Traditional masonry buildings constitutes the greatest part of the building stock in Europe, involving constructions with high historical, architectural and cultural value. These buildings are particularly susceptible to horizontal actions, as demonstrated during past many seismic events, thus requiring rehabilitation and strengthening actions in order to improve their structural behaviour. Within this scope, innovative strengthening techniques, such as Textile Reinforced Mortar (TRM) composite materials, have been adopted during the last years. TRMs have shown to be quite effective for retrofitting of masonry, but the effectiveness of this technique depends on several parameters. In particular, a key point to the success of the strengthening is the use of connectors to fix the reinforcing layer and prevent it from debonding or delamination, which would turn the strengthening measure useless.
Currently, connectors are used in TRM applications in an empirical way and no commonly accepted guidelines are available regarding the design, practical installation and mechanical performance of the integrated TRM/connector strengthening system. Thus, the role of mechanical anchors in the performance of the TRM system needs to be characterized and to be taken into account for a rational and efficient design of TRM systems, allowing to reduce the uncertainty of its mechanical behaviour and increasing the confidence in the technique.
The aim of the project is the development of recommendations to properly design TRM-strengthened interventions by the rational application of connectors for the retrofitting of masonry buildings exposed to seismic actions. This will be achieved by the integration of robust experimental results and advanced numerical modelling of the TRM/connector system, supported
on an initial state of the review. The combined experimental-numerical approach is the core of the project, which will be complemented by management and dissemination tasks.
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