University Institute of Architecture, Venice, Italy


This paper deals with masonry arches strengthened with unidirectional Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) laminates or fabric strips, epoxy-bonded to the extrados and/or intrados. The research involved experimentation on full-scale specimens and an analytical study. The experimental programme consisted of loading tests up to the collapse of prototypes of strengthened masonry arches. The analytical study developed two models for predicting the load-bearing capacity of masonry arches with FRP reinforcement bonded to any position of their extrados and/or intrados. The two models are devoted to failure modes with and without involving the abutments. The two models were developed within the framework of the limit analysis and based, respectively, on the upper and lower bound theorems, specifically formulated for reinforced masonry. The predictions thus depend only on the arch and reinforcement geometry, not on any knowledge of the construction’s actual behaviour or the relevant constitutive laws.