In a joint study from Princeton University and Bergamo University scientists have identified engineering methods for the construction of a self-sustaining stone domes characteristic of the era of the Italian Renaissance. The object of study was the famous dome of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. We are talking about medieval technologies of masonry bricks in the formation of domes – dual method loxodrome.
Masonry by the double loxodrome (figure above) consists of rows of vertically stacked bricks, which seemed to twist to the top of the dome, the space between them is filled with horizontally laid bricks.
In fact, each row of bricks creates a structural element known as a flat arch, which clamps and squeezes the inner bricks, evenly distributing the load throughout the structure.
To find out these details was the detailed computer analysis that takes into account the operating forces, down to individual bricks, and explaining how to achieve their balance. To do this, scientists used a technique element modeling (DEM), with which they analyzed the structure at several levels and stages of construction. These tests not only tested the mechanics of structures, but also given the opportunity to recreate the construction methods.
Scientists say that the technique of medieval masters can be successfully applied in the development of modern methods of construction using robots.