B. KRALJ, J. MIDDLETON and G.N. PANDE University College of Swansea

The aim of this study is to determine the failure load of a solid masonry unit when it is compressed between two rigid platens glued at its ends. It is shown that the failure load is dependent on the shape of the unit. A three dimensional finite element model was used to determine the stresses in the unit and the failure load. From this study, shape factors as defined in EC6 are interpreted. The slate of stress in the solid brick is not uniform and large stress gradients are set up near the platens and at the comers of the unit. It is shown that a finely graded mesh is required to capture these stress gradients. The mechanical response of the brick material is assumed to be elastic – brittle and a Mohr-Coulomb criterion of failure is applied to determine th e peak load. A three-dimensional finite element programme with full pre- and post-tensioning capabilities was used for the analysis of the masonry unit. The shape factors for a set of 19 cases were calculated and compared with the equation given in EC6 as well as experimental and computed results obtained by other investigators.