Determination of Mohr–Coulomb failure envelope, mechanical properties and UPV of commercial cement-lime mortar

Amrit Ghimire, Sarkar Noor-E-Khuda, Shah Neyamat Ullah, Thuraichamy Suntharavadivel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Mortar in masonry structures can be subjected to both uniaxial and triaxial loading. Determining the mechanical properties and/or failure criteria of the commonly used mortar is necessary for the structural performance assessment of new and existing masonry buildings using non-destructive testing and/or finite element modelling methods. In this paper, the stress–strain behaviour of a commercially available cement-lime mortar is investigated under uniaxial and triaxial loading. The axial compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, Mohr–Coulomb failure envelopes of the mortar are determined over a range of conditions. Mortar specimens were prepared with a water to cementitious material ratio (w/cm) of 0.6–0.7 and were tested at curing ages of 3, 7, 14, and 28 days, under confining pressures of 0, 100, 250, 500 and 750 kPa. Ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) of the specimens were measured before the destructive testing. The results indicate that the influence of curing age and confining pressure on the axial compressive strength of the mortar can be predicted using proposed linear correlations between (i) The confining pressure and the axial compressive strength and (ii) The UPV and the axial compressive strength. From the test results, the strength parameters of the Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion were also determined. It is observed that cohesion is more sensitive to changes in curing age and w/cm than the friction angle, which varied between 32 and 33 degrees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
Number of pages19
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the experimental support provided by Dr Andrei Costache and CQUniversity.


  • Mohr–Coulomb criteria
  • Mortar
  • Stress–strain
  • Triaxial loading
  • Uniaxial loading
  • UPV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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