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The three dimensional behaviour of masonry arches

Wang, J


J Wang


C Melbourne


Most masonry arch structures behave as complex 3-dimensional structures. For the convenience of the analyst such structures are usually modelled as 2-dimensional structures with the effects of their 3-dimensional characteristics being taken into account by modifying the arch parameters and the output of the analysis. The thesis outlines a research programme which fundamentally attempts to model the 3-dimensional nature of 'real' arches. An experimental programme comprising tests on skew multi-ring brickwork arch ribs and point loading of a multi-ring brickwork square span arch with an aspect ratio of 1.25 is used to validate the modelling.

The thesis will present the results from the laboratory tests. Class 'A' engineering bricks with 1:2:9 lime mortar were used to construct the two ring arch ribs. A skew angle of 45 was adopted with a square span between the interfaces of the supports of 3 metres. The square span to rise ratio was 4. The ribs were approximately 670 wide. Headers were provided to prevent ring-separations and the English method of skew arch constructions was used which resulted in the mortar bedding planes being square to the elevation at the crown and inclined to the abutments at the springings.

Three-dimensional macro-models are used to simulate both the large-scale square arch tests and the two skew arch tests. The results of each of the FE analyses are compared with data obtained from the corresponding experiments. Reasonable agreement between FE analyses and experimental results has been obtained. The values and applicability of the research in engineering practice have been demonstrated.


Wang, J. The three dimensional behaviour of masonry arches. (Thesis). Salford : University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2012
Award Date Jan 1, 2004