The strength of masonry arches

Adams, Victor Hugh (1912). The strength of masonry arches. University of Birmingham. Other

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The arch is usually described in engineering text books as a curved structure, which under the action of vertical loads, exerts an inclined pressure on its supports.
It is really intermediary between a curved beam and a curved strut, approaching the former or the latter according as the bending stresses or compressive stresses are correspondingly predominant.
The theory of masonry arches has been, and is now in an unsatisfactory state owing to several reasons. Firstly, the materials of construction are generally cheap, and consequently, economy is not considered important. Secondly, up to quite a short time ago, investigators persisted in a type of theory which was admittedly indeterminate. Thirdly, the enormous advance in the production of iron and steel in the Nineteenth Century gave a great impulse to the erection of structures made of these materials, and so, although engineers began to be alive to the importance of both experimental data and theory in structural design, the masonry arch was somewhat neglected. Fourthly, there were so many arches already built, that the dimensions of new arches were almost always based on these existing ones to, the detriment of research.
There is, therefore, up to the present practically no useful data on which to base a satisfactory theory. Empirical results are certainly necessary as the conditions under which an arch bears its load are too varied to admit of treatment by pure theory.

Type of Work: Thesis (Other)
Award Type: Other
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction


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