Three-dimensional Equilibrium Analysis of Gothic Masonry Vaults

Block P. and Lachauer L.
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions
Wroclaw, Poland

This paper introduces a powerful three-dimensional, computational equilibrium analysis method for masonry vaults using funicular networks. Applications of this new approach, based on Thrust Network Analysis and extended with insights from structural matrix analysis, for efficient funicular analysis of complex vault geometries are provided. This method provides the foundation for a fully three-dimensional limit analysis method for historic masonry vaults with complex geometries. The main concept and algorithms are introduced, and trough two exemplary case studies, the potential of this novel research is demonstrated. These discuss different assumptions on the flow of forces in Gothic quadripartite vaults, adding to the long historical debate on this topic, and provide a stability analysis of the intricate nave vaults of Sherborne Abbey, England.


    author    = "Block, P. and Lachauer, L.",
    title     = "Three-dimensional Equilibrium Analysis of Gothic Masonry Vaults",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions",
    year      = "2012",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "Wroclaw, Poland",
    month     = "10",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",

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