This paper presents the results of the minor destructive testing of mortars in masonry structures of four buildings erected at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The buildings were erected in the historical centre of Cracow. The objective of testing was to determine mortar compressive strength in masonry joints. The in situ tests were carried out with the use of a penetrometer RSM-15 with the standardised impact energy equalling 4.55 nm. Laboratory tests on mortar specimens taken from the structures were also performed. The double punch test method was used in the laboratory tests. On account of the specificity of the tested historical mortars, the typical procedures used in penetrometer and double punch tests were modified. For penetrometer tests, a new feature called “a surface disturbance zone” was introduced. Additionally, a procedure for determining a surface disturbance zone range was included. As confirmed in the paper, the consideration of the surface disturbance zone in the analysis of test results is crucial for the correct evaluation of mortar compressive strength. The thicknesses of bed joints in the tested historical masonry considerably exceeded the requirements included in the standard EN 1996-1-1. Thus, the thickness of the mortar specimens taken from historical masonry for the double punch tests clearly exceeded the thickness of specimens extracted from the typical structures erected nowadays. This article provides a method of considering a specimen thickness parameter in the analysis of double punch test results. The in situ test results with the use of penetrometer and double punch methods confirmed that the mortar strength in tested historical buildings ranged from 1.4 to 2.9 MPa. Mortar compressive strength values determined by both applied methods were similar.
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