Manufacturing, assembly, and testing of scaled, historic masonry for one-gravity, pseudo-static, soil-structure experiments

Debra F. Laefer, Linh Truong Hong, Aykut Erkal, James H. Long, Edward J. Cording

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In many model-scale experiments, geometric scaling is upheld but kinematic and/or dynamic similitude is not because of the difficulty in manufacturing and assembling small models. This paper describes scaling, manufacturing, assembly, and testing of 1/10th scaled historic masonry materials for one-gravity, pseudo-static, soil-structure testing. Prototype selection, manufacturing limitations, constructability constraints, and testing decisions are presented, alongside details related to model construction. Compressive, tensile, and shear capacities of one-tenth scale prototype values, as well as failure mechanisms, were achieved by adopting traditional brick extrusion and firing methods, in conjunction with modifying mortar products developed for historic restoration. When scaled-masonry structures were subjected to adjacent excavation, resulting displacement and damage patterns were consistent with full-scale, field observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4362-4373
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • Adjacent excavation
  • Conservation
  • Cracks
  • Historic brick masonry
  • Manufacturing
  • Mortar
  • Preservation
  • Sand
  • Scaling
  • Soil-structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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