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Trinity College Dublin

Assessment Methodology of Cantilevered Stone Stairs

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Lead PI: 
Dr. Dermot O'Dwyer
Cantilevered stone stairs do not generally cantilever. Each stone tread transfers load applied to it from the tread above to the tread below and the wall support. The predominant resulting force developed within the tread is a torque.Assessing cantilevered stone stairs is complex because they are highly statically indeterminate. The support conditions at the wall are difficult to assess and the treads are carved from stone which is a natural and often highly variable material. In addition, many stairs have undergone repairs, which in some cases have weakened them.In proposing a simple method for analysing a flight of cantilevered stone stairs, the statically indeterminate problem is made determinate by assuming the support condition and location of the resultant contact force between the treads. This study should establish the range of these values in different stairs with different support condition and geometries.In this project, detailed finite element model capable of modelling the contact forces between individual tread and capable of modelling varieties of wall support conditions has been developed using ANSYS.
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Last updated 07 Feb 2011Contact Research IT.