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Nonlinear finite element analysis of grouted and ungrouted hollow
interlocking mortarless block masonry system
Waleed A. Thanoon a,∗ , Ahmed H. Alwathaf b , Jamaloddin Noorzaei c , Mohd. Saleh Jaafar c ,
Mohd. Razali Abdulkadir c
a College of Engineering and Architecture, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, Oman
b Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemen
c Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM-Serdang, Malaysia

Received 1 November 2006; received in revised form 23 October 2007; accepted 26 October 2007

Abstract

The main feature of the interlocking hollow block masonry is the replacement of mortar layers commonly used in bonded masonry with
interlocking keys (protrusions and grooves). This study covers the modelling and the analysis of interlocking mortarless ungrouted (hollow) and
grouted concrete block system subjected to axial compression loads using FEM. The main features simulated in the developed finite element code
are the mechanical characteristics of the interlocking dry joints including the geometric imperfection of the shell beds of the blocks, the interaction
between block units, the progressive debonding between the block and grout and material nonlinearity. The applicability of the proposed FE model
is investigated by demonstrating the nonlinear structural response and failure mechanism of individual block, ungrouted and grouted interlocking
mortarless prisms. The results found show good agreement with the experimental test results.
c 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Finite element method; Nonlinear analysis; Constitutive relations; Interlocking masonry block; Modelling of dry joint; Geometric imperfection;
Block–grout bond

1. Introduction Interlocking mortarless load bearing hollow block system
is different from conventional mortared masonry systems in
Numerous analytical models have been developed to which the mortar layers are eliminated and instead the block
simulate the behaviour of different types of structural masonry units are interconnected through interlocking protrusions and
systems using Finite element technique. Two main approaches grooves [8,9]. It was experimentally found that the behaviour of
have been employed in the masonry modelling depending on
this system is highly affected by the behaviour of the mortarless
the type of the problem and the level of accuracy. The macro-
(dry) joint in both elastic and inelastic stages of loading. The
modelling approach intentionally makes no distinction between
geometric imperfection of the block bed is an important factor
units and joints but smears the effect of joints presence through
influences the structural behaviour of the mortarless masonry
the formulation of a fictitious homogeneous and continuous
system [11,12]. Hence, the modelling of mortarless joint plays
material equivalent to the actual one which is discrete and
a significant role in the overall simulation of the system.
composite [1–3]. The alternative micro-modelling approach
analyzes the masonry material as a discontinuous assembly of Moreover, in order to accurately estimate the system strength
blocks, connected to each other by joints at their actual position, and failure mechanism, it is necessary to have proper model for
the latter being simulated by appropriate constitutive models of the stress–strain behaviour of its different masonry materials in
interface [4–6]. An extensive critical review for the analytical a micro-model framework.
models of different masonry system can be found in Ref. [7]. The complex interaction between block units, dry joint and
grouting material (if any) has to be well understood under
∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +968 25466401; fax: +968 25443629. different stages of loading; i.e. elastic, inelastic and failure.
E-mail address: w.thanone@unizwa.edu.om (W.A. Thanoon). For interlocking mortarless masonry system, very limited

c 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
0141-0296/$ - see front matter
doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.10.014

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Notations
f c0 , σo Uniaxial compressive strength of the material
(block unit or grout)
εo Uniaxial strain corresponding to the ultimate
strength, f c0 .
σ1 p & σ2 p Tensile and compressive stress respectively
f t0 Tensile strength of block or grout
Eo Initial tangent modulus of elasticity
f eq Equivalent tensile strength

