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Research Article

On the mechanics of corbelled domes: new analytical and computational approaches  

Pilade Foti, Aguinaldo Fraddosio, Nicola Lepore*, Mario Daniele Piccioni

DICAR - Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ingegneria Civile e dell’Architettura, Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italia



Corbelled vaults,

Historic constructions,

Equilibrium analysis, 

Thrust network analysis,

Corbelling theory

The aim of this paper is to present new analytical and computational approaches for assessing the structural safety of “false vaults” structures like Trulli, and more generally for corbelled structures. Starting from a deep investigation on the building techniques of Trulli and on the employed materials, we underline that the stability of such structures is justifiable only by admitting the transmission of forces along parallels that is by admitting the three-dimensional nature of their structural behavior. We proposed two equilibrium methods for assessing the stability of such complex masonry structures, both capable of taking into account their three-dimensional behavior. The first method is based on the Thrust Network Analysis, a three-dimensional computational method for finding compression only spatial networks in equilibrium with the external loads contained in the thickness of the masonry. The second method is based on a further improvement of the so-called Modified Corbelling Theory, an analytical approach based on the limit overturning equilibrium and specifically developed for the analysis of corbelled domes.

 © 2017 MIM Research Group. All rights reserved.

DOI:                          Full Text


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