Experimental investigation of mortar mechanical properties for glass brick masonry
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The main advantage of solid bricks over hollow blocks is substantially higher compressive strength. On the other hand, solid bricks have much higher thermal conductivity, which would lead to major heat loss when used for exterior walls. Masonry pillars and walls are usually loaded in compression and/or bending resulting from the eccentricity of vertical load or wind load. In case of solid glass bricks, compressive strength is about ten times higher than tension strength therefore the limiting factor of the glass masonry is tensile stress resulting from the bending. Whether compared to ceramic or concrete bricks masonry, the glass bricks have a smooth and non-absorbent surface and the adhesion of the mortar to the glass surface is the critical parameter. Presented paper is focused on the experimental investigation of mortar applicable for glass brick masonry with regard to use for load bearing brick walls or columns. Shear, compression and tension tests have been recently performed. Shear and tension resistance and failure modes of brick bed joint were determined during series of tests using various mortar composition, two types of surface treatment and different thickness of the mortar joint. Significant influence of the joint thickness on the resistance was found. The compression tests were performed on two small pillars to determine the compression resistance and failure mode of glass bricks walls and pillars. In parallel to these tests, several small-scale tests have been performed to determine flexural and compressive strength of hardened mortar.
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