Ecosmart Reinforcement for a Masonry Polycentric Pavilion Vault

Vincenzo Gattulli*, 1, Francesco Potenza1, Jessica Toti1, Filippo Valvona1, Giancarlo Marcari2
1 Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
2 Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Rome, Rome, Italy

© Gattulli et al. ; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy; Tel: +39-0862-43-4511; Fax: +39-0862-43-4548; E-mail:


In the cultural life of modern societies great importance has acquired the preservation of existing and, in particular, ancient architectural heritage. With the inherent historical aspects, the economic implications have to be taken into account as well. Indeed, especially European cities and countries receive significant economic advantages by the existence of monuments and ancient suburbs. In this context, structural maintenance, strengthening and monitoring has gained an important academic and professional impulse. The present paper aims to present the results of a real scale experimental work regarding the application of an innovative seismic retrofitting technique for masonry walls and vaults by Hydraulic Lime Mortar strengthened by Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer textile grids (HLM-GFRP) embedding new sensing systems as fiber optical sensors. The real scale specimen is a masonry polycentric pavilion vault that was damaged during the L’Aquila earthquake of April 2009. The need of eco compatibility of bonding material with masonry support implies the use of HLM-GFRP as strengthening system. On the other hand, the use of Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) has a large number of advantages in opposite to electrical measuring methods. Example are: small sensor dimensions, low weight as well as high static and dynamic resolution of measured values, distributed sensing feature allowing to detect anomalies in load transfer between reinforcement and substrate and the location of eventual cracking patterns. A suitable Finite Element (FE) model is developed both to assess the effectiveness of the HLM-GFRP strengthening layers in retrofitting of the masonry vault and to define the strain field essential to the design of the FBG sensors network.

Keywords: Experimental testing, Fibre Bragg Gratings, Lime mortar, Masonry structures, Structural monitoring, Vault.