FE analyses have been reported in the literature [13,14].
The existing FE analyses are simplified and hence show
inaccurate prediction for the structural response of the masonry Fig. 1. Putra interlocking block units [9].
system compared to actual behaviour of the system found
hollow voids in the wall that allow the casting of reinforced
experimentally. Furthermore, the existing models ignore the
concrete (grout) stiffeners in vertical and horizontal directions
interaction between masonry block units, mortarless joint
to enhance stability and integrity of the wall. The structural
and grout as well as are incapable of simulating the failure
mechanism of the masonry system. behaviour of full scale mortarless interlocking walls subjected
In this study, a finite element model is proposed and to eccentric compressive loads was investigated experimentally
an incremental-iterative program is developed to predict by Thanoon et al. [15].
the behaviour and failure mechanism of the system under Previous studies on hollow block masonry under compres-
compression load. The nonlinear progressive contact behaviour sion showed that the differences in ultimate strength using 2D
(closing-up) of dry joint that takes into account the geometric (plane stress and plane strain) and 3D FE analysis were not
imperfection of the block bed interfaces is included based on more than 5% [4,16]. The accuracy can be increased if the FE
the experiment testing data. The developed contact relations for mesh is used in the critical section where the failure is initiated.
dry joint within specified bounds can be used for any mortarless Also using 3D discretization involves high computational cost.
masonry system efficiently with less computational effort. The Therefore, plane stress 2D continuum is adopted in this study.
bond between block and grout is considered to simulate the Fig. 2 shows the hollow and grouted prisms modelled using
debonding and slipping of the block–grout interface. Eight-nodded isoparametric element to simulate the masonry
Furthermore, the stress–strain behaviour of masonry blocks constituents and three-nodded isoparametric interface element
and grout materials under compression for uniaxial and of zero thickness located between material elements to model
biaxial stress state was modelled. Material nonlinearity in the interface characteristics of the dry joint and bond between
the compressive stress field is considered for the masonry block and grout. In hollow prism, the cross webs of the unit
constituents (block and grout) in the orthogonal directions and are not in contact because the webs are not aligned vertically
the effect of micro-cracking confinement and softening on the in successive courses. Hence, there is no element representing
stress–strain relationship under biaxial stresses are included the webs between joint elements in FE modelling. However, in
employing the equivalent uniaxial strain concept. The model the grouted prism, different elements thicknesses were used to
allows for the progressive local failure of the masonry materials model the grout and block web.
(crushing and cracking). After cracking, a smeared crack model
is adopted and the compressive strength reduction in the 2. Modelling of mortarless joint
cracked block is considered. Both material and joint models
are proposed based on the comprehensive experimental tests The authors have investigated the characteristics of
carried out by the authors and published elsewhere [11,12] mortarless joints experimentally [11,12]. The experimental
The interlocking block system investigated in this study is tests focus on the contact behaviour in mortarless joints
called Putra Block. It is a load bearing block system consisting due to geometric imperfection of the block beds. The tests
of three types of blocks namely the stretcher block, corner were performed on small wall panels and the deformation
block and half block as shown in Fig. 1. The blocks were characteristic of the interlocking dry joint at different locations
developed at Universiti Putra Malaysia [9,10]. The stretcher along the wall was investigated considering different sources
block is the main unit used in the construction of the wall; of block bed imperfection [11]. Modified triplet tests on
the corner block unit is used to fit the junctions and at the mortarless interlocking panels with different levels of axial
end of the walls while the half block unit is to be used to compression were carried out to evolve the deformation and
complete the courses of the wall so that the vertical joint will shear strength characteristics of the system at the joint interface.
be staggered. The interlocking mechanism of the block relies on Failure criterion and stiffness of the interlocked bed joints under
the insertion of the protrusions of the block to that of the next combined normal-shear load was proposed [12]. Figs. 3 and 4
course. In addition, the assembled blocks provide continuous show the joint response under axial compression load and shear
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(a) Hollow prism. (b) Grouted prism. (c) Different types of finite elements.

Fig. 2. Ungrouted and grouted prisms and elements used in FE analysis.

measured at dry joints at different location along the wall joint,
the average deformation of all specified joints in a wall yields
similar deformation [11]. Hence, Eq. (1) yields an average
compressive stress on the contacted area of the dry joint for
a family curves obtained at different location along the dry
joint in the tested specimen. These variations in closing-up
behaviour are due to block bed irregularity and variation of
the blocks height. The constants a, b, and c were evaluated
using nonlinear regression analysis. Although the modelling of
dry joint (geometric imperfection) of the block bed interfaces
under compressive load is based on the experimental data
obtained by testing interlocking Putra Block system, it might
also be applicable to any other dry stack block system. Only
Fig. 3. Close-up deformation versus the compressive stress of dry joint [11]. the constants (a, b and c) need to be evaluated experimentally
for other mortarless block systems.
Fig. 5 showed the failure criteria and shear-slip model of
the joint under combined shear-normal forces. These models
were available in the developed computer code in order to
investigate the structural response of the interlocking system
under eccentric/shear load. However, this study is limited to
investigate the behaviour of the joint under concentric axial
compressive load in which the contact behaviour of the joint
is more dominant and will be discussed in more detail.
The normal tangent stiffness of the joint, kn , developed by
differentiating of Eq. (1) as follows:

kn = AdnB + c (2)

