The final results of advanced FE analyses performed on a Roman arch bridge, namely the Augustus Bridge (Ponte di Augusto) in Narni, center Italy are presented. The bridge, one of the most impressive Roman artworks, has been injured by several traumatic events during the millennia, the result of which is its present ruined condition. The aims are manifold, starting from a better understanding of the causes at the base of the partial collapse occurred on the central pier, passing through a seismic assessment of the ruined still standing part and ending with a discussion on the role played by Roman concrete on the stability against horizontal actions. An advanced material model exhibiting damage, plastic deformation, and softening in both tension and compression is adopted for Roman concrete. Both the case of a foundation settlement of the central pier and the application of a seismic excitation are investigated, by means of nonlinear static and nonlinear dynamic analyses. Numerical simulations are carried out within the FE code ABAQUS by means of detailed 3D models, using historical documentation and previous results of the latest research carried out on materials, assuming realistic models on both the uniaxial stress-strain relationships under nonlinear load-unload conditions by using independent damage parameters in tension and compression, and the multiaxial behavior ruled by a regularized Drucker-Prager strength criterion. The methodological approach turns out to be potentially valid for all existing Roman bridges. Results highlight the vulnerability of the ruins, that the collapse of the central part was probably due to settlement of the central pier and that Roman concrete plays a crucial role in increasing the stability against earthquake actions.

Augustus Bridge in Narni (Italy): Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of the Still Standing Part, Possible Causes of Collapse, and Importance of the Roman Concrete Infill in the Seismic-Resistant Behavior

Bertolesi E.;Milani G.;Acito M.
2017

Abstract

The final results of advanced FE analyses performed on a Roman arch bridge, namely the Augustus Bridge (Ponte di Augusto) in Narni, center Italy are presented. The bridge, one of the most impressive Roman artworks, has been injured by several traumatic events during the millennia, the result of which is its present ruined condition. The aims are manifold, starting from a better understanding of the causes at the base of the partial collapse occurred on the central pier, passing through a seismic assessment of the ruined still standing part and ending with a discussion on the role played by Roman concrete on the stability against horizontal actions. An advanced material model exhibiting damage, plastic deformation, and softening in both tension and compression is adopted for Roman concrete. Both the case of a foundation settlement of the central pier and the application of a seismic excitation are investigated, by means of nonlinear static and nonlinear dynamic analyses. Numerical simulations are carried out within the FE code ABAQUS by means of detailed 3D models, using historical documentation and previous results of the latest research carried out on materials, assuming realistic models on both the uniaxial stress-strain relationships under nonlinear load-unload conditions by using independent damage parameters in tension and compression, and the multiaxial behavior ruled by a regularized Drucker-Prager strength criterion. The methodological approach turns out to be potentially valid for all existing Roman bridges. Results highlight the vulnerability of the ruins, that the collapse of the central part was probably due to settlement of the central pier and that Roman concrete plays a crucial role in increasing the stability against earthquake actions.
Earthquake; masonry arch Roman bridges; nonlinear dynamic analysis; nonlinear static analysis (pushover); Roman concrete; spectral response analysis
Earthquake; masonry arch Roman bridges; nonlinear dynamic analysis; nonlinear static analysis (pushover); Roman concrete; spectral response analysis; Conservation; Architecture2300 Environmental Science (all); 1213
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