F MOSELE(1), F da PORTO(1), C MODENA(1), A DI FUSCO(2), G DI CESARE(2), G VASCONCELOS(3),
V HAACH(3), P B LOURENCO(3), I BEER(4), U SCHMIDT(4), W BRAMESHUBER(4), W SCHEUFLER(5),
D C SCHERMER(5) and K ZILCH(5)
(1) Dept. of Structural and Transportation Eng., University of Padova, Italy
(2) National Association of Brick and Tiles Producer, Rome, Italy
(3) Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal
(4) Institute of Building Materials Research, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
(5) Institute of Concrete and Masonry Structures, Technical University Munich, Germany
The Commission of the European Communities has recently funded a CRAFT research project aimed at developing innovative systems for load and non-load-bearing reinforced masonry walls. The project involves twelve partners coming from four different European countries, among which there are universities and research centres, small and medium enterprises for the production of clay and concrete units and mortars, a company for advanced metal products and industrial associations of brick and block producers.
The development of the reinforced masonry walls is based on the advancement of vertical reinforcement and fastenings, of mortar and concrete and on their integration with special clay and concrete blocks for the definition of new construction systems. The foreseen advantages are: new possibilities for masonry; more economical construction; quality increase for masonry walls; crack-free and earthquake resistant construction. The project follows three steps: assessment of the technical and economical feasibility of the envisaged construction technologies by means of extensive experimental and numerical activities; construction of prototypes as demonstration of the proposed technologies and materials; in situ testing to completely validate the systems.
In the present contribution, an overview of the main objectives and steps of the project is given. Furthermore, the different construction systems that are being developed and designed are described. The main fields of application and the main technical problems encountered for the different construction systems is described, together with the experimental program outlined in order to characterize their mechanical behaviour under different serviceability and ultimate conditions.