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• Bond between Masonry Unit and Mortar

• Importance of Bond Strength

• Tensile Bond Strength test

• Flexural Bond Strength test

• Shear Bond strength test

• Types of Failure

• Factors affecting Bond strength

• Relation between Masonry Compressive strength & Bond Strength

Bond between Masonry Unit and Mortar
• Bond, in masonry is a systematic arrangement of bricks or other building
units composing a wall or structure in such a way as to ensure its stability
and strength.

• Bond is the most important single physical property of mortar. Because many
variables affect the bond. These variables include water retentivity of mortar,
suction of brick, texture of brick, elapsed time between spreading mortar and
laying brick, pressure applied to masonry joints during forming, air content
and others.

• In all masonry work the purpose of mortar is to bond the blocks or bricks
firmly together. The mortar serves primarily as a bonding agent but also as
an equalizing medium. This is because variations in thickness of the masonry 3

units can be compensated by modifying the thickness of the joints.

Importance of Bond Strength
 Bond strength is important for the development of sufficient tensile strength in
the masonry to resist wind and earthquake forces and minor movement.

 Inadequate bond strength will inevitably lead to cracking in masonry

construction. Because this cracking is a brittle mode of failure and there is
potential for widespread damage if bond strength is inadequate.

 The weakness might become apparent only when the masonry is subjected to an
extreme load event, such as a high wind or an earthquake, when it might lead to

 Cracking might also occur during the service life of the building, especially
when it is caused by minor movements in the footings or by thermal gradients.

 The effect of this type of damage is primarily aesthetic, although it can also lead
to long-term degradation, ingress of water into the building and a general lack of
Why the Tensile Strength, Shear Bond Strength &
Flexure Bond Strength is important ?
 The shear bond strength & flexural bond strength in masonry is very
important as it is the principle resisting force to lateral loads.

 The shear bond strength is important as the strength of the masonry bricks is
generally greater than that of the mortar so failure generally occurs at the

 The flexural bond strength of masonry in particular is needed for the design
of masonry walls subjected to horizontal forces applied normal to the face of
the wall, such as wind forces

 The tensile strength of masonry is necessary for the estimation of the crack
resistance of masonry under tensile stress due to drying shrinkage and
thermal movements.
Tensile bond strength
• To find the bond strength between two bricks , crossed brick couplet
specimens were prepared. The brick couplet specimen model was
shown in Fig.

• Bond strength of brick masonry was calculated by using brick

couplet specimen. Compressive load was applied to create a tensile
force on the mortar joint. Bond strength was calculated by finding
the ratio between ultimate load and mortar area.
Tensile Bond Strength of Brick Masonry , Bangalore
Strength Perpendicular to Strength Parallel to Bed Joints
Source Bed Joints MPa MPa
CM 1:6 CLM 1:1:6 CM 1:6 CLM 1:1:6

Matthana 0.031 0.085 0.17 0.16

Raghunath 0.041 - 0.166 -

 Above table shows the extremely low tensile bond strength values of Indian
brick masonry
 When loading parallel to the bed joints the strength values are better since the
mortar joint participates in taking tension and it is no longer purely the tensile
bond strength
Flexural Bond Strength test

Modified Bond Wrench test 8

• Flexural bond strength of the brick masonry is determined by testing stack bonded
prism with a height to thickness ratio of 4.

• Flexural bond strength of the masonry prism is determined by using a modified

bond wrench test.

• The prism is supported on a rigid bottom. The bottommost brick of the prism was
fully clamped.

• The load is applied to the top-most brick of the prism through a pulley arrangement.
This load causes a moment in the prism, which will further cause a flexure failure
between the masonry unit and the mortar.

• The failure load of masonry prism is observed and bond strength of masonry parallel
to the bed joint is calculated.

• In this test setup, only one value of flexural bond strength is obtained for each
prism, because once one joint fails (generally the bottommost joint of the prism), the
other joints of the prism (already subjected to bending) are not tested. 9
Flexural Bond Strength of Brick Masonry

Sl No Motar Type Motar Strength Average Flexural Bond

N/mm2 Strength N/mm2

1 CM 1:4 8.41 0.104

2 CM 1:6 3.57 0.077

3 CM 1:10 0.92 0.048

4 CSM 1:1:6 3.81 0.108

5 CLM 1:1:6 3.05 0.082

Flexural Bond Strength: Weak Brick Masonry
Sl No Brick Mortar type & Bond Flexural Bond
Strength Mortar Strength , Enhancement strength
N/mm2 N/mm2 Method N/mm2

1 4.29 CM 1:6 ; 7.32 Nill 0.098

2 4.29 CM 1:6 ; 7.32 Cement Slurry 0.157

3 4.29 CM 1:6 ; 7.32 Nil 0.128

4 4.29 CM 1:6 ; 7.32 Epoxy Coating 0.216

Shear Bond Strength of Masonry
 The shear bond strength in masonry is the force in shear required to
“separate the units from the mortar and each other” .

