Special Issue "Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Civil Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Claudia Cennamo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Aversa, Italy
Interests: solid mechanics; masonry structures; limit analysis
Dr. Concetta Cusano
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Aversa, Italy
Interests: masonry structures; limit analysis; graphic statics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As already known, the majority of architectural heritage structures in the world consist of unreinforced masonry constructions. We are talking about a very current issue, particularly in terms of conserving and preserving such wealth, without excluding the ethical aspect of sustainability. Over the years, the scientific community has been formulating different approaches to study the static and seismic behavior of masonry structures and to evaluate their vulnerability.

On this basis, this Special Issue, entitled “Historic Masonry Architecture,” offers the occasion to share experiences on theories, analysis methods, and non-invasive assessment tools in fields of structural masonry and to discuss recent progress in this regard.

Prof. Dr. Claudia Cennamo
Dr. Concetta Cusano
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • masonry
  • historic constructions
  • static and seismic assessment
  • analysis methods

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Retrofitting Masonry Walls against Out-Of-Plane Loading with Timber Based Panels
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5443; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125443 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 553
Abstract
Unreinforced masonry walls are prone to failure when subjected to out-of-plane loading. This is due to their low performance in bending, and often the lack of appropriate connection to returning walls and floors. This paper investigates the possibility to use oriented strand boards [...] Read more.
Unreinforced masonry walls are prone to failure when subjected to out-of-plane loading. This is due to their low performance in bending, and often the lack of appropriate connection to returning walls and floors. This paper investigates the possibility to use oriented strand boards (OSB) panels to improve the out-of-plane performance of brick masonry walls. The proposed technique considers securing OSB type-3 panels behind masonry walls with chemical and mechanical connections. The work presents finite element models to predict their behaviour. The models have been calibrated and validated through a three-phase experimental campaign, aimed at (a) characterizing the main structural components, (b) studying the out-of-plane behaviour of small-scale masonry prisms and (c) studying the behaviour of 1115 × 1115 × 215 mm masonry walls. The finite element models developed are based on a micromodel technique developed in ABAQUS and demonstrated to adequately capture the behaviour of both plain and retrofitted models to the ultimate load. The models also show an excellent correlation of the compressive damage and tensile damage with the experimental failure pattern. Generally, the model predicted the peak load and the corresponding failure and toughness to within less than 10% of the average test results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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Article
Brunelleschi’s Dome: A New Estimate of the Thrust and Stresses in the Underlying Piers
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 4268; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11094268 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
The paper deals with the insurgence of the thrust, together with its valuation, in masonry domes, giving special attention to the Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence. After a recalling of the kinematical approach in the context of the Heyman masonry model, the thrust of [...] Read more.
The paper deals with the insurgence of the thrust, together with its valuation, in masonry domes, giving special attention to the Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence. After a recalling of the kinematical approach in the context of the Heyman masonry model, the thrust of Brunelleschi’s Dome is estimated as the maximum of the set of all the kinematical ones. Comparisons are made with other valuations made by the usual, but less accurate, statical approach. The knowledge of the thrust allows an evaluation of the stresses acting in the supporting piers: their base sections are all compressed, with level stresses sufficiently low. This result shows the extraordinary conception of Filippo Brunelleschi’s Dome and the favorable design of the pillar sections and of the drum positioning, due, perhaps, to Arnolfo di Cambio or to the succeeding Masters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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Article
From Stress to Shape: Equilibrium of Cloister and Cross Vaults
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3846; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093846 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 543
Abstract
The assessment of the equilibrium and the safety of masonry vaults is of high relevance for the conservation and restoration of historical heritage. In the literature many approaches have been proposed for this tasks, starting from the 17th century. In this work we [...] Read more.
The assessment of the equilibrium and the safety of masonry vaults is of high relevance for the conservation and restoration of historical heritage. In the literature many approaches have been proposed for this tasks, starting from the 17th century. In this work we focus on the Membrane Equilibrium Analysis, developed under the Heyman’s theory of Limit Analysis. Within this theory, the equilibrium of a vault is assessed if it is possible to find at least one membrane surface, between the volume of the vaults, being in equilibrium under the given loads through a purely compressive stress field. The equilibrium of membranes is described by a second order partial differential equation, which is definitely elliptic only when a negative semidefinite stress is assigned, and the shape is the unknown of the problem. The proposed algorithm aims at finding membrane shapes, entirely comprised between the geometry of the vault, in equilibrium with admissible stress fields, through the minimization of an error function with respect to shape parameters of the stress potential, and then, with respect to the boundary values of the membrane shape. The application to two test cases shows the viability of this tool for the assessment of the equilibrium of existing masonry vaults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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Article
Graphical and Analytical Quantitative Comparison in the Domes Assessment: The Case of San Francesco di Paola
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3622; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083622 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
(1) Methods for checking the condition of monumental masonry structures can still be considered understudied. Among the different approaches available in the literature, the graphical ones have a special role, due to their simplicity and effectiveness. (2) In this work, a 2D method [...] Read more.