Fig. 4. Shear slip under different precompressive stresses in dry joint [12]. where A = a.b and B = b − 1. At zero deformation (at the
origin) kn = kni = c, where kni is the initial normal stiffness
load respectively [11,12]. The load–deformations relations that and Eq. (2) can be written as
required in the FE modelling of the joint is derived based on
these experimental results. kn = kni + AdnB . (3)
The proposed mathematical model that can describe the The relative displacement between the corresponding two
nonlinear compressive stress in terms of the joint closure is: points lying on the opposite faces of the continuum elements
(Fig. 1) can be expressed as:
σn = adnb + cdn (1)
{d} = [B] j {δ} (4)
where
σn normal compressive stress (N/mm2 ) where
dn close-up deformation (mm) {d} relative displacement vector at a point (tangential (ds )
a, b, c constants determined from data analysis of the test and normal (dn ) displacement, i.e. shear slip and close-up
results. displacement).
Fig. 3 shows the upper and lower bounds of Eq. (1). [B] j strain–displacement matrix of the zero thickness
Although high variation in close-up deformations was interface element.
Please cite this article in press as: Thanoon WA, et al. Nonlinear finite element analysis of grouted and ungrouted hollow interlocking mortarless block masonry
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Fig. 5. Shear strength envelope and shear load–slip model of dry joint [12].

{δ} nodal displacement of the top and bottom nodes of the
interface.
The stress–deformation constitutive relation for the dry joint
is expressed as in the standard form:
{σ } = [D j ]{d}
or
τs 
   
k 0 ds
= s (5)
σn 0 kn dn
where
kn normal tangent stiffness of the joint determined from
Eq. (3).
ks elastic shear stiffness (estimated from shear load–slip
curves of the bed joints from the shear test [12], =103 N/mm3 ). Fig. 6. Comparison of test data and the best fit relation.
ds , dn relative shear and normal movement of the contacted
interfaces. test data [27] of the block and grout materials as well as the
The dry joint is assumed to lose all its stiffness when σn suggested best fit curve. A comparison with the well-known
reaches the masonry block compressive strength ( f c0 ). formula suggested by Saenz [18], which is commonly used for
the simulation of compressive stress–strain curves of masonry
3. Masonry materials modelling and concrete under uniaxial stress state [2,19], is also shown in
the same figure.
3.1. Stress–strain relation To include the biaxial stresses effect on the uniaxial
stress–strain relation given by Eq. (6), the procedure in
The experimental data of stress–strain tests at different load
Ref. [27] was used and is summarized below.
level were used to model the stress–strain behaviour of masonry
block and grout materials [27]. The stress–strain relation under Rewriting Eq. (1) in terms of equivalent uniaxial strain, we
uniaxial compression load is: obtain (for i = 1, 2):

p(ε/εo )σo p(εiu /εi p )σi p
σ = σi = (7)
p − 1 + (ε/εo ) p
(6) p − 1 + (εiu /εi p ) p

where, where
σ , ε instantaneous values of the stress and the strain σi p maximum (peak) compressive principal stress in
respectively direction i
σo , εo the ultimate stress (peak) and the corresponding strain εi p equivalent uniaxial strain corresponding to maximum
respectively (peak) compressive principle stress σi p
p material parameter constant depends on the shape of the εiu the equivalent uniaxial strain.
stress–strain diagrams. The equivalent uniaxial strain εiu eliminates Poisson’s
The material parameter ( p) was calculated in Ref. [17] based effect; whereas the strengthening due to the micro-cracking
on the initial tangent modulus. To avoid the inaccuracy in confinement in biaxial compression stress and softening in
calculating the initial tangent modulus, in this study, nonlinear compression–tension stress fields are incorporated in σi p and
regression analysis was used for more accurate evaluation of εi p respectively [20–22]. Thus a single relation (Eq. (7)) can
the material parameter ( p). Fig. 6 shows the experimental represent infinite variety of monotonic biaxial loading curves.
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Table 1
Failure criterion under different stress states
Stress state Criteria
Compression–compression K c1 = 1 + 0.92(σ2 / f c0 ) − 0.76(σ2 / f c0 )2
state (Viccho [23]) K c2 = 1 + 0.92(σ1 / f c0 ) − 0.76(σ1 / f c0 )2
σ1 p = K c1 f c0 ε1 p = K c1 εo
σ2 p = K c2 f c0 ε2 p = K c2 εo
p
Tension–compression σ1 p = f eq = 1 − (σ2 / f c0 )2 f t0
(Cerioni et al. [2]) σ2 p = σ1 p /α ≤ 0.65 f c0
ε1 p = σ1 p /E o
ε2 p = εo [−1.6q 3 + 2.25q 2 + 0.35q]
q = σ2 p / f c0
Fig. 7. Stress–Strain curves of masonry material for different biaxial stress Tension–tension (Kupfer σ1 p = f t0 ≥ σ2 p
ratio. et al. [24]) ε1 p = f t0 /E c ≥ ε2 p = σ2 p /E o

