Investigation of Polymer-Impregnated Brick Masonry

by David W. Fowler, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX,
Thomas J. Fraley, Asst. Prof.; Tech.-Vocational Education, Brazosport Coll., Lake Jackson, TX,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pg. 1-10

Document Type: Journal Paper


Brick, brick prisms, and mortar specimens were impregnated with methyl methacrylate and polymerized by either a thermal-catalytic process or irradiation. Common brick and high-strength brick were used in the investigation. Compressive strength of polymer-impregnated common brick prisms increased 200% to 300% over the strength with a maximum of 18,088 psi, apparently the highest ever reported. Brick compressive strength and moduli of rupture, and mortar compressive and tensile strength also showed significant increases due to polymerization. The mortar-brick bond strength increased by more than 10 times. Thermal-catalytic polymerization produced higher strengths for common brick prisms and mortar specimens while polymerization achieved by irradiation produced higher strengths in the high-strength brick prisms. No significant differences were observed in the strengths of the brick polymerized by the two methods.

Subject Headings: Compressive strength | Prism | Mortars | Ultimate strength | Polymer | Bricks | Masonry | Thermal effects

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