Debonding damage analysis in composite-masonry strengthening systems with polymer- and mortar-based matrix by means of the acoustic emission technique


Verstrynge, E.; Wevers, M.; Ghiassi, Bahman; Lourenço, Paulo B.

acoustic emission; retrofitting; masonry; fiber reinforced polymers; steel reinforced grout; debonding damage; durability

Different types of strengthening systems, based on fiber reinforced materials, are under investigation for external strengthening of historic masonry structures. A full characterization of the bond behavior and of the short- and long-term failure mechanisms is crucial to ensure effective design, compatibility with the historic substrate and durability of the strengthening solution. Therein, non-destructive techniques are essential for bond characterization, durability assessment and on-site condition monitoring. In this paper, the acoustic emission (AE) technique is evaluated for debonding characterization and localization on fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) and steel reinforced grout-strengthened clay bricks. Both types of strengthening systems are subjected to accelerated ageing tests under thermal cycles and to single-lap shear bond tests. During the reported experimental campaign, AE data from the accelerated ageing tests demonstrated the thermal incompatibility between brick and epoxy-bonded FRP composites, and debonding damage was successfully detected, characterized and located. In addition, a qualitative comparison is made with digital image correlation and infrared thermography, in view of efficient on-site debonding detection.