1 Civil Engineer PhD, CERIB (Study and Research Centre for the French Concrete Industry), Structures department,

2 Technical Manager, CERIB (Study and Research Centre for the French Concrete Industry), Products and Markets Direction,


From thirty years, and because of the different energy crises, insulating masonry elements were developed in France to participate in the decrease of energy consumption. The purpose was to design single leaf external walls with thermal resistance according to French requirements, and appropriate mechanical capacity to be used structurally in small buildings. The studied new masonry systems are based on lightweight concrete units bedded on thin layer mortar strip joints. This technique of thin joints was also developed for dense aggregates concrete masonry ([1], [2] and [3]). In addition to the thermal characteristics, this technique saves time for installation and induces positive environmental impact.

The proposed experimental study aims to evaluate the strength and the elasticity of thin joint hollow concrete masonry made with dense or lightweight aggregates. Tests have been carried out on a very large type of hollow blocks representative of the actual production of the French Industry. Different geometries and different types of aggregates are tested. All these tests are based on CEN standards to meet Eurocode 6 requirements.

This work proves that the mechanical performance of masonry made with hollow concrete blocks depends on the density of aggregates. An adjustment of the constants K and KE taking into account the type of aggregates (dense or light) should be considered in the future revision of Eurocode 6.


Keywords: Thin Joint, Hollow concrete block, Lightweight concrete units, Strength, Elasticity, Eurocode 6