WIT Press

Characterisation Of The Mechanical Behaviour Of The Bell Tower Of The Cathedral Of San Miniato (Pisa)


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343 - 355




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WIT Press


R. Barsotti, S. Bennati, L. Nardini & W. Salvatore


This paper reports the results of a wide-ranging study performed on the Tower of Matilde, the masonry bell tower of the Cathedral of San Miniato (Pisa, Italy). The structure, dating back to the XII century, has been subjected to various modifications over the centuries: from military fortification, to the bell tower incorporated into the church. The research followed a multidisciplinary approach to studying the tower, combining static and dynamic experimental analyses, structural FE modelling and updating through a suitable methodology seldom used in practice on masonry constructions. The aim was to achieve accurate characterization of the overall behaviour of whole masonry construction and the mechanical properties of its constituent materials. Keywords: masonry structures, static tests, system identification, model updating. 1 Introduction Nowadays, a reliable and effective estimation of the mechanical behaviour and load-bearing capacity of historical masonry structures is still an open issue. Despite the importance of such problems and the large number of relevant research studies (see for example [1–4]), no commonly shared methodology exists for characterising the mechanical properties of historical masonries. The various current methods, all based on either non-destructive or semi-destructive techniques, can be categorised as static tests (flat-jack test, diagonal compression test), or dynamic tests (sonic test, vibration measurements [3, 4]). Static tests allow for determining some mechanical parameters in the neighbourhood of the measurement point. Such tests, however, suffer from considerable scattering of the measured values due to the lack of homogeneity typical of historical masonry


masonry structures, static tests, system identification, model updating.