ETH Zurich, Institute of Structural Engineering, Switzerland
University of Newcastle, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

A joint research project by the University of Newcastle and the ETH Zurich on the structural behaviour of unreinforced masonry elements subjected to cyclic shear is underway at the University of Newcastle. The main goal of the research project is to investigate the influence of the bed joint placed damp-proof course (DPC) on the structural behaviour of masonry in shear. Load tests on two series of masonry elements with built-in DPC in one of the bed joints have been performed. The DPC was placed either between the first two courses or between the concrete base and first masonry course. The specimens were firstly subjected to vertical pre-compression load which was kept constant during the test and then subjected to cyclic shear load applied in time steps with prescribed horizontal displacements. Three different levels of pre-compression have been considered. This paper presents some preliminary results and discusses their significance in relation to current design practice.

Key words
Clay brick, cyclic shear, damp-proof course, load tests, shear wall, unreinforced masonry