Old 06-14-2012, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Arch question

Yes it will require more buttressing.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Arch question

Speaking of catenary arches...I'm thinking of using a catenary arch template for my dome. I've read that you should use a chain. Any size or type of chain? Will rope work? I'm guessing that the chain has weight to it, which makes it work, not that chains have any special properties which make them form perfect arches...
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Arch question

Actually, when calculating arch loads, it is less when there is a minimum of at least the width of the arch of masonry above it. That is to say, when there is more than the width of the arch of masonry above it, all the arch supports is a triangle of masonry with corners at the springlines and the center of the arch an arch-width above the peak of the arch.

If the distance is less, the arch will carry the weight of the masonry vertically from the springlines to the top of the masonry.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Arch question

Chains do have magical properties in that each of the individual links act independently and are not influenced by horizontal forces (like stiff rope fibers) that might distort the true shape.

I too initially thought about a catenary arch shape but quickly moved on to the thrust considerations involved in building a flatter-shaped dome suited more for pizza. I feel the size of a WFO dome and with the materials involved, the forces exerted by a flatter dome would not be prohibitive.

If you're still interested, you can find catenary data here:

Auroville Earth Institute

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