Evaluation of the limit load capacity of masonry arch bridges

Amaryllis Audenaert*, Wout Dullaert, Genserik Reniers, Herbert Peremans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Using a 2D decision support system based on a recent analytical model, this paper is the first to demonstrate that bridge specific characteristics require a detailed analysis to determine the collapse load. A parameterized study of the limit load capacity is necessary to calculate the worst case positioning of any kind of load. Because of the complexity of finite element modeling and the computation time requirements of 3D finite elements models for a large number of load positions, it is regularly assumed that collapse positions are situated at the crown of the arc. Empirical testing in this paper clearly demonstrates that this is not the case. The here developed approach allows for a quick scan of any type of masonry arch bridge, thus providing the necessary information on the critical range of load positions to be analyzed in more detail by a 3D modeling approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalWSEAS Transactions on Applied and Theoretical Mechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Collapse load
  • Equilibrium
  • Key-words: arches
  • Safety


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