An incremental relationship is assumed between strains
and stresses, which in differential form and in the principal
directions can be written for undamaged masonry (see Box I).
The tangent moduli of elasticity, E 1 and E 2 , along the
principle stress directions are evaluated in the compressive field
from a nonlinear equivalent uniaxial stress–strain relation based
on Eq. (8) and from linear relation in the tensile field as shown
in Fig. 7.
After cracking, the tangential elasticity modulus and
Poisson’s ratio are reduced to zero in the direction
perpendicular to the crack direction. Instead of zeros, very
small values are substituted in the program to avoid singularity
in stiffens matrices. The masonry along cracks is still
resisting compressive stress after cracking. It was found that
Fig. 8. Masonry envelope for different stress states. the compressive strength of concrete after cracking can be
significantly reduced by the tensile strain in the transverse
The tangent moduli, E 1t and E 2t for a given principal stress direction [25,26]. To account for this effect, the following
directions are found as the slopes of the σ1 versus ε1u and the formula is adopted to obtain σ2 p after cracking:
σ2 versus ε2u curves for the current ε1u and ε2u as follows:
σ2 p 1
= ≤ 1.0 (9)
p E s p − 1 + (εiu /εi p ) p − p(εiu /εi p ) p 0.8 + 0.34(ε1 /εo )
 
fc0
E it = 2 (8)
p − 1 + (εiu /εi p ) p where εo is the compressive strain relative to the uniaxial


compressive strength, f c0 , and ε1 is the tensile strain normal to
where
the crack direction.
E s , the secant modulus at the peak (maximum stress)
σi p /εi p . 3.3. Modelling of block–grout interface
Fig. 7 depicts the equivalent uniaxial stress–strain curves
for masonry element loaded with different biaxial stress ratio, The significant parameters that govern the bond between the
α, (α = σ1/ σ2 ) in the compression and tension fields. In the block and grouts are the tensile bond strength and shear bond
tension field, the relation is linear and the slope is equal to strength of the interface. Debonding (separation) occurs when
the initial tangent modulus (E o ) at the origin. The strength is the normal force across the interface is tensile and its value
reduced when α < 0.0 whereas for α > 0.0, the strength is exceeds the tensile bond strength (σt 0 ). This means that the
enhanced due to micro-cracking confinement. The maximum nodes located at both sides of the interfaces (Fig. 1) are free
stress (peak), σi p , and the corresponding strain εi p will be found to move separately.
from the biaxial failure criteria. Shear failure is initiated along the block–grout interface
when the shear stress is more than or equal to the shear strength
(τu ) that shown in Fig. 9. The envelope in this figure is divided
3.2. Failure criteria
into three regions depending on the value of the normal stress
σn (tension is positive) and given by the following equations:
The proposed failure envelope implements the biaxial
strength envelope shown in Fig. 8 for all stress states and for σn ≥ σt 0 τu = 0.0 (10a)
summarized in Table 1 [28]. for σt 0 > σn ≥ 0.0 τu = |τo | − (|τo |/σt 0 )σn (10b)
Please cite this article in press as: Thanoon WA, et al. Nonlinear finite element analysis of grouted and ungrouted hollow interlocking mortarless block masonry
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{dσ } = [Dc ]{dε}
 p 
ν E1 E2
  
 dσ1  E1 0 dε1 
1  p 
dσ2 = ν E 1 E 2 E2 0  dε2

 1 − ν2 p
dτ12 0.25(E 1 + E 2 − 2ν E 1 E 2 ) dγ12
  
0 0

where v = v1 v2 and v1 = v2 = 0.2

Box I.

