Nowadays, innovative materials are more frequently adopted for strengthening historical constructions and masonry structures. The target of these techniques is to improve the structural efficiency with retrofitting methods while having a reduced aesthetical impact. In particular, the use of basalt fiber together with a cementitious matrix emerges as a new technique. This kind of fiber is obtained by basalt rock without other components, and consequently it could be considered a natural material, compatible with masonry. Another innovative technique for strengthening masonry columns consists of applying steel wires in the correspondence of mortar joints. Both techniques have been recently proposed and some aspects of their structural performances are still open. This paper presents the results of an experimental study on the compressive behavior of clay brick masonry columns reinforced either with Basalt Fiber–Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (BFRCM) or with steel wire collaring. Uniaxial compressive tests were performed on eight retrofitted columns and four control specimens until failure. Two masonry grades were considered by varying the mix used for the mortar. Results are presented and discussed in terms of axial stress-strain curves, failure modes and crack patterns of tested specimens. Comparisons with unreinforced columns show the capability of these techniques in increasing ductility with limited strength enhancements.
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