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ACI STRUCTURAL JOURNAL

Title no. 86-559

TECHNICAL PAPER

Structural Evaluation of Concrete-Backed Stone Masonry

by Mohamed A. H. Abdel-Halim,

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Munawer R. Basoul, and Riyad A. Abdel-Karim

Experimental results of 15 test prisms, 6 beams, and 12 columns of concrete-backed stone masonry are reported. Six stone columns were infilled with plain concrete, and the other six stone columns were infilled with reinforced concrete. The prisms and the columns were tested under concentric and eccentric loads, and the beams were tested using two equal loads at the middle third of the beam. The traditional method of building used in some of the Middle East countries has been adapted to simulate the actual working conditions at site. Three kinds of stones were used: the first kind represents the very hard stones; the second represents the hard stones; and the third represents the soft stones. All the specimens were tested under increasing load until failure. Results indicate that the adhesion between the stones and the concrete is the weakest point in the concrete-backed stone masonry. The stresses in the concrete and stones at failure did not compare favorably with the compressive strength of the concrete or the stone units due to this weak bond between the concrete and stones. Transformed section technique can be used to study the behavior of concretebacked stone masonry members until bond failure.
Keywords: beams (supports); bond (concrete to stone); columns (supports); eomposlte eonstrue1ioD (eODerete to masoDry); eODeretes; eccentric loads; evalutiOD; failure mechanisms; infilled frames; masoDry; prisms; rocks; tests.

using flush mortar joints of a nominal 7 to to-mm (0.28 to OAO-in.) thickness. After building two to three courses for a height equal to approximately 50 to 75 cm (20 to 30 in.), backing concrete is placed between the stones and the internal form work. The water-cement ratio (w/c) in the backing concrete is usually on the high side to allow the concrete to flow and fill all the voids behind the stones. Hand compaction is usually used for the backing concrete, since vibration may cause the stones to be pushed out of place. The average thickness of the stones is not constant; it varies from 4 to 8 cm (1.60 to 3.2 in.), and the thickness of the stone at the edges is usually smaller than at the center. Stones are also built to form columns with cores in the middle that are filled with plain or reinforced concrete. Some of these columns are built for decoration purposes only, while others are considered as structural supporting members. RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE There is a lack of information regarding the structural behavior of concrete-backed stone masonry members, especially at the ultimate strength level. It is important to understand the behavior of such members to be able to make reliable estimates of permissible loading in all aspects of structural design. This paper deals with experimental work on concrete-backed stone masonry prisms, beams, and columns. These members were tested under increasing load until ultimate. MATERIALS

In construction projects all over the rapidly developing countries of the Middle East, concrete-backed stone masonry is used extensively. In most residential buildings concrete-backed stone masonry walls are used as load-bearing elements in certain types of single- and double-story structures. In multistory buildings, a reinforced concrete frame provides the basic skeleton, but the external walls are built with concrete-backed stone masonry. Stone masonry columns infilled with concrete are used sometimes as external columns, especially in balconies. The way in which the stone masonry structures are built in most of the Middle Eastern countries is different from the ways used in other countries of the world. After the rubble stones are brought from quarries, they will be regularly cut into different sizes, usually enough to be handled by one person, using stone saws. After that, stones are transported to the building site. There, experienced stonecutters cut them into different sizes and shapes according to their function in the building. Then, a professional mason lays the stones in courses
608

Stones - Three different kinds of limestone were


used in manufacturing the test samples. The stones were brought from three different quarries. One kind was classified as very hard stones, the second as hard stones, and the third as soft stones. Cylindrical cores 50
ACI Structural Journal, V. 86, No. 5, September-October 1989. Received May, 10, 1988, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright of copies unless Concrete Institute. the making 1989, Americanpermission is obtainedAll rights reserved, including from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion will be published in the July-August 1990 ACI Structural Journal if received by Mar. I, 1990.

ACI Structural Journal

I September-October 1989

ACI member MolItuMd A. H. Abdel-Hallm is an assistant professor of civil engineering at Jordan University of Science cl Technology, Jordan. Dr. AbdelHalim has been involved in reseorch in polymers in concrete, segmental bridges, and finite element analysis of concrete structures. He is Vice President of ACI's Jordan Chapter. Dr. Abdel-Halim is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa . MlllUlWer R. Bilsoul received his BS degree from Riyad University, Saudi Arabia, and his MS degree from Yarmouk University, Jordan. He is an independent consultant in structural design . ACI member Riytld A. Abdel-Karlm received his BS degree from the University of Jordan and his MS degree from Yarmouk University. He is at present a PhD student, Department of Civil Engineering, Pennsylvania State University.

