Performance of two innovative stress sensors imbedded in mortar joints of new masonry elements

Maurizio Papia, Lidia La Mendola, Maria Concetta Oddo, Gabriele Bertagnoli, Fulvio Parisi, Fabio Di Trapani, Alessia Monaco, Agatino Pennisi, Simone Barile, Francesco Pappalardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many historical cities enjoy the presence of masonry buildings with inestimable historical, artistic and cultural value. Old masonry buildings often suffer structural deficiencies, design faults and materials aging process. In recent years, many researchers focused their attention on the opportunities that structural health monitoring (SHM) can ensure for the health state of existing masonry structures, where damage can be difficult to be promptly predicted, pontentially causing abrupt collapses, with high risks for the community. This paper presents an experimental study on the effectiveness of two types of stress sensor for SHM of new masonry elements. Ceramic piezoelectric sensors and capacitive sensors were installed in mortar joints of two series of specimens made of calcarenite stone masonry and clay brick masonry. All specimens were tested under uniaxial compression with displacement control, to assess the effectiveness of sensors in recording pressure variation within the different types of masonry and therefore testing their potential use for SHM applications. Even though both the ceramic and capacitive sensors were designed as stress sensors for concrete structures, their installation within mortar joints provided a good response, based on the comparison with standard measurement devices. Results demonstrate the suitability of the sensors even for SHM of masonry structures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science

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