Mechanical characterisation of stone masonry of Batticaloa fortress, Sri Lanka

Julian Thamboo, Ramachandran Niroshan, Sivajathurshana Vijayathasan, Marco Corradi

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Historical fortresses, traditionally constructed with stone masonry, require careful preservation to uphold their cultural significance. Understanding the material and mechanical characteristics of the stone masonry assemblies used in these fortresses is crucial for their conservation. Hence, an inclusive approach was taken to analyze the mechanical attributes of stone masonry utilized in a specific historical fortress in Sri Lanka. This comprehensive method involved two main steps: (1) expert evaluation and (2) non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques. This study incorporated well-established expert evaluation methods tailored for historical masonry, such as the Masonry Quality Index (MQI), Geometric Index (GI), and mechanical characterization based on the Italian Code for Construction specifications. Additionally, two NDT methods - rebound hammer and ultrasonic pulse velocity testing - were employed alongside expert evaluations to thoroughly understand the mechanical properties of the stone masonry assemblies. The investigation focused on stone walls in ten different areas of the fortress, all of which were constructed using irregular and pebble stone masonry. The results obtained through NDT methods were then cross-referenced with the expert evaluations. This integrated approach effectively outlined the properties of the stone masonry assemblies, including compressive strength, Young's modulus, and shear modulus, providing a comprehensive characterization of the structures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering History and Heritage
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2024

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