J.S. SKANDAMOORTHY and R.C. de VEKEY Building Research Establishment

Only limited guidance on the characteristic compressive strength of natural stone masonry is given in the British Code. No guidance is given on the design for lateral loading. This paper gives the findings of investigations into the flexural and compressive performance of Crosland Hill Hard York Sandstone blockwork by testing wallettes and one storey-height wall. The mode of failure of the wallettes in flexure was primarily governed by the tensile and shear strength of the mortar joint, attributed to the low adhesion between the mortar and the dry-laid stone block. By wetting the stone blocks prior to laying and curing the wallettes under polythene sheeting, a noticeable increase in the flexural strength of the wallettes was observed. Roughening the bedding faces of the stone blocks had no significant effect on the flexural performance. In compression, the small blockwork wallettes failed by splitting of the blocks along an uneven plane normal to the bed joint. The storey-height wall failed by buckling. In general, the stonework had a lower than expected flexural strength but high compressive strength.