Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Valeria is a civil engineer and since November 2016 she is a PhD Student at Department of Engineering for Innovation at University of Salento, Italy. She got a B.Sc. degree (2014) in Civil Engineering at University of Salento and her thesis was focused on characterization of fly ash geopolymer mortars and their potential uses in civil engineering fields. She holds a M.Sc. degree (2016) in Civil Engineering at University of Salento and her final work was about the mechanical characterization of Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (FRCM) materials, their use as reinforcement and retrofitting systems of existing masonry buildings and the shear bond behaviour between these composite materials and masonry substrates. Her current research project is based on interfacial behaviour of elements reinforced with FRCM and FRP (Fibre Reinforced Polymer). During postgraduate studies, she will also study the main aspects of durability of constituent elements of FRCM, analysing many types of fibres and different kinds of mortar matrices.
Project title: Interfacial behaviour of elements reinforced with FRP/FRCM
- Mechanical characterization of FRP and FRCM: tensile test on dry fibre textiles and composites, characterization test on mortars.
- Bond behaviour between FRP/FRCM and different masonry substrates, in order to define the key parameters and their role in design.
- Development of database, with the aims to analyse of the effects of mortar joints on the bond behaviour of masonry substrates strengthened with FRP and FRCM materials.
- Development of proper design guidelines about the use of mortar-based reinforcements in civil applications, in particular for strengthening of existing masonry structures, and appropriate modifications to the available Italian design guidelines for FRP materials (CNR-DT 200/R1-2013).
- Study of durability of fibres, organic resins and inorganic matrices. Development of analytical model of long term effect of temperature and/or humidity.
Tasks and methodology:
Extensive experimental tests are carried out: tensile tests on fibre textiles and composites; compression and flexural tests on mortars; single lap shear tests on FRCM applied on masonry substrate, in order to study the bond behaviour, the shear bond strength and the failure modes. Experimental investigation will be also performed on fibres, organic resins and inorganic matrices, after low and high temperature treatments. These tests will focus on the changes of the mechanical features of these elements after treatment and they will enable to define the main parameters of analytical model.
- Determination of key parameters and their role in FRCM design and define design guidelines about the use of mortar-based reinforcements in civil engineering fields.
- Development of an reliable analytical model for prediction of long term effect of temperature and humidity.