Static behaviour of earth block masonry: experimental testing and Finite Element Modelling
In this paper an extensive research campaign aimed to define the mechanical performance of earth block masonry panels is presented. Uniaxial compression and diagonal compression tests were performed. The test results confirmed the brittle behaviour of earth block masonry under uniaxial compressive load and showed that the failure of earth block masonry under shear load occurs by sliding of the earth blocks along the mortar joints after initial cracking in mortar joints and earth blocks. For diagonal compression test results showed that building technique practice is one of the key factors affecting the structural performances. Experimental behaviour was modelled with a non-linear model capable of describing cracking behaviour. Both micro-modelling and macro-modelling implementing isotropic or orthotropic material laws were used to assess the reliability of different modelling strategies. The model calibration was carried out by sensibility analysis of the input parameters to understand the influence of unit strength on the shear behaviour of masonry.