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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 108
Edited by: J. Kruis, Y. Tsompanakis and B.H.V. Topping
Paper 57

Effect of Tension Rings on the Stability of Axisymmetric Masonry Domes

M.N. Varma1 and S. Ghosh2

1Nandadeep Designers and Valuers Pvt. Ltd., Aurangabad, India
2Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M.N. Varma, S. Ghosh, "Effect of Tension Rings on the Stability of Axisymmetric Masonry Domes", in J. Kruis, Y. Tsompanakis, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 57, 2015. doi:10.4203/ccp.108.57
Keywords: masonry, dome, axisymmetric, tension ring, stability, thrust line,.


Axisymmetric masonry domes are subjected to hoop tensile forces which mostly lead to vertical cracks appearing along the dome's meridional planes, as masonry provides almost no resistance against tensile stresses. A close inspection of any such dome reveals these hoop tension cracks. Although different strategies have been considered historically to arrest these cracks (for example, in the St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City), architects and engineers have found that a metal tension ring provides the best solution to this problem in unreinforced masonry constructions. This paper presents a detailed study on the effect of tension rings on the stability of axisymmetric masonry domes.

The primary objective of this work, presented in this paper, is to find the most effective location of the tension ring for a spherical masonry dome. Axisymmetric domes with different half angles of embrace are studied for their stability using a combination of thrust line analysis and finite element methods. The stability of the dome is also studied for a variety of tension ring cross-sectional areas and elastic modulii of the ring material. Finally, recommendations are made in terms of the most effective location and size of the tension ring in order to achieve the most stable masonry dome with an optimised cross-section.

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