GIDEON P.A.G. VAN ZIJL University of Stellenbosch / Delft University of Technology


Shear along masonry unit/mortar interfaces is an important mechanism of resistance in structural masonry. Several test procedures and set-ups have been proposed to characterise this response. Such a test must objectively characterise shear response, in order to allow the results to be employed in the analysis and design of masonry subjected to other, more general loading conditions. Through the development of accurate numerical modelling strategies and constitutive models for masonry, in combination with carefully designed experimental testing, it has become possible to perform detailed finite element analysis to predict structural masonry behaviour. In this development process of prediction capacity, the very characterisation process must be scrutinised for objectivity, to ensure valid extrapolation to other boundary value problems regarding structural masonry. Through such an interactive numerical and physical modelling process, the objectivity of a particular shear test for the characterisation of masonry shear along a unit-mortar interface is studied in this paper.