Experimental assessment of adobe masonry assemblages under monotonic and loading–unloading compression

Rogiros Illampas, Ioannis Ioannou, Dimos C. Charmpis

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This paper investigates experimentally the response of adobe masonry assemblages to monotonic and loading–unloading compression. Specimens with variable composition and construction patterns are examined following different drying/curing ages. The aforementioned parameters are shown to affect the mode of failure, as well as the load-bearing and deformation capacities of the specimens under study. The results show that the stress–strain response of adobe masonry under compression is highly non-linear and is governed by progressive densification due to compaction and consolidation induced by increasing loading. The values of compressive strength, elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio obtained from the tests are compared against corresponding data from the literature and predictions yielded by empirical/analytical relations. This comparison confirms that certain models can adequately approximate adobe masonry’s load-bearing capacity. Such models may be used in future research aiming at improved adobe testing and earth masonry design codes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Adobe masonry
  • Compressive strength
  • Curing/drying period
  • Elastic modulus
  • Failure mode
  • Nonlinear stress–strain response


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