Figure 2. Maagden toren at Zichem, Belgium, before and after collapse (June 2006).
Within the framework of these dramatic events, a test program has been set up and recently extended. During these experiments, a persistent compressive load is applied and the deformation of the masonry with time is evaluated. As these long-term creep tests are difficult to carry out and require a long duration, rising up to several years, the persistent loading of masonry is also simulated by performing accelerated, short-term creep tests. The test program and the obtained results will be briefly discussed.
These experimental creep tests are very adequate to gather more insight in the described phenomenon, but other tools are necessary in order to evaluate the damage evolution of historical masonry on site. Therefore, the acoustic emission technique has been used as a non destructive technique for monitoring the damage evolution during experimental creep testing. These tests are discussed in the second part of the paper.
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