Demo-application of shape memory alloy devices: The rehabilitation of the S. Giorgio Church Bell-Tower

Maurizio Indirli, Maria Gabriella Castellano, Paolo Clemente, Alessandro Martelli

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This paper describes the rehabilitation of the S. Giorgio Church Bell-Tower (Trignano, Municipality of S. Martino in Rio, Reggio Emilia, Italy), completed in September 1999. This masonry building, seriously damaged by the earthquake of October 15th1996 which struck the Reggio Emilia and Modena Districts (Italy), was investigated by the authors immediately after the seismic event, as other ancient Cultural Heritage Structures (CUHESs) in the same area. In the past, seismic events have visited substantial destruction that translates into a significant loss of architectural heritage. The most common solution traditionally used to enhance the CUHESs seismic behaviour is the introduction of localized reinforcements, usually Traditional Steel Ties (TSTs), increasing stability and ductility. Anyway, in many cases said reinforcement techniques, often too invasive, proved to be inadequate to prevent collapse. For these reasons, the Bell-Tower intervention applies Innovative Antiseismic Techniques (IATs) by the use of superelastic Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Devices (SMADs), a technology developed after a large amount of theoretical studies, numerical analyses and test campaigns. The SMADs, which can be considered a powerful tool with respect to the traditional methods, provide acceleration reduction, force limitation and energy dissipation. Furthermore, they are characterized by low invasivity and complete reversibility. When another earthquake occurred on June 18th2000, with the same epicenter and a comparable Richter Magnitudo, the Bell-Tower, subjected to a new investigation, showed no damage of any type. Thus, the new seismic event has been the best verification of the retrofit intervention. © 2001 SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262 - 272
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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