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x 100 mm (2 x 4 in.) were drilled from each kind, and tests were conducted as prescribed in the applicable ASTM specifications to determine their properties, including: ASTM C 97 for specific gravity and absorption test; ASTM C 170 for compressive strength test. The water absorption was 0.67 percent for the very hard stones, 0.59 percent for the hard stones, and 6.36 percent for the soft stones. The compressive strength was 80.4 MPa (11.67 kips/in.2) for the very hard stones, 40.2 MPa (5.84 kips/in. ~ for the hard stones, and 14.1 MPa (2.05 kips/in.2) for the soft stones. Concrete - The concrete was made from local materials. The coarse aggregate was crushed limestone with a maximum size of 19 mm (.i in.). The average compressive strength after 28 days was 12.1 MPa (1.76 kips/in.2) for the concrete used in the prism and beam samples, and 24.4 MPa (3.540 kips/in.2) for the concrete used in the column samples. The strength of the concrete in the prisms and beams is very low. This is because a high w/c is used to allow the concrete to flow and fill all the voids behind the stones and because concrete cannot be vibrated as required, since this may cause the stones to be pushed out of place. In the columns, stiff concrete was placed because stones were all around the core. There was a strength change of the concrete in place due to the water reduction caused by stone absorption rates. The absorption rate of the soft stones was higher than that of the hard stones. And, the greater the absorption of the stone units, the greater the consequent in-place strength of the concrete. Mortar - Mortar cubes of 50 x 50 x 50 mm (2 x 2 x 2 in.) were taken during construction of samples. The average compressive strength after 28 days was 32.3 MPa (4.69 kips/in.2) for the mortar used in the prisms and beams and 18.6 MPa (2.70 kips/in.2) for the mortar used in the columns. Similar to the concrete, the inplace strength of the mortar was affected by the absorption rate of the stone units. Reinforcement - Some of the column samples were reinforced using four 10-mm diameter (four 0.40-in. diameter) deformed bars as the main bars and diameter 6 mm (diameter 0.24 in.) as stirrups. The yield strength of the steel was 274.4 MPa (40 kips/in.2). The samples were constructed and the materials were selected to simulate the construction practice of concrete backed-stone masonry structures in the field. ACI Structural Journal I September-October 1989

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Fig. 1 - Prisms and beam test samples EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM This section gives a brief description of the test specimens and test procedure. A more detailed description is given in Ref.erences 1 and 2. Test specimens Fifteen prisms 50 cm (20 in.) wide, 100 cm (40 in.) high, and with variable thickness were tested. A sketch for the sample is shown in Fig. l(a). Nine of the prisms were built using hard stones and six using soft stones. Twelve samples were tested under axial compression load and three samples under eccentric load with different eccentricities. All prisms were four courses high, and the stones were laid in runing bond. The pertinent details of the prisms are listed in Table 1. Six beams were tested to measure the flexural strength (the modulus of rupture) of concrete-backed stone masonry. Three of the beams were made using hard stones and the other three using soft stones. The beams were simply supported and loaded at the middle third to have a constant moment zone, as shown in Fig. l(b). The details of tested beams are listed in Table 1. Twelve stone masonry columns were tested, six of them infilled with plain concrete and the other six infilled with reinforced concrete. The column samples had a cross section of 18 x 18 cm (7.1 x 7.1 in.) and a clear height of 88 cm (34.6 in.). Very hard stones were used in manufacturing the samples. The columns were seven courses high, the course height was 12 cm (4.7
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Table 1 P6

Prism and beam test specimens


mm mm stonesINot,ofWidth of e,mm mm 120 I0 220 300 30 200 170 samples t/1O 80 t/5 80 concrete, Width Hard3 of of SoftTotal 8I 80 250 width stone, Type Eccentricity

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mounted on both sides of the sample to compensate for any torsional effects. The load was transmitted from the loading machine to the specimen by a rigid steel beam. Fig. 4 shows one of the column samples ready for testing. The load was applied in increments until failure. After each increment, the readings of all the strain gages and dial gages were recorded. The cracks were checked, traced with a black felt-tipped pen, and identified with the load at which they formed .
PRISM TEST RESULTS

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in.), and provided with reinforced concrete caps as shown in Fig. 2 to apply the load eccentrically. The columns were tested under eccentric loads with different eccentricities. The details of these samples are listed in Table 2, and the details of the columns infilled with reinforced concrete are shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 3 shows one of the samples being manufactured.
Testing procedure

All the specimens were tested with static loading using a 60 ton (590 kN) capacity hydraulic testing machine. Dial gages were used to measure deflections; they were capable of measuring to the nearest 0.02 mm. Strains were measured using 300 ohm, 120 mm (4.72 in.) electrical resistance strain gages. Strain gages were 610

