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logo SMC logo SMC  NLIN logo SMC  NLIN  PROJ2 Computational modeling of historical structures
Contact Thierry J. Massart
Keywords historical structures, finite element technique, restauration and renovation, damage mechanics, soil-structure interaction
  • Prof. M. Provost, ORIGIN s.a., Brussels, Belgium
Structural behaviour Computational modelling of the structural behaviour of historical structures

The objective of this research project consists in applying non-linear computational modelling tools (damage mechanics) to the analysis of historical buildings. The long term aim is to provide analysis tools allowing to complement thumb-rules used in restauration and renovation of historical structures, and give insight on the cause for degradation and cracking in such structures.

As an example of application, the church Our Lady of Sablon in Brussels, see Figure 1, was analysed with such tools. Simplified 2D cuts of the monument were computed using continuum damage mechanics laws (smeared crack models). Since differential settlements were suspected as a cause of the observed cracks, soil properties were taken into account in based on the interpretation of Cone Penetration Tests (CPT) performed on site.

Computational investigations indeed identified differential settlements as a potential cause for the main cracks observed in the investigated longitudinal cut, see Figure 2.

NL 2 Fig1

Figure 1. Cracks observed in situ.

NL 2 Fig2

Figure 2. Numerical results.

  • F.R.S.-FNRS
Selected publications
  • [1] A. Diaby, P. Bouillard, M. Provost, J.C. Verbrugge, T.J. Massart, Non-linear computational analysis of the structural behaviour of historical structures coupled to soil-structure interaction: an application to the Our Lady church of Sablon in Brussels, In Preparation.