M.J. MASIA (1), R.B. PETERSEN (2), Y. HAN (3) and M.R.S. CORRÊA (4)
(1) Senior Lecturer, Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability, School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Australia
(2) Research Associate, Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability, School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Australia
(3) Civil Engineer, Hunter Water Australia Pty Ltd, Mayfield West, Australia
(4) Associate Professor, Department of Structural Engineering, University of São Paulo at São Carlos, SP, Brazil
In 2006 the authors  proposed an experimental testing procedure for characterising the shear behaviour of mortar joints under combined shear and compression loading. This paper presents the experimental evaluation of the proposed method. The test apparatus subjects a single joint specimen of annular circular cross section to normal compressive force combined with torsion. The choice of annular cross section results in approximately uniform distributions of normal and shear stresses across the mortar joint, allowing shear behaviour at a material point to be characterised. The paper describes the test methodology and the results from five series of tests conducted using the apparatus. The experimental program investigated a range of specimen preparation techniques and these are evaluated and discussed in the paper. For one of the test series, triplet shear tests in accordance with EUROPEAN STANDARD EN 1052-3: 2002  were also conducted to allow comparison with the torsion shear test. It was concluded that the torsion shear test procedure shows potential for the accurate determination of the parameters required for finite element micro-modelling of mortar joint behaviour under shear loading. However, the test procedure has some limitations, related mainly to the difficult issue of specimen preparation, making it unsuitable for routine testing.