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An arch is a structure that spans a space while supporting weight (e.g. a doorway in a stone wall). Arches can be of masonry, reinforced concrete and steel. Arches are shaped to take the load above them and develop only compression. Arches appeared as early as the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamian brick architecture and their systematic use started with the Ancient Romans who were the first to apply the technique to a wide range of structures.

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Triangular arch

Semi-circular arch

Segmental arch

Horseshoe arch

Elliptical arch

Parabolic arch

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To make analysis simple, it has been the practice to introduce structural hinges in arches.

Three hinged arch: Arches having hinges at the two springing and at the crown.  Two hinged arch: Arches having hinges at the springing. 

A three hinged arch of span 40 m and rise 8m carries concentrated loads of 200kN and 150kN at a distance of 8m and 16m, from the left end. A UDL of 50kN/m on the right half of the span. Find the horizontal thrust.
50kN

200kN 8m

150kN

16m 20m

8m

HA A VA
40m

B HB VB

™V=0; +ve VA + VB =200+150+(50×20) = 1350kN ™MB = 0, +ve (VA ×40)-(200×32)-(150×24)-(50×20×10) =0 VA = 500kN VB = 850kN
200kN 8m 16m 20m 150kN 50kN

8m

HA VA
40m

B HB VB

200kN

150kN 4m 12m

C

8m

H A

20m

500kN

Taking moment at C, ™MC = 0 -(H×8)+(500×20)-(200×12)-(150×4)=0

H=875kN

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