(1) Methods for checking the condition of monumental masonry structures can still be considered understudied. Among the different approaches available in the literature, the graphical ones have a special role, due to their simplicity and effectiveness. (2) In this work, a 2D method (Thrust Line Analysis (TLA)), the Modified Thrust Line Method (MTLM), and the 3D Membrane Equilibrium Analysis (MEA) method are compared. All methods have the same starting concept: no tensile strength, no sliding between the stone blocks, infinite compressive strength. (3) The methods are compared in terms of stress distribution (for the same—or similar—thrust line), and in terms of the Geometrical Safety Factor ensured. (4) The work shows that these theories, if properly conveyed in a scientific methodology (as many authors are doing currently and have done in the past) demonstrate the effectiveness and the advantages of graphical methods for simple structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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Article
Parametric Stability Analysis of Groin Vaults
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3560; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083560 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 520
Abstract
This paper presents a parametric stability study of groin, or cross vaults, a structural element widely used in old masonry construction, particularly in Gothic architecture. The vaults’ stability is measured using the geometric safety factor (GSF), computed by evaluating the structure’s minimum thickness [...] Read more.
This paper presents a parametric stability study of groin, or cross vaults, a structural element widely used in old masonry construction, particularly in Gothic architecture. The vaults’ stability is measured using the geometric safety factor (GSF), computed by evaluating the structure’s minimum thickness through a thrust network analysis (TNA). This minimum thickness is obtained by formulating and solving a specific constrained nonlinear optimisation problem. The constraints of this optimisation enforce the limit analysis’s admissibility criteria, and the equilibrium is calculated using independent force densities on a fixed horizontal projection of the thrust network. The parametric description of the vault’s geometry is defined with respect to the radius of curvature of the vault and its springing angle. This detailed parametric study allows identifying optimal parameters which improve the vaults’ stability, and a comprehensive comparison of these results was performed with known results available for two-dimensional pointed arches. Moreover, an investigation of different force flows represented by different form diagrams was performed, providing a better understanding of the vaults’ structural behaviour, and possible collapse mechanisms were studied by observing the points where the thrust network touches the structural envelope in the limit states. Beyond evaluating the GSF, the groin vault’s stability domain was described to give additional insights into the structural robustness. Finally, this paper shows how advances in equilibrium methods can be useful to understand and assess masonry groin vaults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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Article
Seismic Evaluation and Methods of Rehabilitation of Old Masonry Buildings in the Bay of Kotor (Montenegro)
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3544; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083544 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 467
Abstract
Old load-bearing masonry buildings exist all around the world. The cultural and architectural heritage value of these buildings and the consciousness of public opinion have led to a need for safeguarding and preservation policies for these architecturally valued buildings and urban aggregates. This [...] Read more.
Old load-bearing masonry buildings exist all around the world. The cultural and architectural heritage value of these buildings and the consciousness of public opinion have led to a need for safeguarding and preservation policies for these architecturally valued buildings and urban aggregates. This paper provides the information on the constructive and structural details of the old buildings dating from the 12th to 19th century in the Bay of Kotor and discusses their seismic and dynamic behaviour, identifying structural fragilities and consequently their vulnerability. One factor that significantly influences the seismic vulnerability is the quality of workmanship, which has, in conjunction with the lack of maintenance of the buildings, increased the seismic vulnerability of heritage masonry buildings in general. Masonry constructions represent an important part of Montenegrin Architectural Heritage. The existing heritage masonry buildings in the Bay of Kotor suffered major earthquakes with repairs ranging from minor repairs to partial rebuilding. No degree of seismic resistance to any potentially severe shaking levels has been determined for the surviving buildings. The lack of strategies, policies and actions by the institutions responsible for this domain in the course of the second half of the 20th century drove these buildings to the state of serious degradation. The adoption of intrusive and inadequate rehabilitation and conservation practices, using new materials and construction techniques on structural and nonstructural elements, has strayed away from traditional knowledge and practices. The main objective of this research is understanding the whole building process that underpins a historical construction, and building techniques and other methods applied in building the architectural and engineering structures constituting the present Historical Heritage in Montenegro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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Article
From the Point Cloud to BIM Methodology for the Ideal Reconstruction of a Lost Bastion of the Cáceres Wall
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6609; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186609 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
Thanks to the use of non-invasive techniques and remote sensing in a 19th century building, it was possible to demonstrate that said building is a lost part of the Cáceres wall. This wall was believed to maintain the straight line from a known [...] Read more.
Thanks to the use of non-invasive techniques and remote sensing in a 19th century building, it was possible to demonstrate that said building is a lost part of the Cáceres wall. This wall was believed to maintain the straight line from a known section, but remote sensing makes it clear that at that point the wall makes a break creating a door of which there was no record. Once this premise was confirmed, an ideal reconstruction hypothesis was developed. For this, the work base was taken on the data collected in an exhaustive data collection process, which launched millions of control points and facilitated in theorizing the original state of this lost section. The HBIM methodology greatly facilitated the process, and will allow for possible modifications with an IFC file as advances are made in that area. Finally, the research proposes an architectural project path that takes into account the data obtained remotely, and that achieves the inclusion of this part of the city in cultural interest and, of course, in a protected and cataloged area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Modelling of Historic Masonry Architecture)
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