On the Form of the Musmeci’s Bridge over the Basento River

The bridge over the Basento river in Potenza, Italy, designed by Sergio Musmeci, is supported by a continuous double-curvature RC shell optimized to reduce bending forces. This 300m long bridge can be considered as a unique representative example of pioneering research on the design and construction of optimized structures.First, the design process employed for determining the form of the shell and the relevant constructive issues are described. A refined 3D geometric model of the shell is then obtained through an aerial survey carried out by a commercial UAV and a photogrammetric image-based reconstruction. A recent formulation of the Force Density Method allowing for non-isotropic stress state is exploited to numerically derive the form of the supporting shell; it is validated versus the surveyed geometry of the shell by employing a nonlinear optimization procedure in order to identify forces and stresses to be used as input parameters. Finally, the derived form of the shell is tested by a Finite Element analysis to verify its funicular efficiency, i.e., whether it is capable to withstand design loads by pure membrane actions.


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  • Accession Number: 01708982
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 9 2019 3:10PM