FRANCESCO MICELLI*, LAURA DE LORENZIS and ANTONIO LA TEGOLA
* Corresponding Author: francesco.micelli(S> unite.it, voice +39 0832 297 241, FAX +39 0832 297 279
Dipartimento di ingegneria dell’lnnovazione, Universita di Lecce
Via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, ITALY
Confinement techniques have been extensively used in the past for strengthening vertical members subjected to axial compressive loads. In recent years, innovative materials such as fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP) found application in this field. In this research, the problem of FRP-confined masonry was studied by means of an experimental as well as a theoretical investigation. Two types of confinement techniques were considered: “internal” confinement using FRP bars, and “external” confinement using FRP wrapping sheets. Experimental tests on columns made of natural masonry blocks were performed. In all cases a significant increase in load-carrying capacity and ultimate displacement was found as a result of both types of confinement, either alone or in combination. These data confirm the potential benefits in terms of strength and ductility that can be achieved using FRP composites for masonry confinement. A theoretical model was developed to predict the mechanical behaviour of FRP-confined masonry columns under axial loads. Upon calibration of the model, the comparison between analytical and experimental results was found to be satisfactory.