Discussion Of Results

The limit state analysis with finite friction and the FE analyses have allowed to clarify some important aspects of the complex structural behavior of pavilion vaults, in particular concerning the three-dimensional effects and the importance of the sliding. The results on pavilion vaults demonstrate that also vaults with rigid boundary at the supports are affected by cracks along the diagonals, unlike the common opinion that ascribes the diagonal cracks only to the walls' overturning.

In addition the structural behavior of masonry pavilion vaults can not be reduced to a series of adjacent arches, without transversal connection. In fact, in the web, despite the cracks along the diagonals, any arch can transfers the stresses at the arches beside it. This interaction is clear observing the trend of horizontal thrust applied by the vaults on the walls (Fig. 22): as it can be seen, the actual horizontal thrust is about constant, differently from the few indications about the pavilion vaults reported in the scientific literature, which indicates a triangular trend resulting from the simplified arch model.

This means that the web develops a series of natural arches defining an alternative load path from the centre of the web to the diagonal.

The theory based on the limit state analysis also allows to identify the thrust surface and to evaluate the bending moments for any slice. The results

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