White Papers

Benefits of Drystack Interlocking Concrete Masonry as a Component of Cost Effective Construction

6th North American Masonry Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
June 6-9, 1993

.PDF (1.6 MB)

Investigation of the various options currently employed to deliver structural and infill system for a construction project include each systems market compatibility and relative costs. This paper discusses the contribution drystack interlocking concrete masonry has had on several projects' affordability and reality.

The Use of Mortarless, Drystack, Concrete Masonry as a Contributor to Affordable Construction

4th International Seminar on Structural Masonry for Third World Countries, Madras, India.
December 13-17, 1992

.PDF (1.7 MB)

The benefits of masonry in construction are well documented throughout the history of the modern world. Important factors to consider are: (i) manufacturing is low energy intensive, (ii) construction can be accomplished with lower technology in labor skills than required for structural steel or reinforced concrete and (iii) minimal machinery would be required to manufacture primitive units. Units of this caliber also greatly contribute to the inherent strength of the assembly and much stronger than equal assemblies requiring mortared joints. This paper investigates the units most appropriate for developing countries and the relative benefits.

Water Penetration Through Masonry Walls: Laboratory and Field Investigations

6th Canadian Masonry Symposium, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
June 15-17, 1992

.PDF (1.4 MB)

Madan Mehta, Ph.D.

Several mortar joint profiles and thicknesses are used in contemporary masonry walls. However, the 10 mm (3/8") thick tooled concave joint has long been assumed by the masonry industry to give the most water resistant wall. An extensive review of the literature revealed that the above assumption has not been based upon any scientific investigation but on an intuitive understanding of the mechanism of rain water penetration through masonry walls. An experimental investigation to determine the influence of mortar joint thickness and profiles was undertaken at the University of Texas at Arlington during the Summer of 1990. The results of this study, reported in detail elsewhere, are summarized in the introduction part of this paper.

Upon completion of the above study, the author accepted a position with the Engineering\Design Services Section of the Physical Plant Division of Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. As with many universities in the United States, the over 4500 acres of the main campus has many brick veneer clad buildings. Resulting from many complaints of rain penetration through these buildings, a systematic investigation was conducted to record the causes of water penetrations before proceeding with repair. The (field) investigations as to the cause of leakages with actual buildings and in the test walls constructed earlier for laboratory investigations have shown close similarities. The details are reported below.

The Effects of Mortar Joints on the Permeance of Masonry Walls

9th International Brick/BlockMasonry Conference, Berlin, Germany.
October 13-16, 1991

.PDF (1.4 MB)

Madan Mehta, Ph.D.

The masonry industry recommends a 10 mm thick concave mortar joint to yield the most watertight masonry wall. An extensive review of literature on the subject revealed that, there is no experimental substantiation of this recommendation, This paper is abstracted from the first author's thesis that was prepared in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. The results presented were obtained from the measurement of water penetration through walls using different joint profiles. The tested profiles were concave joint, weather joint, vee joint, and the raked joint. The tests were conducted, as per ASTM E 514-86, on single wythe clay brick walls, 75 mm in thickness.

Nontraditional Courses That Complement a Study in Masonry for Architecture Students

.PDF (2.2 MB)

Masonry, as a stand alone program of study, is taught in many engineering schools in the United States as part of the curriculum of the Civil Engineering department. Such is generally not the case in most schools of architecture in the United States of America. Important for architecture schools teaching the material, is to expand the base course into areas that allow students to not only feel the materials, understand and see its construction, participate in its construction but learn why the material is capable of its capacity and learn why material testing is a basic fundamental to material mechanics and expanding its limits.

Tom Hines


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