CORDIS - EU research results

Strengthening of existing masonry buildings with Fibre-Reinforced Mortar: calibration of a reliable numerical model to assess the structural performances

Project description

Fibre-reinforced mortar for historic buildings

Europe’s architectural heritage consists of historic buildings that need immediate conservation measures and interventions due to the vulnerability of original masonry materials. While research on unreinforced masonry has advanced, there is lack of a specific numerical model for fibre-reinforced mortar (FRM) improved masonry and patterns for FRM interventions. The EU-funded conFiRMa project will develop an adaptable original numerical method specifically tailored and tested in the open-source finite element code to estimate the existing structural performances of historic masonry buildings reinforced with FRM. This innovative reinforcement strategy consists of plastering walls with fibre-based elements embedded in masonry mortars. The innovative numerical method will be key for the study of existing performances of FRM-strengthened masonry structures.


The conFiRMa project is aimed at develop a suited, original numerical method, specifically formulated and validated in the open source finite element code ooFEM, for the assessment of the actual structural performances of historic masonry buildings strengthened with FRM (Fibre-Reinforced Mortar). This modern, effective and compatible reinforcement strategy, consists in plastering the walls by means of mortars with fibre-based elements embedded (meshes or textiles).
The safe usability and preservation of historic masonry buildings, which constitute a significant part of the European architectural heritage, is an urgent issue, due to the intrinsic vulnerability of masonry related to durability and to accidental destructive actions (earthquakes, crushing, blasts, fracking...).
However, while the study on unreinforced masonry has reached dvanced levels of definition, a specific numerical model for FRM strengthened masonry is still missing and a lack of standards concerning FRM interventions is nowadays detected. The innovative numerical model will thus be significantly useful for investigating on the actual performances of FRM strengthened masonry structures, for evaluating the applicability of the simplified modelling strategies currently adopted for unreinforced masonry in professional practice also to FRM strengthened masonry and for deriving important considerations for the standardization of the FRM design strategies.
The methodology will be based on multiple-level analysis, starting with a detailed modelling (the masonry, the mortar and the reinforcement), followed by a computationally efficient intermediate level (e.g. layered macro-elements), until attain to simplified models (lumped plasticity).
A significant impact is thus expected either on the scientific community, on the professional sectors (designers, fiber-based materials
manufacturers) and, indirectly, on the whole society, dealing with the safety of people and the preservation of cultural heritage.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 144 980,64
160 00 Praha

See on map

Česko Praha Hlavní město Praha
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 144 980,64