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Title: Experimental characterization of the structural response of adobe arches
Author: Oliveira, C.
Varum, H.
Vicente, N.
Sousa, O.
Costa, A.
Keywords: Earth construction
Adobe arches
Experimental tests
Structural behaviour
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Earth was one of the first construction materials used by mankind and has been used as a building material since ancient times until the present days. Its qualities related to thermal comfort, low cost or simple construction techniques have contributed to such a long tradition throughout the world with several different architectural expressions, integrating the culture and history of each region. With the wide propagation of steel and concrete structures, there has been a general loss of the traditional knowledge in earth construction. This type of construction presents important structural fragilities and requires a special maintenance to preserve its qualities. In order to understand the structural behaviour of this type of structures, the associated construction methods and processes have to be considered. Aveiro University has been developing studies on adobe constructions, with research on the material mechanical characterization, experimental study of the structural behaviour of adobe masonry walls and, more recently, in the development of a detailed survey methodology for the characterization of buildings in Aveiro district. Integrated in these studies, arches with different geometries were built using adobe blocks and traditional construction methods. These arches were tested under different types of vertical loading (distributed symmetrical, distributed non-symmetrical and point load) until collapse. The experimental tests performed reproduce the typical loading conditions of these structures during construction and use. The tests conducted, the results obtained and the main conclusions attained are described in this paper.
Peer review: yes
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Appears in Collections:DECivil - Comunicações

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