Table 2
Masonry block properties

Type Eo f c0 εo Material f t0 εcr
of (N/mm2 ) (N/mm2 ) parameter, (N/mm2 )
material p
Block 10 932 −22.0 −0.0023 8 1.98 0.000181
Grout 9 562.5 −20.4 −0.0028 4.2 2.03 0.000212

Table 3
Dry joint element properties (JE)

Joint kni (N/mm3 ) ks (N/mm3 ) Coeff. A Coeff. B
1&4 5.0 103 14 004.20 3.28
2&3 5.0 103 984.90 6.46

Fig. 9. shear strength envelope of block–grout interface. Table 4
Block–grout interface element properties (BE)

for σn ≤ 0.0 τu = |τo | − µσn (10c) kn (N/mm3 ) ks (N/mm3 ) M τo (N/mm2 ) σt 0 (N/mm2 )
1010 1010 0.6 0.3a 0.36b
where
σt 0 tensile bond strength on the interface (N/mm2 ) a Ref. [16].
b Ref. [4].
τu shear strength (mm)
τo shear bond on the interface or cohesion strength (shear The results of FE analysis were compared with those
strength at zero normal stress) (N/mm2 ) found experimentally; a unit block [27], interlocking mortarless
µ friction coefficient of the interface. ungrouted and grouted prisms [11]. All the properties of the
The stress–deformation relation of the block–grout interface block and grout as well as dry joint and block–grout bond
is governed by the constitutive relation in Eq. (4). In this case, interfaces are shown in Tables 2–4.
the interface is assumed to lose the shear stiffness when the
shear stress is more than the shear strength defined by the 4.1. Block unit
Eq. (10). The interface is assumed to lose all its stiffness
when σn reaches the compressive strength ( f c0 ) of the weaker The compressive stress versus axial strain of the finite
material (block or grout). Moreover, when the normal stress, element model and the results of the block unit tested under
σn , is tension and more than tensile bond strength (σt 0 ) the axial compression are compared in Fig. 11. Experimentally,
interface will lose all its stiffness at that point. In the undamaged under axial compression, block specimen shows conical shear-
block–grout interface, high values (1010 N/mm3 ) are assigned compression type of failure at the face-shell of the block unit as
to ks and kn to diminish relative displacement before the shown in Fig. 12(a). This mode of failure is well predicted by
interface failure. the FE model as shown in Fig. 12(b), which shows the crushed
area bounded by dotted lines. The close matching between the
4. Finite element analysis experimental and theoretical analysis indicates that the adopted
masonry material modelling and failure criteria are capable of
Incremental-iterative finite element program has been predicting both the nonlinear stress–strain response and the
developed to implement the proposed mortarless masonry failure mode of the masonry.
model. Nonlinear analysis is started from the beginning of the
load application because of the nonlinearity characteristic of the 4.2. Ungrouted (hollow) prism
joint contact behaviour. Fig. 10 shows the adopted calculation
to predict the complete nonlinear response of the masonry Fig. 13(a) shows a half of the three courses height prism
system for ith iteration for any incremental load. that used in the analysis. 2D finite element discretization of
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Fig. 10. Nonlinear solution procedure.

thicknesses. The compressive load was applied incrementally
and the boundary condition at the top and bottom of the prism
were simulated as reported in the experimental test [11].
Fig. 14(a) shows the deformed mesh of the prism and
Fig. 14(b) shows the average axial deformation of the gauge
length between the Demec Points located as shown in the
same figure on both prism sides. The results obtained from the
program and the test results [11] are shown together in this
figure for comparison purposes. A good agreement between
the program results and the experimental work is distinguished.
It can be shown that the dry joints affect predominantly
the hollow prism deformation especially at the lower and
middle load levels (45% of the ultimate load). This behaviour
Fig. 11. Stress–strain curves of block unit. is due to the nonlinear gradual closure of the contacted
interfaces (or seating) of the dry bed joints. Beyond this
the prism in x–y plane is adopted as shown in Fig. 13(b). load, the joints will be mostly in maximum contact condition
The web and face-shell elements are modelled with different and the prism deformation is affected by the masonry block
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(a) Block crushing from the test [26]. (b) FE model crushing.

Fig. 12. Mode of failure of block unit.

(a) Half of hollow prism. (b) Finite element mesh.

Fig. 13. Hollow prism and FE mesh.

(a) Deformed mesh. (b) Axial deformation versus compressive load.

Fig. 14. Mode of deformation of hollow prism.

shortening only; till the sudden failure of the specimen. The (11.2 N/mm2 from the test), which is 15.0% higher than the
compressive strength provided by the FE model is 13.2 N/mm2 average strength of the tested prisms.
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(a) Maximum principal stress, S1. (b) Minimum principal stress, S2.

Fig. 15. Principal stresses distribution of hollow prism.

