Calibration of a visual method for the analysis of the mechanical properties of historic masonry

Antonio Borri, Marco Corradi, Alessandro De Maria, Romina Sisti

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The conservation and preservation of historic buildings affords many challenges to those who aim to retain our building heritage. In this area, the knowledge of the mechanical characteristics of the masonry material is fundamental. However, mechanical destructive testing is always expensive and time-consuming, especially when applied to masonry historic structures. In order to overcome such kind of problems, the authors of this article, proposed in 2014 a visual method for the estimation of some critical mechanical parameters of the masonry material. Based on the fact that the mechanical behavior of masonry material depends on many factors, such as compressive or shear strength of components (mortar and masonry units), unit shape, volumetric ratio between components and stone arrangement, that is the result of applying a series of construction solutions which form the "rule of art". Taking into account the complexity of the problem due to the great number of variables, and being on-site testing a not-always viable solution, a visual estimate of the mechanical parameters of the walls can be made on the basis of a qualitative criteria evaluation. A revision of this visual method is proposed in this paper. The draft version of new Italian Building Code have been used to re-calibrate this visual method and more tests results have been also considered for a better estimation of the mechanical properties of masonry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-427
Number of pages10
JournalProcedia Structural Integrity
Early online date30 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event14th International Conference on Building Pathology and Constructions Repair - Florence, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201822 Jun 2018
Conference number: 14

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