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Re: Grout/Mortar in CMU

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I have an 18' tall equipment building with reinforced 12" CMU walls.  The
contractor wants to use mortar to fill the CMU cores at reinforcement
locations instead of grout.  Also, the mortar will have color added to match
the block (he just wants to use one mix for everything).  I've never had
this question asked before.  Any comments?

Thanks in advance,

Chris Towne, P.E.
Chapman Technical Group
200 Sixth Avenue
St. Albans, WV 25177

Down here in Georgia the masons are in the habit of using mortar to fill cells as they go.  We have had to train them to use grout instead.  According to the MSJC Code, unless cells are filled using grout, the masonry prism strength must be verified by performing prism tests.  Down here, prism tests are very rare.  So I would say that they can construct the wall using mortar to fill cells as long as they can achieve the specified prism strength as verified by testing.  The mortar will have to be packed into the cells as the wall is laid up because mortar will not flow into the cells like grout will.

Adam Vakiener, P.E.
Southern A&E, LLC
Austell, GA

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