Mechanistic Behavior of Historical Masonry Assemblages of Fasil Ghenbe and Structural Response Assessment of Mentwab Castle Under Vertical Loading; A Case Study

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For a country like Ethiopia, one of the pivotal issue, from economic as well as cultural point of view, is a conservation of heritage buildings. In that regard, understanding the structural behavior of historical structures is immensely beneficial to design and implement effective conservation and rehabilitation schemes. A comprehensive structural behavior assessment requires for a knowledge of the material properties and the use of advanced numerical tools. This study presents the experimental investigations carried out to characterize the mechanistic properties, compression and shear, of the historical masonry assemblages of Fasil Ghenbe with a FE analysis of Mentwab castle under vertical loading. Replicas of historical masonry wall units were built in Gondar, by a well experienced masons and by the use of representative construction materials. The construction materials used for the masonry wall units were basaltic stone, slacked lime aged for six years and aggregates extracted from traditionally made quick lime. After eight months of their construction the mockups were tested for shear and compression behaviors. Additionally, index tests and chemical tests were conducted to characterize the lime mortar. For the shear test five masonry mockups were tested on a set-up arranged to conduct a triplet shear test. The tests were executed under three different levels of confinement. For each test the confinement level or the state of stress (0.1MPa, 0.3MPa, and 0.5MPa) was kept uniform. As for the compression test, two specimens were tested. In both cases, load versus displacement behaviors were acquired from the instrumentations used. The mechanistic nature of the masonry assemblages is characterized for compression and shear behaviors. Simple model using the Coulomb friction model is proposed for the shear behavior, using coefficient of friction and cohesion parameters. The compression behavior is mainly characterized by the peak strength and elastic modulus parameters. The results, only available experimental data, can serve for the structural analysis of the historical masonry structures of Gondar, under static loading. The preliminary structural analysis conducted on Mentwab castle resulted in the static structural response of the castle under vertical loads only, own weight and loads from the roof/floor slabs. For this particular loading condition, the resulted stress levels were below the capacity of the masonry. Above all the numerical analysis is a breakthrough in the investigation of the historical masonry structures, on a finite element model based study.



Historical Masonry, Assemblages of Fasil Ghenbe, Vertical Loading, Mentwab Castle