The arch is a straightforward approach to cross a large area using smaller stones. The area between two outside columns, or abutments, is filled with wedge-shaped stones. A temporary wooden arch is used to keep the stones in place during building; once the central keystone is in place, the timber support may be removed. The weight of the building is then transferred to the stone walls which stand up under pressure.
The basic design of the arch is very simple. It has two main parts: the springing and the keystone. The springing consists of two strong upright posts, called abutments, on which the arch rests. The space between the arches top edge and the bottom of the posts is called the keystone gap. This is where the real strength of the arch comes into play because it is here that the majority of the strain is taken by the posts. The keystone is a stone placed within the keystone gap to spread out the load over as wide an area as possible. When both keystones are in place, the arch is complete.
There are several different types of arch, but for practical purposes we can divide them into two groups: semicircular and pointed. With either type of arch, the tops of the posts form a circle, but the sides are not straight lines like a ladder. They curve instead towards the middle where the post meets its counterpart post.
An arch is a curving element used in architecture and civil engineering to bridge an opening and support loads from above. The arch served as the foundation for the vault's growth. The arch is also known as a curved lintel. Early masonry builders could only bridge short distances...
Masonry arches are often built using stone blocks that form the shape of the arch, with mortar filling the interstices between them. Modern buildings may use concrete instead.
Arches come in two main varieties: semicircular and pointed. A semicircular arch has a continuous curve throughout its span, beginning at one end and ending at the other. It is formed by two opposite curves joined together at their ends. The second variety, the pointed arch, features several large stones set closely together at the bottom of the wall and extending up past the level of the floor or roof. As they get higher, the points of the arches become narrower until, at the top, there is only one large stone left. This stone may be round or pointed and serves to join together the various sections of the wall.
The earliest known use of the arch was in Egypt around 3150 BC. Since then, it has been widely adopted by different cultures for their building projects. Even today, many structures are still being built using arches because of their strength and durability. They can withstand high winds, heavy rain, and seismic activity without breaking.
The wedge is important to arch building. When a sequence of wedge-shaped blocks—those with a broader upper edge than a narrower lower edge—are arranged flank to flank in the way illustrated in the image, the result is an arch. These are known as "voussoirs." The word comes from a French term for wine jug or cup. The voussos are used instead of concrete beams or steel girders to create strong, stable arches.
As you can see in the diagram below, the wedges are stacked one on top of the other with their narrow ends pointing toward the center. As each new set of wedges is added, they are positioned so that their broad ends are over the thin ends of the previous set.
This process continues until the desired height of the arch is reached. Then the last few wedges are turned so that their wide faces are now pointed up toward the sky. This completes the arch structure.
Architecture students often get this question wrong. They think it requires heavy materials to build an arch. That's not true at all! An arch can be made out of very small pieces of wood or stone if enough of them are put together in the right way. It's just that most arches are built out of concrete or metal because it's easy to find materials that are strong and stable when pushed together but flexible when pressed against gravity.
Stone arches are not entirely made of stone. All of the cavities were filled with gravel, sand, and rough stone. When compared to cut stone, this filler was less expensive to create and utilize, and it could be employed by untrained labor to fill the holes of constructions like as bridges and aqueducts. The stones for filling these holes were then smoothed down using softer rocks or soil before being washed away for more use. The result was a strong, flexible structure that could support heavy loads without breaking.
The first true arch bridge in Europe was built in Roman times over the Aqua Trajana in present-day Germany. It was made of wood, but it used metal hooks instead of nails to connect the parts of the bridge together. After the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe, this type of bridge became obsolete until the 19th century when one final wooden arch bridge was built. This last bridge was made out of redwood and survived into the 20th century.
In the United States, pioneers used wooden bridges after they settled into their new homes. As time went on, engineers developed ways to make these bridges stronger and more durable. The first steel arch bridge in the United States was built in 1872 by John A. Roebling at Niagara Falls. Since then, many more bridges have been built using this innovative material because it is light weight, strong, and can carry heavy loads. Today, nearly all large bridges across America are made from steel.
The pointed arch is utilized in Gothic architecture whenever an arch is required, both for strength and ornament. Gothic apertures with pointed arches include entrances, windows, arcades, and galleries. An arcade is a series of arches. A gallery is a row of arches high up on a structure. Windows are holes cut into a wall or ceiling to provide light and air.
In addition to being decorative, the pointed arch also provides support for overhanging structures. Without this reinforcement, walls would collapse under their own weight. The pointed arch is formed by bringing two lines together at a right angle, forming a point. Where these three lines intersect is where the pressure is greatest and the arch is strongest.
There are several types of pointed arches, including semi-circular, square, and oval. The type used in most Gothic buildings is the semi-circular arch, which is the most stable of all arch shapes because its curve makes it harder to topple over than other types of arches. Semi-circular arches can be made of stone or wood, but metal arches with semi-circular cross sections are also available. The key feature of a semi-circular arch is that it has a continuous curvature, without any straight edges, right up until the point where it meets the surface on which it stands. This continuous curvature means that there is no single point where the load is focused on one part of the arch.
However, the classification in this part centers on the building materials, deck placements, and structural systems. Arch bridges have been constructed since antiquity due to the ease of access to stone masonry, which is an excellent material for bearing compressive stresses. Also, its durability over time has made it popular for roads and railways.
There are two types of arch bridges: (1) semi-circular or (2) straight. A semi-circular arch bridge has a curved main span that ends in a point where the deck begins. This type of bridge requires only one key piece of equipment: a crane capable of lifting extremely heavy loads. The main advantage of a semi-circular arch is its simplicity and low cost. It can be built from any suitable material as long as it is strong enough to carry the expected traffic load. Examples include wood or steel trusses with concrete arches. (See also suspension bridge.) A straight arch bridge has a straight main span that does not end in a point but rather continues across multiple spans. These bridges require several key pieces of equipment: cranes to lift the materials needed for construction, jibs to reach high places, and sometimes derricks to lift heavy parts of the structure into place.
Semi-circular and straight arch bridges have similar load capacities because they use the same method to support their decks.