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Equilibrium analysis of complex masonry vaults

This research applies Thrust Network Analysis, a three-dimensional computational method for obtaining lower-bound solutions of masonry vaults with complex geometries.

More info

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 case studies, this research demonstrates the potential of the method as a powerful tool for understanding, visualizing and exploring the equilibrium of compression-only structures. This method also has the potential to suggest three-dimensional collapse mechanisms. Its results compare to those obtained with Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) and structural 3D-printed scale models.

Publications

Van Mele T., Panozzo D., Sorkine-Hornung O. and Block P.Best-fit Thrust Network Analysis - Rationalization of freeform meshes,Shell Structures for Architecture: Form Finding and Optimization,Adriaenssens, S., Block, P., Veenendaal, D. and Williams, C. (editors),Routledge,London,2014.
Block P. and Lachauer L.Three-dimensional Funicular Analysis of Masonry Vaults,Mechanics Research Communications,56: 53-60,2014.
Block P. and Lachauer L.Three-dimensional Equilibrium Analysis of Gothic Masonry Vaults,International Journal of Architectural Heritage,8(3): 312--335,2014.
Block P. and Lachauer L.Three-dimensional Equilibrium Analysis of Gothic Masonry Vaults,Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions,Wroclaw, Poland,2012 (10).
ETH ZurichDARCHITA

 

ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
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paulson@arch.ethz.ch
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