DIRK R.W. MARTENSEindhoven University of Technology

During the last decade, in the Netherlands and Belgium, an increasing number of veneer walls have been erected in clay brick and concrete block masonry with thin layer mortar. Owing to the homogeneous appearance of such masonry, architects are especially fond of this new building technique. Compared to traditionally erected veneer walls, these walls have a higher stiffness and strength. As a result, larger window openings can be spanned by thin layer mortar masonry without additional supports such as concrete or steel lintels. At Eindhoven University, experimental research has been carried out to evaluate the real strength and stiffness of these “thin layer mortar masonry lintels”. For safety reasons, it is recommended that a light woven steel wire reinforcement be introduced into the thin layer mortar bed joints. The influence of different reinforcement ratios has been evaluated analytically and experimentally with four-point bending tests. Finally design rules have been developed.