Mechanics of masonry structures
The mechanical behaviour of masonry structures and the properties of masonry material have seen a significant rise in research interest during the last 15 to 20 years. The interest is partly motivated by the urge of society to protect and restore historical buildings and the architectural heritage. On the other hand, the engineering community has realized the still existing gap between the understanding of steel and reinforced concrete structures and the behaviour of masonry structures.
The aim of the research is to develop mechanical models of masonry material and masonry structures, specifically vaults, that can be effectively used in practice. The methods proposed are to be applicable to both retrofitting and design purposes.
The following questions are investigated in specific: Is the ruptured vault stable? Was the crack in the vault caused by its weight or other load? What are the structural reasons for the change in dimension and geoemtry of vault in architectural styles?