ROBERTO CAPOZUCCA Research Associate l.S.T.C, University of Ancona

Masonry vaults can be of the gravity type, where equilibrium is ensured by the mutual thrust between stone or brickwork blocks, or of the composite type, consisting of layers of brickwork and mortar. Thin composite masonry vaults, known as Catalan vaults, were used in many buildings in the past. Knowledge of the structural behaviour is most important for repair of historical buildings even when the vault has only one brickwork layer. In this case the repair can be carried out by constructing additional layers of brickwork and mortar on the extrados, in order to obtain a composite vault system. This paper reports a simplified analysis based on a sandwich behaviour model in which the external brickwork layers are able to support compression forces while the intermediate layer supports shear. The behaviour of a composite brickwork vault is also analyzed by means of an experimental static load test on a scale model.