O.J. KANYETO, MBIE, MIMS (1) and A.N. FRIED, BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng., MICE, FIMS (2)

(1) Department of Civil Engineering, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

(2) Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford.UK


The adhesion between polymer modified mortars and concrete block masonry was examined to determine any enhancement to the bond. A testing programme was undertaken to evaluate this trend. Two concrete block types and one thin layer mortar type were used to build wall panels which were then tested to failure. Testing revealed both the mortar properties and the constituents of the parent material forming the block alter the joint strength resulting in enhancements to flexural tensile bond strength. The transverse lateral load capacity of masonry built using solid dense concrete blocks with thin joint mortar is up to 3.5 times that of similar blockwork constructed using conventional mortar. This means when thin joint technology is employed, in conjunction with solid dense concrete blocks, the masonry behaves more as a concrete plate than conventional blockwork. Graphs plotted from the test data reveal a bi-linear relationship between the load and displacement, from initial application of the load until failure.