A better understanding of the complex behavior of masonry structures is necessary to embrace the more appropriate concept of ultimate strength design. Owing to the prohibitive cost of full-scale testing of masonry systems, a more economical method utilizing direct modeling techniques is proposed. It is the objective of this study to evaluate the use of direct modeling of ungrouted and grouted block masonry under shear and in-plane tension. A total of 62 quarter-scale model shear and tension specimens were tested, and the results were compared with similar prototype test results. The study includes the effect of mortar strength, grout strength, and load orientation on the assemblage mode of failure and ultimate strength. Correlations between model and prototype results are performed. Excellent correlations were obtained for mode of failure and the overall effects of different parameters. It is concluded that direct modeling is feasible and is capable of predicting the behavior of masonry. Deviations from prototype strength results were observed that are attributed to size effect of aggregate, imperfections in unit geometry, and higher strength values of model blocks.
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