Materials and Structures

, 50:70 | Cite as

Experimental performance of reinforced double H-block masonry shear walls under cyclic loading

  • Gao Ma
  • Liang Huang
  • Libo Yan
  • Bohumil Kasal
  • Liang Chen
  • Chengzhi Tao
Original Article


Ordinary reinforced concrete block masonry shear walls have some shortcomings such as abrupt change in the grout core cross section and permeation of grout concrete resulting in reduced integrity and seismic performance of masonry structure. To overcome these issues, the authors used a special type of core-aligned block (termed as double H-block) to construct shear wall, and the seismic performance of double H-block reinforced masonry shear walls was investigated by lateral cyclic loading test. Two large-sized double H-block reinforced masonry shear walls were designed and fabricated. Two axial compression ratios and two grout ratios were considered. The failure pattern, shear strength, hysteretic energy, and ductility capacity of the walls were analyzed. The test results showed that the double H-block masonry shear wall constructed in running bond exhibited integrity, high ductility and energy dissipation capacity. The bearing capacity of H-block shear walls decreased with the reduction of axial compression ratio, while the ductility increased. A model was also proposed to predict the shear strength of the grouted double H-block based on mechanical analysis of the internally grouted concrete. The accuracy of the model was verified through 30 H-block specimens under shear tests and it was found the grout ratio had a significant effect on the shear strength of the grouted double H-block. The model proposed by the Chinese masonry code was over-conservative when the grout ratio was high. Finally, a modified shear capacity model was proposed and was found to be effective to predict the shear capacity of double H-block reinforced masonry shear wall.


Masonry shear wall Seismic behavior Cyclic test Failure mode 



Section area of the horizontal reinforcement rebar


Factor considering the dowel action of the longitudinal reinforcement


Factor considering the shear span ratio

\(F_{i,\hbox{max} }^{ + } ,\,F_{i,\hbox{max} }^{ - }\)

The peak load in the push and pull direction loaded at the ith multiple of the crack displacement, respectively


The lateral peak capacity of the shear walls

\(K_{{_{{{\text{eff,}}i}} }}^{ + } ,\,K_{{_{{{\text{eff,}}i}} }}^{ - }\)

The lateral stiffness of the shear wall along the push and pull loading direction at the ith multiple of the crack displacement, respectively


Compression load applied on the top of the shear wall

\(V_{\text{c,new}} ,\,V_{\text{c,CN}} ,\,V_{\text{c,NZ}}\)

The calculated shear capacities of the shear wall, with the shear strength of the grouted concrete block masonry calculated using the new shear strength model proposed in this paper, the code suggested model of China and the code model of New Zealand, respectively

\(V_{\exp }\)

Shear capacity of the shear wall obtained from the cyclic tests

\(V_{\text{m}} ,\,V_{\text{N}} ,\,V_{\text{s}}\)

The contribution of grouted masonry, compression load, hozizontal reinforcement rebar to the shear capacity of shear wall, respectively

\(X_{i}^{ + } ,\,X_{i}^{ - }\)

The displacement corresponding to \(F_{i,\hbox{max} }^{ + }\) and \(F_{i,\hbox{max} }^{ - }\), respectively


Thickness of the shear wall


Compressive strength of the brick


Axial compressive strength of concrete prism


Mean compressive strength of concrete masonry unit


Compressive strength of concrete prism under biaxial stress state


Mean compressive strength of grout concrete


Cubic compressive strength of the grouted concrete


Compressive strength of the grouted concrete block masonry


Compressive strength of mortar


Compressive strength of the ungrouted concrete block masonry


Mean masonry compressive strength based on the code of New Zealand


Tensile strength of the concrete


Shear strength of concrete


Shear strength of grouted concrete block masonry


Tensile strength of the horizontal reinforcement rebar


Effective height of the transverse section of the shear wall


Space between the adjacent horizontal reinforcement rebar along the vertical direction


Shear strength of grouted masonry


Ratio of the grout concrete section area to gross block section area


Ratio of net area to gross area of masonry unit


Yielding displacement of shear wall


Ultimate displacement of shear wall


Block hole ratio, referring to the ratio of the hole section area to the gross block section area


The angle formed between the wall axis and the strut from the point of axial load application to the center of the flexural compression zone


Shear span ratio of the shear wall

\(\mu_{\Delta }\)

Ductility ratio, calculated by \({{\Delta_{\text{u}} } \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {{\Delta_{\text{u}} } {\Delta_{\text{y}} }}} \right. \kern-0pt} {\Delta_{\text{y}} }}\)


Grout ratio, referring to the ratio of the grout concrete section area to the hole section area

\(\sigma_{1} ,\,\sigma_{2}\)

Principal compressive stress of the concrete



This research was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51378193 and 51408211), the Science and Technology Plan of Changsha, China (Grant Nos. CSCG-HNTF-GK20130576), the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province, China (Grant Nos. 2015JJ3032), the Open Fund of Hunan Province Engineering Laboratory of Bridge Structure (Changsha University of Science & Technology, Grant Nos. 14KD02), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities through the Project of Young Teacher Growth of Hunan University (Grant No. 531107040799).


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gao Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liang Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Libo Yan
    • 3
    • 4
  • Bohumil Kasal
    • 3
    • 4
  • Liang Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chengzhi Tao
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Civil EngineeringHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Hunan Provincial Key Lab on Damage Diagnosis for Engineering Structures (Hunan University)HunanChina
  3. 3.Centre for Light and Environmentally-Friendly StructuresFraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKIBrunswickGermany
  4. 4.Department of Organic and Wood-Based Construction MaterialsTechnical University of BraunschweigBrunswickGermany

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