The structural performance of arches made of few vossoirs with dry-joints

“The structural performance of arches made of few vossoirs with dry-joints” by Ernest Bernat-Maso, Lluis Gil and Jordi Marce-Nogue has been published on Decembre 25th. in “Structural & Engineering Mechanics”, Volume 44, number 6.

This work approaches the structural performance of masonry arches that have a small ratio between number of vossoirs and span length. The aim of this research is to compare and validate three different methods of analysis (funicular limit analysis F.L.A., kinematic limit analysis K.L.A. and plane stress Finite Element Analysis F.E.A.) with an experimental campaign. 18 failure tests with arches of different shapes and boundary conditions have been performed. The basic failure mechanism was the formation of enough hinges in the geometry. Nevertheless, in few cases, sliding between vossoirs also played a relevant influence. Moreover, few arches didn\’t reach the collapse. The FLA and KLA didn\’t find a solution close to the experimental values for some of the tests. The low number of vossoirs and joints become a drawback for an agreement between kinematic mechanism, equilibrium of forces and geometry constraints. FLA finds a lower bound whereas KLA finds an upper bound of the ultimate load of the arch. FEA is the most reliable and robust method and it can reproduce most of the mechanism and ultimate loads. However, special care is required in the definition of boundary conditions for FEA analysis. Scientific justification of the more suitability of numerical methods in front of classic methods at calculating arches with a few vossoirs is the main original contribution of the paper.

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