Traditionally masonry structures have been constructed using concrete blocks and mortar. Smart Masonry is a Brisbane based company that has recently introduced a new type of masonry unit into the Australian market. They have developed a form of dry stacked system that eliminates the need for mortar. With the elimination of this mortar joint they have facilitated a stronger, more time efficient form of masonry construction.
Distinguishing features of the Smart Masonry block are its stepped profile that allows for easy stacking, and its plastic key system for locking consecutive courses together. Five investigations are undertaken in this thesis:
1. Study compressive strength as a function of grout strength.
2. Determine the effect of poor compaction on compressive strength.
3. Investigate the effect of unrestrained vertical reinforcement on compressive strength of grouted blockwork
4. Identify if the Masonry code can be used in the design of Smart Masonry.
5. Determine the short term Modulus of Elasticity of grouted blockwork and its components.
In order to achieve these goals compressive tests were carried out on one hundred 4 block high piers.
It was found that that a new formula should be used that effectively relates grout strength to compressive strength for the Smart Masonry system. A relationship was revealed that enabled the contribution of unrestrained vertical reinforcement to be accurately predicted. Finally it became apparent that poor compaction practices did have significant detrimental effects on the strength of the Smart Masonry system.