 The shear bond strength in masonry is the bond strength between the brick
mortar interface.
 The “Shear strength at the interface comes from friction due the asperities
between the surface of mortar layer and the surface of the brick unit, and the
chemical bond between mortar and brick units.
 Normal compression perpendicular to the interface further increases its shear
strength because the asperities cannot easily slide over one another”. 12
 “The bond development in masonry is due to mechanical interlocking of
hydrated cement-products into the pores of the brick”
Shear Bond strength test

• The brick masonry triplet specimens were used to determine the shear bond strength of
• The schematic diagrams of shear bond strength test of burnt clay brick and concrete brick
triplet are shown in Fig.
• In this test, vertical movement of the side bricks was restrained and the middle brick was
free to move vertically.
• A load is applied to the centre brick. The other two bricks are supported by rollers and
there is a pre-compression load applied horizontally to the specimen
• Vertical load is applied gradually using the hydraulic actuator till the failure of bond joint
between brick and mortar.
• The frog area is considered in the case of burnt clay brick for calculation of shear bond
strength. Shear bond strength of masonry triplet is calculated using
bs = 𝐴 +𝐴
1 2

where, τbs= shear bond strength of the masonry

P = Maximum load applied by the machine
A1 = area of left side joint
A2 = area of right side joint.
Shear Bond Strength for CM 1:4
Sl Norma Shear bond strength N/mm2
No. l Stress Author
Sarangapani Fahad Harsha Harish Madhavi AVG
et al et al
1 0.0 0.093 0.24 0.24 0.134 0.069 0.155

2 0.2 - - - 0.165 0.252 0.208

3 0.4 - - - - 0.581 0.581

4 0.6 - - - - 0.715 0.751

Shear Bond Strength for CM 1:6
Sl Norma Shear bond strength N/mm2
No. l Stress Author
Sarangapani Harish Mangala Saikia Madhavi et AVG
Keshava al
1 0 0.054 0.1 0.04 0.023 0.24 0.091

2 0.1 0.9 - - - -

3 0.125 - - 0.091 - -

4 0.2 - 0.214 0.154 - 0.596 0.321

5 0.3 0.69 - - - -

6 0.4 - - 0.283 - -
7 0.5 - - 0.392 - -
Types of Failure

Shear failure in the unit/mortar bond area either Shear failure only in the mortar
on one or divided between two unit faces

Shear failure in the unit Crushing and or splitting failure in the units
Factors affecting Bond strength
 Type of Masonry unit : Bond strength is significantly influenced by the composition and
physical characteristics of the masonry units – particularly surface characteristics. The bond
strength is influenced by the texture of the mortar unit, i.e. the rougher the texture of the unit
the greater the bond strength this allows for a greater “mechanical keying” with the mortar.
Clearly, loose sand particles, dirt, or other contaminants on the surface of units will reduce the
ability of the mortar to adhere to the unit.

 Cement content: The bond strength in masonry is mainly dependent upon the cement
content in the mortar, i.e. the greater the cement content in mortar the greater the bond

 Water Absorption: The Brick water absorption affects the bond strength because it
determines the amount of water transmitted from the mortar to the brick. This controls the
degree of hydration of the mortar and the amount of hydration products that will be
transported and deposited in the masonry pores. Bond strength also depends upon initial rate
of absorption , optimum bond strengths are obtained using units having moderate suction
,bond strength tends to be lower as lRA increases.
Air content
The air content is another important
factor in the bond strength of masonry, i.e.
the higher the air content the lower the bond

Effect of Curing Conditions

Bond strength is affected by the
period of moist curing and storage in air. To
establish the bond strength potential of a
combination of mortar and masonry units, the
test specimens should be cured in a moist 19
environment until tested.
Elapsed time.
Bond strength decreases as elapsed time between the application of
bedding mortar to a unit and placement of the next unit increases
Mortar that is placed in contact with an absorptive masonry unit mortar
immediately begins to lose moisture to that unit. Thus, the mortar will have a
lower water content and a stiffer consistency when the upper unit is placed,
reducing the bond between mortar and unit.

Water Content

Bond strength is significantly

influenced by the water content of
the masonry mortar at the time of
specimen fabrication. Mortars with
increased water contents produced
higher bond strength

Relation between Masonry Compressive strength & Bond

 Fig shows a correlation between masonry compressive strength and bond strength
(both shear bond and flexural bond)
 A weak mortar with a good bond can often perform better than a stronger mortar with
a poorer bond strength. 21
 An increase in bond strength invariably increases the compressive strength of the