climate, and in Toledo, with an extreme very cold/very hot and dry climate),  using wall panels constructed on areas of open ground.  Four  walls were built in each city, two of brick and two of lightweight clay block (Thermoarcilla), and one of each pair  of walls was reinforced with Murfor truss-type bed joint reinforcement while the other was left unreinforced.  In order to force the masonry to crack, 30 m-long walls which met at a right angled corner with a 1.5 m wall were constructed, it was expected that the unreinforced wall would crack, and it would therefore be possible to compare the efficiency of the reinforced walls.  Moisture expansion test results are given. Results to date show that the reinforcement reduced expansion in both brick and block walls, the effect was greater in the Pamplona walls, showing  that climate has a significant influence.  Although the reinforcement allows very broad separation of vertical movement joints in the brick panels, it is necessary to ensure that it is perfectly positioned at the corners, where  stress concentration occurs.  1 ref.

Primary author(s): Adell J M, Del Rio C

                            Madrid,Polytechnic University

Source: 12th IB2MaC. Twelfth Int.Brick/Block Masonry Conf. Proc.

            Madrid,25-28 June 2000,p.61-72

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