University of Mons, Faculty of engineering, Civil engineering & structural mechanics, Mons, Belgium


The standardized mechanical characterizations of masonry materials in laboratory are generally limited by the size of the samples that may be collected on the field. The need of diagnosis of the damages or the state of decay on historical buildings has led many investigators to develop alternative simple techniques adequate to evaluate mechanical properties directly in situ. The Civil Engineering Department of University of Mons is developing its own experience in small samples characterization in the field of Cultural Heritage. The methodology uses the scratching concepts to evaluate the material strength. The paper presents and describes two techniques: the scratching method (linear cutting) which has been developed at University of Minnesota for petroleum engineering applications, and the drilling method (circular cutting) which has been developed during the DIAS European project (Drilling – Indentation – Acoustics System) for the in situ characterization of effectiveness and durability of conservation techniques in historical structures. Both techniques have been used for laboratory characterizations of several types of masonry materials. Experimental settings and measured mechanical properties are compared for both technologies. It appears that both methods are complementary and a global testing methodology is actually under development at University of Mons.

Key words
Drilling resistance measuring system, scratching test, compressive strength.