WIT Press


A Study Of The Membrane State Of Florence Cathedral Dome

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/STR010381

Volume

55

Pages

9

Published

2001

Size

648 kb

Author(s)

V. Quintas

Abstract

Cracks appeared in Brunelleschi's dome of Florence Cathedral as soon as it was finished. Since the primary stress state for a shell structure is the membrane state, it can be supposed that those cracks were produced by membrane forces. An analysis by membrane theory of this dome shows that cracks correspond to the points with greatest tensions. This analysis also shows the need of two rings and a lantern load, as believed by Brunelleschi himself. 1. Introduction Brunelleschi's dome can be classified as a "polygonal dome" (fig. 1), that is, a dome resulting of the intersection of sectors of circular cylinders. Membrane state for this type of dome was first studied by Dischinger [1], and afterwards corrected byFliigge[2]. However, the particular case of Florence's dome,

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