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Materials (Basel). 2019 Aug 13;12(16). pii: E2576. doi: 10.3390/ma12162576.

A Simulation Study to Calculate a Structure Conceived by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1850 with Finite Element Analysis.

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Department of Graphic Expression in Architecture, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain.
Department of Construction, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain.


This study aims to investigate the application of finite element calculations to mixed structures of complex materials. As an example, we chose a vault designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1850, at which time it was not possible to verify the complexities of the different materials working together in a single structure using these calculation methods. To carry out the simulation, the internal qualities of each material and its current equivalent are taken into account. Thus, the composition of each element is crucial for its integration into the whole structure and its modeling and subsequent calculation. With this research, we show that a finite element analysis can also be applied to structures that are yet to be built. Furthermore, we verify the technological, construction and materials knowledge that has led us here and demonstrate that what was once a utopian vision can now be realized using the structures and materials we have access to today.


1850; Eugène Viollet-le-Duc; connecting rod; crosspiece; ductile cast iron; finite element method; linear and non-linear calculation; masonry dome; natural rock; simulation of construction

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