The test results are summarized in Table 3. The failure load for the axially loaded prisms represents the average load of three test samples. In all the samples, the first crack occurred at the interface between stones and the backing concrete. The mode of failure of the axially loaded prisms was splitting of the stones from the concrete along the height of the prism. For the eccentric prisms, the stones were stripped out of the concrete, but the load was still carried by the concrete. As the load was increased, crushing occurred for the backing concrete. The compressive stresses in the concrete and the stones were calculated when the stones were stripped out of the sample. The results obtained for the axially loaded prisms are shown in Table 3. It can be seen that these compressive stresses do not compare favorably with the compressive strength of the concrete or the stone units. This can be attributed to the weak bond between the concrete and the stones in such a type of construction. Also, it is clear that the higher the strength of the concrete, the higher the stresses in the concrete and in the stones at which failure occurs. The behavior of the prisms was linear elastic until bond failure occurred between the stones and concrete. This is because both materials, concrete and stones, have low stresses at failure. The conventional transformed section technique can be used to study the behavior of such members theoretically.
FLEXURAL STRENGTH TEST RESULTS

Flexural-type failure occurred in all the beams. For the beams with hard stones, the cracks followed the ACI Structural Journal I September-October 1989

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Column test samples


0 C7 40100Width 180 Total Clreinforcemente,of0 four mm120 coreWidth concrete, 00 C6mmmm75 ofI, 60 CIO 100mm C9 10-mm C4 180width mm C12 lO-mm dia. 20 C3 Cll stones, C5 Longitudinal C2 C8

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Test results for prisms Stone MPa 7load,mm stressstress HardatMPa Stone14.16 529.7.808 4.748 206.0Concrete 8.211 3 4.297 250.2.875 days kN1/5 e, MPa 588.6.550 426.71/10 2 7.132 5 at Concrete 520.0.305 344.30 Failure 40.3 1 MPa stones6.533 failure. Eccentricity Type strength, J",40.3 Age,8.211 strength of 3.198 failure,

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Table 3 compressive

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Note: 1 ksi = 0.145 MPa; 1 in. = 25.4 mm.

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1989

611

Fig.

5 - Failure of axially loaded columns


Fig. 7 - Failure of eccentrically loaded columns vertical and bed mortar joints at failure. However, for the beams with soft stones, the cracks started at the vertical mortar joint in the lower course and continued through the stones up to the upper course. The area of the stones was transformed into an equivalent area of concrete, and the moment of inertia for the transformed section was calculated. Then, the flexural strengthf,. (modulus of rupture) was calculated from the equation f,. = M cl IIr where M = the applied moment at failure; c = distance between neutral axis and bottom of the beam; and Itr = moment of inertia of the transformed section. The average flexural strength was 1.329 MPa (193 psi) for the Bl beams with hard stones and 0.635 MPa (92 psi) for the B2 beams with soft stones. It is clear that the flexural strength of the masonry beams increases as the strength of the stones increases.
COLUMN TEST RESULTS

Fig. 6 - Close-up of splitting cracks in axially loaded column 612

The failure modes for the axially loaded columns were tensile splitting, which initiated at the interface between the stones and the concrete in the core, as shown in Fig. 5. A close-up for the splitting cracks is shown in Fig. 6, and failures of eccentrically loaded columns are shown in Fig. 7. In the eccentrically loaded samples, cracks followed the horizontal mortar joint on the tension side near midheight, and crushing occurred at failure for the stone units on the compression side. ACI Structural Journal I September-October 1989

Table 4 C2

Test results for column samples


load. 75 stress 220.7252at 16.185 8.927 .350 strength days80.4024.525 426.735MPa26.585 Maximum MPa 242.78080 11.085 456.16580.4015.794 at Ic. stone 260.00060e,28.255 235.44090 12.065 198.650 3.335Maximum 29 80.40 14.320 28Eccentricity 30 compressive 113.8004.020 45.6157.848 96.5304.513 8.340 7.652 24.525 9.710 441.450120 failure. 31 mm0 15.700 StonekN100 MPaMPa failure. stress .455concrete strength.2.945 Age.Failure9.418
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Note: 1.0 ksi = 0.145 MPa; 1 in. = 25.4 mm; 1 kip = 4.448 kN.

