N. G. SHRIVE The University of Calgary


In many countries, stack-bonded prisms may be used to determine the compressive strength of masonry for design purposes. The results depend on material properties, specimen geometry and boundary conditions. Numerical finite element analysis is used to show how the height and capping of a prism can affect the stress distribution. An indicationas to why prisms split predominantly across the narrow face is given. Capping may induce lateral tensile stresses which reduce measured strength. Height to width ratio may be insufficient to define prism geometry. Five high prisms should give reasonable estimates of masonry strength.