Lower-bound analysis of masonry vaults

Block P. and Ochsendorf J.
Proceedings of the VIth International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historic Construction
Bath, UK

This paper appliesThrust-Network Analysis, a three-dimensional computational method for obtaining lower-bound solutions of masonry vaults withcomplex geometries. The method extends thrust-line analysis to three-dimensional problems by finding equilibrium force networks within the vault’s geometry,representing possible paths of the compression forces. Through two case studies, this paper demonstrates the potential of the method as a powerful tool for understanding, visualizing and exploring the equilibrium of compression-only structures. First, an analysis of a series of groin and quadripartite rib vaults investigates the interrelationship between different parameters and the range of possible equilibrium solutions of these vaults. A second case study analyzes the fan vaults of King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England.


    author    = "Block, P. and Ochsendorf, J.",
    title     = "Lower-bound analysis of masonry vaults",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the VIth International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historic Construction",
    year      = "2008",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "Bath, UK",
    month     = "July",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",

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