TA project: POLYMAST

Click here and here to watch two videos from the POLYMAST tests.

Click here to read the final report of the POLYMAST Project.

Read more on the progress and test results of POLYMAST in the Joint brochure of the TA facilities.

 Polyfunctional Technical Textiles for the Protection and Monitoring of Masonry Structures Against Earthquakes

EUCENTRE, Pavia, Italy

3 August 2009

August 2009

May 2010

NO. OF USERS (researchers):

Lothar Stempniewski - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)

Johannes Christian Münich - Universität Karlsruhe (Germany)
Donato Zangani - D’Appolonia S.p.A. (Italy)
Thomas Messervey - D’Appolonia S.p.A. (Italy)
Paolo Corvaglia - Consorzio Cetma (Italy)
Rossella Modarelli - Consorzio Cetma (Italy)
Paolo Corvaglia - Consorzio Cetma (Italy)
Sascha Liehr - BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (Germany)
Radek Base - Safibra, s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
Ladislav Sasek - Safibra, s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
Geir Sagvolden - Light Structures AS (Norway)
Moritz Urban - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)


Unreinforced masonry structures are highly vulnerable because being originally designed mainly for gravity loads they often cannot withstand the dynamic horizontal loads in case of strong earthquakes. The recent earthquake in central Italy has dramatically shown how the lack of ductility of masonry structures can result in structural failure during a strong earthquake. Masonry structures include infill walls of modern constructions as well as walls, columns and vaults of historical buildings. Additionally, the lack of efficient monitoring systems makes almost impossible the evaluation of the safety level of the structures during service and after a dynamic event. The necessity to develop efficient methods for the retrofitting of existing masonry buildings and of related monitoring systems for the evaluation of the structural integrity arises. The proposed study is related to the use of multifunctional technical textiles used as reinforcement of composites for strengthening of masonry structures with embedded sensor elements for the structural heath monitoring (SHM).
POLYMAST leverages and expands upon the EU funded project POLYTECT which has developed, prototyped, and tested (in field conditions) sensor-embedded textile materials. These materials provide cost-effective retrofit strategies that increase strength, increase ductility, and simultaneously provide monitoring capabilities.
A coordination visit with the EUCENTRE showed that POLYMAST can be made synergistic with ongoing testing activities at the facility. This is an agreeable and ideal for POLYMAST. The intent is to compare before and after performance of retrofitted structures. The ability to compare results with other approaches (especially other monitoring and damage detection algorithms) is highly desirable.
The proposed approach is based on the development of a Multifunctional Anti-Seismic Wallpaper (MASW) concept, intended for wide masonry walls. MASW can be applied to cover the entire wall surface or to provide reinforcing strips to increase structure ductility and strength. The integrated sensors can be used as earthquake counters, in order to assist maintenance operations, and, at the same time, as an integrated system for the structural health assessment. For the validation of the proposed approach seismic tests of full scale masonry buildings are required. 

What's next

Series logo small   SERIES Concluding Workshop
  Joint with US-NEES "Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructures

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