Thesis Defense: Connor Barlow


Feb. 14, 2023, 9am to 10am

Office/Remote Location



Connor Barlow, M.S. Candidate

Department of Civil Engineering 

"Nondestructive Means of Predicting Masonry Prism Strength using Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV)"

Committee Members:

  • Dr. Moses Karakouzian, Advisory Committee Chair
  • Dr. Pramen Shrestha, Advisory Committee Member
  • Dr. Mohamed Kaseko, Advisory Committee Members
  • Dr. Ashok Singh, Graduate College Representative


Current ASTM standards call for grouted masonry prisms to be tested for compressive strength at 28-days to ensure compliance with the structural design. In the event of failing tests, the subject samples may require redesign or reconstruction which can pose problems due to ongoing development around and including the prisms between the time of placement and obtaining test results. The purpose of this research is to determine if the use of UPV can be utilized to determine a correlation between prism composite strength of the masonry prism with ultrasound readings as to provide preliminary means of determining acceptability of the masonry prisms. This test utilized four (4) sample sets of thirty (30) prisms per set with grout mix designs having design strengths of 2000 PSI, 2500 PSI, 3000 PSI and 4000 PSI, respectively. Block, mortar, and masonry prisms were held constant and standard masonry testing practices (ASTM C1314, 2022) were followed closely when creating the specimens. UPV testing was conducted on the top and bottom courses of the prism samples at 3-days, 10-days and 28-days after grouting of prisms. Compressive strength testing of the prism samples was conducted after 28-days. Results indicated that there was no significant correlation between the prism sample age and UPV arrival times; nor the prism compressive strength and their respective UPV arrival times. In conclusion, UPV results demonstrate there is no meaningful implications to utilizing UPV when determining preliminary strength of masonry prisms alone. If further studied, the application could be recognized as an acceptable and nondestructive means of quality assurance when determining the presence of delamination or debonding between the set grout and CMU cavity space.



Admission Information

This event is open to the public. Join via WebEx.

Contact Information

UNLV - Graduate College
Valarie Burke

External Sponsor

Department of Civil Engineering