Finite Element Analysis of the Parthenon marble block- steel clamp system response under acceleration

Zacharias Vangelatos, Michail Delagrammatikas, Olga Papadopoulou, Charalampos Titakis, Panayota Vassiliou


Finite element analysis is employed to investigate the mechanical behaviour and failure scenarios of the marble block–steel clamp ancient masonry system utilised in the Parthenon (Athens Acropolis) under static loading analysis. The input data for the model are acquired by the laboratory testing of early 20th century restoration steel clamps, such as through tensile strength measurements and metallography, as well as bibliographic sources from various scientific fields (i.e. material properties, archaeometry, restoration, structural engineering and geology). Two different embedding materials (Portland cement mortar and lead), used for the nesting of the clamps, are examined under bending or stretching, induced by acceleration forces. The conservation status of the materials is taken into account by employing an intrinsic stress, as is the case when corrosion products build up in a confined space. The aim of this work is to provide a tool for the assessment of the conservation potential of the marble blocks in parts of the monument that require specific attention. Simulation results indicate the resilience of the Parthenon’s structural system under most examined scenarios and highlight the importance of intrinsic stresses, the existence of which may lead to the fracture of the marble blocks under otherwise harmless loading conditions.

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