The test results of the column samples are summarized in Table 4. The compressive stresses in the concrete and the stones were calculated at failure, and the results are shown in the table. Again here, it can be seen that these compressive stresses do not compare favorably with the compressive strength of the concrete or the stone units. And this is also attributed to the weak bond between the concrete and the stones. The behavior of the columns was linear until ultimate because of the low stresses in the concrete, the stones, and the steel at ultimate. Interaction diagrams for columns infilled with plain concrete and columns in filled with reinforced concrete were plotted in terms of axial load strengths as ordinates and moment strengths as abscissas. The diagrams are shown in Fig. 8. From these diagrams, it can be seen that the effect of the reinforcement on the strength of the samples was small. This was due to the position of the steel that was close to the neutral axis, which means that in proportioning the sections of stone masonry columns, rectangular sections should be used for eccentric loading, and the steel bars should be placed as far as possible from the neutral axis. CONCLUSIONS The experimental results obtained from this investigation indicate the following: 1. The interface of the stones with the concrete is the weakest point in the concrete-backed stone masonry members. The ultimate compressive stresses in the concrete and stones do not compare favorably with their compressive strengths; this is caused by the early bond failure that occurs in such a type of construction. Certain reinforcement details and construction requirements must be coded to improve the composite action between stones and concrete. 2. In this study, the existence of the steel bars in the cores of the stone columns infilled with concrete did not contribute to the ultimate strength of these members. This was due to the location of the steel in the cross section that was near the neutral axis. Therefore, it is recommended to have rectangular sections for such columns with steel bars placed as far as possible from
ACt Structural Journal

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I September-October 1989

the neutral axis. And, it is obvious also that stone columns in filled with plain concrete only should not be used as structural supporting columns in practice. 3. The modulus of rupture of concrete-backed stone masonry beams increases as the strength of the stones increases. After 7 days, the modulus of rupture for beams with hard stones was equal to 16 percent of the concrete compressive strength. For beams with soft stones, it was 8 percent of the concrete compressive strength. 4. Crack patterns in concrete-backed stone masonry prisms and beams differ according to the type of stones. For hard stones, cracks followed the bed and vertical joint, but for the soft stones, cracks started at the vertical joints and continued through the stones. 5. The method of construction followed in practice for concrete-backed stone masonry results in very low 613

strength concrete. This is because a high wlc is usually used to allow the concrete to flow and fill all the voids behind the stones and because concrete cannot be vibrated as required since this may cause the stones to be pushed away from their place. Based on the results obtained from this investigation, it is recommended to use different types of prefabricated metal connectors to serve as bonding elements between stones and concrete. Research is needed to find the allowable loads on different concrete-backed stone masonry members provided with these metal connectors. Otherwise, it is recommended to use concrete bearing walls and plaster on it instead, after hardening, with thin stones for decoration purposes only.

REFERENCES
1. Abdel-Karim, R. A., "Structural Evaluation of Concrete Backed Stone Masonry," Master thesis, Yarmouk University, Jordan, 1984. 2. Basoul, M. R., "Structural Evaluation of Stone Masonry Columns Infilled with Concrete," Master thesis, Yarmouk University, Jordan, 1987. 3. Hatzinikolas, M.; Longworth, J.; and Warwaruk, J., "Failure Modes for Eccentrically Loaded Concrete Block Masonry Walls," ACI JOURNAL, roceedings V. 77, No. 4, July-Aug. 1980, pp. 258P 263. 4. Khalaf, F. M.; Glanville, J. I.; and El Shahawi, M., "A Study of Flexure in Reinforced Masonry Beams," Concrete International: Design & Construction, V. 5, No. 6, July 1983, pp. 46-53. 5. Boult, B. F., "Concrete Masonry Prism Testing," ACI JOURNAL,Proceedings V. 76, No. 4, Apr. 1979, pp. 513-535. 6. Drysdale, Robert G., and Hamid, Ahmad A., "Behavior of Concrete Block Masonary Under Axial Compression," ACI JOURNAL,Proceedings V. 76, No.6, June 1979, pp. 707-721. 7. Fintel, Mark, and Annamalai, G., "Philosophy of Structural Integrity of Multistory Load-Bearing Concrete Masonry Structures," Concrete International: Design & Construction, V. I, No. 5, May 1979, pp. 27-35. 8. ACI Committee 531, "Proposed ACI Standard: Building Code Requirements for Concrete Masonry Structures," ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 75, No. 8, Aug. 1978, pp. 384-403. 9. ACI Committee 531, "Commentary on Building Code Requirements for Concrete Masonry Structures," ACI JOURNAL,Proceedings V. 75, No. 9, Sept. 1978, pp. 460-498.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The experimental work of this investigation was carried out in the Structural Laboratory of The Royal Scientific Society, Amman, Jordan. The financial support from the Deanship of Research, Jordan University of Science & Technology (JUST), is gratefully acknowledged.

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ACI Structural Journal I September-October 1989