The University of Newcastle NSW

Masonry structures are susceptible to damage when subjected to external effects such as foundation movements due to mine subsidence, swelling and shrinkage of reactive soils, differential settlement etc. Damp proof courses (dpc) are commonly used in masonry construction to prevent movement of ground moisture into the structure. One of the major findings of the current serviceability research at the University of Newcastle is the crucial role that the membrane type dpc plays in the structural behaviour of the masonry. The dpc forms a plane of weakness and acts as a horizontal control joint, with separation and sometimes sliding occurring at this interface. This separation and stiding causes significant relief and redistribution of stress within the masonry and must be considered if realistic representation of masonry behaviour is to be obtained. This paper presents an overview of the serviceability study and shows the critical influence thai membrane type dpc have on the behaviour of masonry.