Nondestructive Evaluation and Testing of Masonry

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Presenter: Michael Schuller
Date Presented: December 14, 2017

Nondestructive evaluation methods are valuable approaches for evaluating conditions of existing masonry construction without causing damage. Masonry strength can also be measured in place using in situ test methods, without resorting to destructive sample removal for laboratory testing. Methods discussed during this lesson include mortar hardness testing, pulse velocity measurements, surface penetrating radar, infrared thermography, flatjack testing, and in situ shear tests, with special emphasis on applying these methods for diagnosing both historic and modern masonry construction. This lesson also covers the process of planning an investigation following published codes and guidelines.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe key design properties needed for retrofit or renovation of existing masonry structures.
  • Define nondestructive and minimally invasive masonry evaluation techniques.
  • Identify 2 methods for locating grout and reinforcement in modern masonry construction.
  • Plan the number of tests needed for evaluating in situ masonry strength.