Field Applications of FRP Composites in Masonry Retrofitting

June 29, 2007
Publication: Proceedings, the Tenth North American Masonry Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, June 3-6, 2007 p 454-465
Author(s): Gustavo Tumialan Martin, David P. Paul Schuman Glenn Bell Levy M. Lalwani C.L.

Abstract: Recently, FRP systems have received attention from the repair and rehabilitation industry as a viable methodology that can be employed to address strength, damage, and deterioration issues in masonry. The emerging FRP industry, which had originally focused on retrofitting of concrete structures, has eventually recognized an opportunity to employ high-strength composites to improve structural capacity or stabilize distress in masonry construction, especially walls.|Masonry structures are often in need of help. Because of its material characteristics and exposure conditions, masonry is often prone to damage or deterioration. Temperature changes and exposure to moisture and other environmental factors result in deterioration, weakening, and distress of masonry elements. In addition, masonry construction, especially in unreinforced historic applications, is especially vulnerable and often cannot resist demands due to external loads such as earthquakes, high wind pressures, soil pressure, deformation-driven stresses (e.g. foundation settlement), excessive vibration, etc. FRP materials, if used properly, can be used to address a number of these problems in service and to arrive at more-durable, ductile, and stronger masonry systems.|As with any other retrofitting method, however, the success of FRP technology for masonry depends on the availability of information and guidance related to design, construction, and inspection. Without them, proper application, understanding of benefits and limitations, as well as performance and durability in service cannot be ensured. Currently, there are no comprehensive guidelines for installation, material selection, and design in the US. However, Technical Committee 440 of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) is working on development of comprehensive design and detailing guidelines, which ACI plans to publish next year. When this document becomes available, it is expected that masonry strengthening with FRP composites will become more common. In the meantime, this article presents a summary of some of the more important and practical engineering and construction issues related to FRP applications for masonry structures.