Kinematic collapse load calculator: Circular arches

Gabriel Stockdale*, Simone Tiberti, Daniela Camilletti, Gessica Sferrazza Papa, Ahmad Basshofi Habieb, Elisa Bertolesi, Gabriele Milani, Siro Casolo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Masonry arches and their typical failure do not fall elegantly into standard design and analysis methods. The system is highly dependent on geometry and failure is dominated by mechanization, not material strength. Focusing directly on the mechanized failure, this work presents the kinematic collapse load calculator (KCLC) for circular arches. The KCLC, a MATLAB® based graphical user interface, provides a simple interactive limit analysis of any ideal semi-circular masonry arch subjected to either an asymmetric point load or constant horizontal acceleration. After defining key geometric factors, the KCLC analyses the arch for any selected and kinematically admissible hinge configuration. For a selected configuration, an equilibrium approach to the upper bound theorem of limit analysis is used to calculate the collapse load multiplier and hinge reactions. The resulting collapse condition values are displayed and used to plot the thrust line that maintains a zero moment at the hinges. Designed primarily as an educational tool, the KCLC also provides a simple and efficient foundation for adapting to different arch geometries and loading conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Interactive analysis
  • Kinematic approach
  • Limit analysis
  • Masonry arch


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