Experimental and numerical analysis of the behaviour of masonry walls strengthened with CFRP reinforced render

  • João Guerreiro
  • João Gomes FerreiraEmail author
  • Jorge Proença
  • António Gago
Original Paper


Old masonry walls, which present a limited bending capacity, generally need strengthening in order to provide an overall seismic resistance to old buildings. To achieve such purpose an innovative strengthening technique was developed, consisting in the application of an exterior render layer with a structural role. The flexural resistance improvement of such technique results from the mechanical properties of the materials used and requires a proper application procedure. This innovative solution, henceforth designated as “CFRP reinforced render”, consists of a lime base mortar reinforced with a carbon mesh, applied on one or both faces of the masonry wall. The reinforced render solution, developed within this study, aims to provide improved mechanical capabilities to the strengthened masonry walls while respecting the main principles for rehabilitation of ancient buildings. In particular, it complies with material authenticity/compatibility principle, because it is based on a lime base mortar, and with the structural compatibility principle, as it involves a distributed strengthening all over the main original structural elements—the masonry walls, instead of imposing unbalanced concentrated strength. In this context, an extensive experimental campaign was developed involving in-plane and out-of-plane full-scale bending tests on plain and on strengthened wall specimens reproducing the mechanical and geometrical characteristics of old masonry walls. Based on the experimental results obtained, a numerical approach was developed to simulate the behaviour of the plain and of the strengthened masonry walls for different geometrical configurations and for different mechanical parameters. Besides allowing a better understanding of the behaviour of the strengthening technique, the developed models presented in this paper may aid the design of CFRP reinforced render solutions.


Masonry Plasticity Macro-modelling Reinforcement CFRP Render 



The authors gratefully acknowledge STAP, S.A, promoter of the R&D project RehabToolBox, sponsored by FEDER through the POR Lisboa—QREN—Sistemas de Incentivos I&DT, for allowing the disclosure of the data presented in this paper. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the participation of S&P, S.A in the same R&D project. The authors would like to thank the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education), FCT, Portugal, [Grant number SFRH/BD/79339/2011].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georesources, CERIS, ISTUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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