Concrete block structural masonry beam shear design: theoretical and experimental analysis and recommendations to the Brazilian standards

  • Rafael D Pasquantonio UFSCar
  • Guilherme A Parsekian UFSCar
  • Jefferson S Camacho UNESP


Beams are subject a flexure and shear, with the last as the theme of this research.  The purpose of this paper is to analyze specifications for the shear design of concrete block structural masonry beams, based on an extensive literature review and experimental tests here reported. From this scope, specifications for revision of Brazilian standardization are suggested. In the theoretical part, literature review from both national and international researchers were considered and the specifications of Brazilian standards, in addition to North American, Australian, Canadian and European, ABNT NBR 15961-1/2011, ABNT NBR 6118/2014TMS 402/2016, AS3700/2001, CSA S304/2014 and EuroCode6.1/2001, respectively. To analyze and validate the specifications of the literature, an experimental program was carried out assessing ten concrete block masonry beams results tested mainly to shear loads. Two-course high beams with three vertical load positions (position a/d) and two transverse reinforcement rates were tested. The specifications from the Brazilian and European standards led to considerably higher results than the experimental results, while those presented in the standards TMS 402/2016, AS3700/2001, CSA S304/2014 and NBR6118/2014 lead to results close to those obtained experimentally. As a conclusion, it can be noted that the rupture pattern is similar to that expected for reinforced concrete beams, the cracks were conditioned by the position of the loading point and by the mortar joints positions, the increase in the transverse reinforcement ratio led to an increase in the shear force. Results indicate that the consideration of apparent increase in shear strength by the ratio M⁄(V∙d) is not consistent. Eliminating this recommendation, considering the masonry shear strength equal to 0.35 MPa, limiting the stirrups tension to 0.90 of  and considering the contribution of the longitudinal reinforcement, it was possible to estimate the shear value at the rupture of each beam between 73% to 106% of the values verified in the tests.

Author Biographies

Rafael D Pasquantonio, UFSCar
Aluno de Doutorado
Guilherme A Parsekian, UFSCar
Professor Associado
Jefferson S Camacho, UNESP
Professor Titular