C.R. WILLIS1, M.C. GRIFFITH1 and S.J. LAWRENCE2 1 The University of Adelaide
2 SPL Consulting Pty Ltd The University of Newcastle


This paper presents the results of a theoretical and experimental investigation into the behaviour of unreinforced brick masonry (URM) sections subject to horizontal bending. Mathematical models were developed to predict first cracking, ultimate and post-ultimate strengths. The accuracy of the models was established by first comparing them to data from experiments conducted by the authors and then to other results reported in the literature. The resulting expressions represent major improvements over current expressions in that they are dimensionally correct and explicitly account for mortar and unit strength as well as the contributions to bed joint shear strength from compressive stress and friction. Furthermore, the insights gained into the behaviour of the bed joints in torsion and the flexural mechanisms of perpend joints and brick units can also be used in the analysis of walls subject to two-way bending, where the same mechanisms, combined with bed joint flexure and perpend joint torsion, contribute to the overall wall behaviour.