MS18 - Recent Advances in Health Monitoring and Retrofitting Techniques of Existing Structures: Design, Optimization and Case Studies


  • Dario De Domenico, Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering, University of Messina, 98166 Messina, Italy.
  • Antonino Recupero, Full Professor, Department of Engineering, University of Messina, 98166 Messina, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Quaranta, Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, 00184 Rome, Italy.


Many existing structures, including buildings and bridges, are approaching their natural service life and are affected by ageing and material deterioration phenomena ascribed to their inherent environmental exposure and the lack of periodical maintenance plans. For these reasons, it is of key importance to assess the safety conditions of existing structures through health monitoring techniques based on either free-vibration or ambient-vibration tests: a critical comparison between estimated modal features from in-situ tests and numerical values allows assessing the health conditions of existing structures and identifying possible defects in a rapid and effective manner. Moreover, most existing structures were realized according to past design regulations, present poor construction details that do not reflect current code principles and are vulnerable especially to seismic loading. Once structural vulnerability conditions of a given existing structure are identified, it is important to make informed decisions on the most suitable structural retrofitting intervention to implement, which can be either localized to specific, weaker zones, such as composite systems for strengthening purposes, or conceived to modify the structural behavior as a whole via the introduction of special devices that reduce the seismic input or provide supplemental energy dissipation capability (isolators and dampers, respectively). This mini symposium aims to collect contributions in the following areas: development of novel identification methods and smart techniques for health monitoring purposes, elaboration of design procedures and optimization strategies for structural retrofitting of existing structures, and implementation of such strategies in representative case studies aimed to reduce the vulnerability with respect to static or dynamic (seismic and wind) loading.

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