Maximum and Minimum principal stresses (S1, S2)
obtained by the FE analysis at a compressive load of 48
kN (average compressive stress is 2.0 N/mm2 ) are shown
in Fig. 15(a) and (b) respectively. The small unsymmetrical
distribution of the stresses in the prism is due to the block bed
imperfection. As predicted by the program, high tensile stress
is induced in the webs as shown in Fig. 15(a) and compressive
stress is higher at the face-shell as shown in Fig. 15(b).
Cracks initiate when the principal tensile stress reaches
the equivalent tensile strength. Fig. 16(a) shows the predicted
cracks pattern near the failure and Fig. 16(b) shows the
observed cracks in the experimental test [11]. A single line in
Fig. 16(a) means single crack and two cross lines means double
cracks in the orthogonal directions which occurred at different
loading stages. As can be seen, a relatively good agreement
between the FE mode results and the experimental test.
(a) FE model result. (b) Test result [10].
4.3. Grouted prism Fig. 16. Cracks pattern in hollow prism.

The FE mesh of the grouted prism was constructed as in the
hollow prism with additional bond element located between The deformed mesh and the axial deformation are shown in
the block unit and the grouted core as shown in Fig. 17. Fig. 18(a) and (b) respectively. The results of grouted prism
Bond element (BE) properties of the block–grout interface are shows different mode of deformation compared to ungrouted
available in Table 4. An equivalent thickness for the grout and prism. Unlike the hollow prism, the high initial deformation
block web is calculated to take into consideration the difference at the lower load levels is not exists in the grouted prism due
in the material properties of the web block and grout in the to grout which eliminates the effect of joint seating observed
middle region of the prism. The calculated equivalent thickness in hollow prism. However noticeable deformation occurs at
is based on the ratio of the modulus of elasticity of block and the higher load levels, mainly, because of the progressive
grout. failure of the bond between block and grout. FE results as
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(a) Half of grouted prism. (b) Finite element mesh.

Fig. 17. Grouted prism and FE mesh.

(a) FE deformed mesh. (b) Axial deformation versus compressive load.

Fig. 18. Mode of deformation of grouted prism.

well as experimental results show linear variation of load with the block face-shell from the grouted core is nearly similar
deformation within the elastic range of loading, followed by to the observed failure in the experimental test as shown in
nonlinear style of relation reflecting the degradation of stiffness Fig. 19. The compressive strength predicted by the model is
due to the nonlinearity of material and gradual debonding of 12.5 N/mm2 (11.5 N/mm2 from test) which is 8.0% higher
block–grout interface. than the average strength of the tested prism (deformation
The importance of using bond element in the block–grout reading was stopped at stress of 9.36 N/mm2 ).
interface can be recognized from the finite element analysis The variation of the stress distribution in the grouted prism
results with and without bond element as shown in Fig. 18(b). is relatively less compared to the hollow prism as shown in
In the analysis results without bond element, premature failure the principal stresses (S1, S2) counter in Fig. 20 which plotted
in the grouted core occurred because the grout compressive at a compressive load of 69.0 kN (average compressive stress
strength is lower than the block and the program stopped is 2.0 N/mm2 ). In terms of load, the grouted prism carried
at 181.7 kN which equal to average compressive stress of higher load compared to ungrouted prism. However, as the
5.3 N/mm2 . However, the results with bond element show that cross sectional area of the grouted prism is higher than the
the prism sustains load more than that observed in ignoring the ungrouted prism, the stresses becomes lower. Furthermore, the
bond element because part of the load was allocated to break the full capacity of grout strength was not achieved due to the
block–grout interface bond and thus gradual debonding occurs web-shell splitting failure. This phenomenon was also observed
before the overall collapse. The predicted debonding failure of in experimental testing [15]. It is attributed to the similar
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(a) FE model result. (b) Test results [10].

Fig. 19. Block–grout debonding of grouted prism.

(a) Maximum principal stress, S1. (b) Minimum principal stress, S2.

Fig. 20. Principal stresses distribution of grouted prism.

failure modes observed in grouted and hollow prisms. The of the grout which is confined by the web-shell faces of the
axial compressive load in the grout produces bilateral expansion block. This in turn will create additional tensile stresses at the
Please cite this article in press as: Thanoon WA, et al. Nonlinear finite element analysis of grouted and ungrouted hollow interlocking mortarless block masonry
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Please cite this article in press as: Thanoon WA, et al. Nonlinear finite element analysis of grouted and ungrouted hollow interlocking mortarless block masonry
system. Engineering Structures (2007), doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.10.014