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On the use of digital image correlation (DIC) for evaluating the tensile behaviour of BFRCM strips


Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (FRCM) composites are becoming largely adopted for retrofitting masonry structures. These materials offer several advantages in comparison to Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites, such as good resistance to fire and high temperatures, vapour permeability, possibility to be applied on wet surfaces, higher compatibility with the masonry substrate. However, the tensile behavior of FRCM materials is more complex compared to FRP composites, due to the limited tensile strength of the cement-based matrix. For this reason, FRCM materials require appropriate tensile characterization and, in this context, the use of non-conventional measurement systems, such as the Digital Image Correlation (DIC), can offer numerous advantages. This work presents an experimental study on the application of the DIC technique for the tensile characterization of Basalt Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (BFRCM) strips. Tensile tests were carried out on three series of specimens reinforced with one, two or three layers of basalt grid in order to investigate the effect of the reinforcement ratio on the tensile response of the composite strips. The test setup and the calibration of the DIC analyses are discussed. It is shown as the DIC allows obtaining detailed information on the tensile response, including the evaluation of the full strain field on the surface of the BFRCM strips and the location of cracks. Results are discussed also in terms of stress-strain curves and failure modes.