Stiffness plasticity degradation of masonry mortar under compression

Gihad Mohamad, Fernando S. Fonseca, A. T. Vermeltfoort, André Lubeck


The main goal of this research is to determine the mechanical properties of bedding mortar by assessing the mortar damage onset, the stiffness plasticity degradation and the apparent Poisson´s ratio under compression. Two mortar types, 1:0.5:4 and 1:1:6 (cement:lime:sand ratio), were used and tested at 28 days; specimens had diameter-to-height (d/h) ratios of 0.3 and 1.0. The d/h ratio of 0.3 was used to reduce the friction effect at the top and bottom of the specimen, while the d/h ratio of 1.0 was chosen to evaluate the influence on the deformations of the confinement between the steel plates of the testing machine and the sample. Numerical models were developed, and their response compared with the experimental results. From the experimental results, it was concluded that there are meaningful differences in the response of the specimens with weak and strong mortar types and different d/h ratios. The d/h ratio influences the relationship between the stress and strength and the apparent Poisson´s ratio of the specimen, which is defined herein as the ratio of the horizontal to vertical strain, regardless of cracking of the specimen. The mortar damage onset and stiffness plasticity degradation for both mortar types and d/h ratio are different and depend on the stress/strength ratio level. All samples with a d/h ratio of 0.3 show a constant decrease in the volumetric strain until failure but with negligible expansion on the horizontal deformation. In contrast, samples with a d/h ratio of 1.0 present an increase of stiffness after development of the first crack, which causes the increase of the sample volume. Numerical simulation and experimental results for mortar 1:0.5:4 with a d/h ratio of 0.3 are similar until approximately 10 MPa, after which the numerical results diverge from the experimental results. For the d/h ratio of 1.0, the vertical strain results are also similar, but the horizontal strains results near failure are very different. The model can not represent the nonlinear increase of the horizontal strain near failure probably because the crack propagation and the stiffness plasticity degradation could not be controlled. For mortar 1:1:6, vertical strains from numerical and experimental results are similar, but again the model can not reproduce the nonlinear increase of horizontal strain near failure.

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