Maurice Lévy’s original contribution to the analysis of masonry domes

Giacomo Tempesta
Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy
E-mail: giacomo.tempesta@unifi.it

Michele Paradiso
Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy
E-mail: michele. paradiso@unifi.it

Stefano Galassi
Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy
E-mail: stefanogalassi@hotmail.it

Eva Pieroni
Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy
E-mail: betulla.dt@alice.it

Abstract
In the fourth section of his book “La statique graphique et ses applications aux constructions”, Chapter II, Cupoles en maçonnerie, published in Paris in 1888, Maurice Lévy deals with the problem related to the stability of ma-sonry domes provided with variable thickness. Lévy’s idea is based on the fact that in any type of dome there are two types of behaviour: the first refers to the portion of shell where, both along the meridians and parallels, there are only compressive stresses, the second relates to the part in which the parallels are intraction.The unknown of the problem is to determine the location of the parallel where the transition occurs between the two different conditions, that is, what Lévy calls the “point neutre”. Lévy suggests the use of an original graphical method, that he describes in detail, which initial setting is largely due to a previous work of H.T. Eddy.

Keywords
masonry dome, graphical methods, limit analysis

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