WIT Press

Load Path Method In The Interpretation Of Masonry Vault Behaviour


Free (open access)








1,202 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


F. Palmisano, A. Vitone, & C. Vitone


Born as a method to design Strut and Tie Models in reinforced concrete structures, the Load Path Method (LPM, Schlaich and Schafer, Vitone A. and Vitone V., Palmisano et al.) has also become a simple and effective instrument to understand the behaviour of masonry structures (De Tommasi et al.). This paper deals with the effectiveness of the application of the Load Path Method to the diagnosis of the pathologies of the masonry vaults. While proposing the principles and the general criterions of LPM for the case of the arch, it will try to gather the correspondences with the classical approaches to these themes. The method offers an interpretation of masonry vault behaviour that immediately exhibits the correlation among form (geometry) and structure (distribution of loads and of thrusts): a particularly narrow correlation in the case of the masonry vaults. Keywords: masonry structures, arch, vault, strut and tie, load path. 1 Load Path Method: basic principles The most suitable orthonormal Cartesian system of architectural forces to physical environment in which they flow, is the one capable to bring back them only to vertical loads and horizontal thrusts. According to this, structure can be read as the trace of loads path (De Tommasi et al. [1]). The form of the structure is the result of their mutual integration and mainly of the influence of profiles traced by thrusts path, forced to deviate their natural horizontal flows to the soil,


masonry structures, arch, vault, strut and tie, load path.