The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem has a narthex in the front that is as long as the façade of the Church and about six meters wide. Currently, the narthex is covered by five cross vaults, three of which in a dangerous state of decay, and it is internally divided by three walls perpendicular to the façade, which appears to be strongly rotated outwards with a maximum horizontal top displacement of about 40. cm. Inside the central cross vault, the narthex has been heavily damaged and propped since the thirties of the last century. Numerous attempts have been made over the time to identify the causes of such damage. Some archival researches, in-situ inspections of the subsoil and detailed laser scanner surveys, which were carried out during the recent restoration works in the Church and in the narthex, allowed for gaining a deeper insight into the construction features of the cross vaults and for putting forward some hypotheses about the possible causes of damage. This paper provides a scientific validation of these hypotheses by means of finite element numerical simulations, which try to reproduce the seismic response of the Church and the deformation process of a three-dimensional simplified model of the narthex from an assumed initial configuration up to an ultimate state of damage, comparable with the current one. Such models are discretized by means of tetrahedron elements obeying a damage plasticity law that exhibits a softening behavior in both tension and compression. The numerical simulations carried out provide some results that fit reasonably with the actual deformed configuration of the narthex and can be considered as a useful tool for further insights.
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|Titolo:||The narthex of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem: A non-linear finite element approach to predict the structural damage|
ALESSANDRI, Claudio (Ultimo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03.1 Articolo su rivista|