Masonry vaults strengthened with a GFRP reinforced mortar coating: evaluation of the resisting peak ground acceleration

Natalino Gattesco1 , Ingrid Boem2

1, 2Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

2Corresponding author

Journal of Measurements in Engineering, Vol. 6, Issue 4, 2018, p. 181-189.
Received 11 September 2018; received in revised form 5 November 2018; accepted 30 November 2018; published 31 December 2018

Copyright © 2018 Natalino Gattesco, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons License

The reinforcement of existing masonry vaults against seismic actions is an extremely timing issue and it has already involved many researchers in experimental testing and numerical modelling. However, up to now, the results of the research have been expressed and compared in terms of load-displacement capacity curves. But the designers, in the practice, need to assess the resisting peak ground acceleration of the vault (PGA), so to compare it with the seismic demand. In the paper, a strategy to evaluate this parameter, based on the modified Capacity Spectrum Method and accounting for the level of the vault in the building is proposed. The procedure is applied to a case study of a masonry building with barrel vaults, comparing the performances of plain vaults and vaults strengthened with a GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) reinforced mortar coating. The results evidenced significant improvements in terms of PGA after the reinforcement, attaining to values from 3.1 to 3.3 times that of the unreinforced vault.

Graphical Abstract

  • Application of a fiber-reinforced mortar coating, at the extrados or intrados, to strengthen masonry vaults
  • Experimental and numerical investigation on vaults subjected to lateral loads, to prove the effectiveness
  • Definition of a strategy to evaluate the resisting Peak Ground Acceleration associated to the vault

Keywords: seismic vulnerability, masonry vaults, GFRP, floor response spectrum.


The financial supports of “Reluis 2017” and of “Fibre Net S.r.l.” (Pavia di Udine, Italy) are gratefully acknowledged.


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