DAVID T. BIGGSRyan-Biggs Associates, P.C

An aging workforce of masons in the United States has challenged the masonry industry to develop innovative ways to construct walls by minimizing the physical efforts of the master masons. One inventor has proposed a mortarless wall system (FlexLock) to allow walls to be built primarily by mason apprentices under the direction of a master mason. While a mortarless system is not a unique concept, few have gained wide acceptance. Most incorporate grout filled cores or surface bonding to provide the structural strength; the FlexLock system described in this paper uses neither grouted cores nor surface bonding. New concrete masonry units (CMU) created using specialized manufacturing techniques are assembled dry-stacked and reinforced by post-tensioning. This paper will describe the initial development of the system. In addition, the status of the test program will be presented.