Seismic Performance of Heritage Clay Brick and Lime Mortar Masonry Structures

Ahmed Y. Elghazouli, Dan V. Bompa, Sherif A. Mourad, Ahmed Elyamani

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper summarizes recent investigations into the structural and material response of ambient-dry and wet clay-brick and lime-mortar masonry elements, with focus on those used in heritage structures in Historic Cairo. In addition to cyclic tests on large-scale masonry walls subjected to lateral displacement and compressive gravity loads, the studies included complementary tests on small scale masonry panels and material specimens. It is shown that moisture can have a notable effect on the main material properties, including the shear and compression strengths, brick-mortar interaction parameters, and the elastic and shear moduli. The extent of the moisture effects is a function of the governing behaviour and material characteristics as well as the interaction between shear and precompression stresses and can lead to a loss of more than a third of the stiffness and strength in addition to a reduction in ductility. Simple and cost-effective strengthening techniques, using textile-reinforced mortars, for enhancing the lateral performance of low-strength heritage masonry element, are also considered in this study. The effectiveness of the strengthening approach is illustrated and quantified through additional tests on the small-scale panels and large-scale wall specimens. It is shown that simple analytical assessment methods can be reliably adapted for predicting the response of the wall specimens, in terms of the lateral stiffness, strength and overall load-deformation behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Earth and Environmental Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Earth and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print)2524-342X
ISSN (Electronic)2524-3438


  • Clay bricks
  • Heritage masonry walls
  • Lateral loading
  • Lime mortar
  • Textile-reinforced mortars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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