Safety Evaluation of the Imperfect Chapels of Batalha Monastery Safety Evaluation of the Imperfect Chapels of Batalha Monastery Safety Evaluation of the Imperfect Chapels of Batalha Monastery Safety Evaluation of the Imperfect Chapels of Batalha Monastery Safety Evaluation of the Imperfect Chapels of Batalha Monastery

 
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Safety Evaluation of the Imperfect Chapels of Batalha Monastery

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The study of ancient masonry structures is always a complex task. Common difficulties are the limited information regarding the history of construction, material properties and structural morphology.

This Master’s thesis presents the case study of the Imperfect Chapels from Batalha Monastery in Portugal.

An old story tells that the Imperfect Chapels have not been concluded due to the insufficient capacity of the remaining structures to withstand the weight of a starred vault of 20 m diameter. Visual inspection and GPR survey were done in the first stages of the work to understand the actual configuration of the building. The study starts with a safety evaluation of the existing structure. Consequently, a finite element model is developed including a 3D geometry of the complex.

Due to the uncertainties regarding material properties, sensitivity analysis is developed in order to study the behaviour of the existing structure under vertical loading and the dynamic response with pushover analysis in the principal directions. After the validation of the good conditions of the structure, the implementation of a simulated design of a starred vault is carried out under different stages of the construction process. Historical survey provides the geometrical definition of the shape of the possible vault. The finite element model is created using a combination of 3D elements in the ribs and 2D shells elements in the webbing of the vault.

Sensitivy analysis is again considered in order to validate the different variables in terms of material properties. Results of the analysis under self-weight show that the construction of the cover could be perfectly possible keeping a large level of safety.



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