Minimum thickness of semi-circular skewed masonry arches
The problem of determining the minimum thickness of masonry arches has been a challenge to the engineering community through the last two centuries. Although significant work has been undertaken to investigate the minimum thickness of semi-circular and elliptical rectangular arches, no work has been done to investigate the minimum thickness of skew arches.
In this paper we computed the minimum thickness of semi-circular skewed masonry arches when subjected to their self-weight. Using the Discrete Element Method (DEM), a sensitivity study has been carried out to investigate the minimal barrel thickness with respect to the: a) angle of skew; b) construction method (false, helicoidal, and logarithmic); c) size of masonry units; and d) frictional resistance between masonry units. The construction method and the angle of skew significantly influences the minimum barrel thickness of the arch. For skew arches constructed using the false method, as the angle of skew increases, the minimum barrel thickness increases.
However, for skew arches constructed using the helicoidal and logarithmic method, as the angle of skew increases, the minimum barrel thickness decreases. In contrast to rectangular arches, the size of the masonry units and the joint friction angle significantly influences the mechanical behaviour of skewed masonry arches.
Keywords: Masonry, skew arches, minimum thickness, 3DEC.