Unique Solution for Mechanical and Energy Retrofit of Existing Buildings by Means of a New Fabric Reinforced Geopolymer Mortar (FRGM)

For the most part, the built heritage is ancient and thus involves engineering studies to develop the most effective retrofit system to enhance both mechanical and energy efficiency. In reality, the inadequacy of existing systems has been illustrated by recent disasters. Only think of the earthquakes that have weakened the structures more or less significantly; or the thermal insulation capability of buildings constructed over 50 years ago has been heavily challenged by climate change. In order to solve these problems independently, various interventions are widely proposed. Reasonable disadvantages, however, occur when direct contact with the target member is needed for structural retrofitting while the insulation layer is theoretically interposed in between. In this case, the current study proposes a modern, unique framework capable of ensuring both energy and structural retrofitting. A promising solution in this context is Inorganic Matrix Composites (IMCs). The Fabric Reinforced Cementitous Matrix (FRCM) is one of the most used among them; or rather, a composite made of a fabric inside an inorganic matrix (open grid or mesh) (lime or cement based). Even if the thickness of the inorganic matrix (compared to that of the fabric) is important, its thermal resistance is inadequate. The novelty of this research is to test a new FRCM geopolymer method by mixing fly-ash binder (reused material) and expanded glass aggregate (recycled material). In addition to thermal conductivity tests, direct tensile tests for measuring tensile stress, ultimate strain and elastic modulus were performed. The findings were similar to those of the conventional FRCM (commercially available). The potential of the Structural and Energy Retrofitting Proposal is discussed and possible implementation examples are also mentioned.

Author (s) Details

Fabio Longo
Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy.

Alessio Cascardi
ITC-CNR, Construction Technologies Institute – Italian National Research Council, Bari, Italy.

Paola Lassandro
ITC-CNR, Construction Technologies Institute – Italian National Research Council, Bari, Italy.

Maria Antonietta Aiello
Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy and ITC-CNR, Construction Technologies Institute – Italian National Research Council, Bari, Italy.

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