Authors: Simonetta Baraccani, Giada Gasparini, Michele Palermo, Stefano Silvestri, Tomaso Trombetti
Historical masonry buildings represent a considerable portion of the Italian cultural heritage, hence, their preservation and conservation is essential. Structural interventions on these buildings must preserve and respect the historical and architectural identity of the whole construction, avoiding invasive solutions. On the other hand, recent Italian seismic events have demonstrated how monumental buildings are vulnerable to earthquakes. Their whole seismic response is resulting from the behavior of each substructure. In this regard, the 2012 Emilia Earthquake highlighted that the masonry vaults of the Cathedral of Modena significantly damaged during the ground motion, thus indicating how such elements are highly vulnerable to earthquakes. The design of efficient structural interventions to strengthen masonry vaults requires some particular attentions, since the assessment of their dynamic response is not straightforward. The main purpose of the present work is the study of the structural behavior of the vaults of the Cathedral of Modena by comparing the responses of both Finite Elements and Discrete Elements models.
Keywords: Romanesque cathedral, masonry vaults, FEM model, DEM model