Out-of-plane seismic retrofitting of masonry walls with Textile Reinforced Mortar composites

  • Stefano De SantisEmail author
  • Gerardo De Canio
  • Gianmarco de Felice
  • Pietro Meriggi
  • Ivan Roselli
Original Research


Masonry walls are particularly vulnerable against out-of-plane seismic actions. Steel tie-bars and crowing beams in reinforced masonry can prevent their overturning, but collapse may take place also by bending, leaf separation or disaggregation. Textile Reinforced Mortar (TRM) composites, comprising high strength fabrics and inorganic matrices, can be applied to effectively improve the seismic capacity of masonry load-bearing walls and infill panels. Nevertheless, a deeper knowledge on the dynamic response and ultimate capacity of retrofitted walls still needs to be gained before TRM systems can be confidently used in engineering practice. This work describes a shake table test carried out on two full-scale wall specimens, one made of regular tuff blocks and one of two leaves of rubble stones, subjected to seismic out-of-plane vertical bending. The walls were tested unreinforced, repaired and strengthened with TRMs and tested again. A unidirectional textile of ultra high tensile strength steel was used on the tuff wall, whereas a bidirectional basalt mesh was applied over the entire surface of the stone wall, with the addition of transversal steel connectors. The responses of the specimens before and after retrofitting are compared to show the improvement of acceleration and displacement capacity entailed by TRM retrofitting and the modification of deflection profiles, failure modes, damage development and dynamic properties. Test outcomes prove the effectiveness of TRM composites for the protection of existing masonry structures, including architectural heritage, in earthquake prone areas and provide information on the reliability of analytical predictions for seismic assessment.


Basalt Textile Reinforced Mortar Fabric Reinforced Cementitious Matrix Out-of-plane bending Shake table Steel Reinforced Grout 3DVision 



This work was carried out within the Research Projects “Composites with inorganic matrix for sustainable strengthening of architectural heritage” funded by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Years 2017–2018, Grant N. PGR00234) and “ReLUIS-DPC 2017, Thematic Area Innovative materials for interventions in seismic areas”, funded by the Italian Department of Civil Protection. S. De Santis, G. de Felice and P. Meriggi acknowledge funding also from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), in the frame of the Departments of Excellence Initiative 2018–2022, attributed to the Department of Engineering of Roma Tre University. The shake table test was performed within the Project “CO.B.RA” funded by Lazio Region. Kerakoll SpA (Sassuolo, Italy) is kindly acknowledged for cofunding the research and for providing reinforcement materials.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EngineeringRoma Tre UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department for Sustainability (SSPT-MET-DISPREV)ENEA Casaccia Research CentreRomeItaly

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