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spanning of openings

Lintels and Arches

Prepared by,
vai s h a l i a n a g a l
Introduction to spanning of
• Openings for doors , windows
and access openings must be
bridged over by some means to
support the masonry above.
• Arches and lintels used to bridge
the openings.
• Lintels act like a beam and
transfers the load vertically

•The wall over the lintel will tend to create an arch over the
opening, leaving only the area under the arch to be carried
by the lintel beam.
•Valid for running bond, but not stack bond.
•Loads will "arch" around the load triangle, as shown in
• Openings in masonry walls are spanned by horizontal
members known as lintels.
• The ht. of lintel is kept in multiple of brick course ht.
i.e. 65mm.
• The depth of Lintels is not usually less than 150mm.
The lintels may be constructed of:
• Timber
• Stone
• Brick.
• Precast or cast-in-situ concrete
• Structural steel
• Reinforced concrete masonry.
Timber lintel

• Timber –good in
• Used in ancient
• Not being used today
because of unavailability
of material, cost.
• Likely to get damaged in
case of fire.
• Likely to rot causing wall
over it to collapse.
Stone lintels

• Used where stone is widely

• High cost
• Inability to withstand
transverse stresses.
• Min. thk. Of stone lintel 8cm.
Brick lintels

• Hard, well burnt, first class bricks

are laid on edge- soldier bricks.
• Depending upon span, depth varies
from 100mm to 200mm.
• Suitable for small openings up to
900mm with light loading
• Bricks having frogs are more
suitable for lintel construction.

•Frogs filled with

mortar increase shear
resistance of brick
•For larger spans, brick
lintels are to be
provided with steel
•Depth limited to
100mm or multiples of
Concrete lintel
• Very common in use today.
• Usually reinforced with steel.
• Used for small and large spans, heavy loading
• Concrete- relatively cheap can be molded in desired
shape & size when in plastic condition, good
strength in compression- good strength against
• Concrete lacks strength against tensile forces.
• When lintel is subjected to load, it will slightly
bend; particles in upper part exert compressive
forces i.e. particles are pushed against each-other,
particles in lower part exert tensile forces i.e. they
are pulled apart and particles in middle part are
neither in compression and nor in tension i.e. they
are in neutral axis
• To give concrete required
strength to resist tensile
Concrete forces, steel is added at
bottom of lintel with cover of
lintel • Steel has good strength in
• Cover of concrete protects
steel from corrosion. In case
of fire, steel rod if exposed
would expand and come away
from concrete and lintel
would collapse.
• 1:2:4 cement mortar is used.
Reinforcing steel
• 10 or 12 dia. steel
• Bent up of hooked at end.
• Purpose of bent up bar- when
the lintel does bend, the rod
do not lose their adhesion to
the concrete around them.
Casting lintel
• Pre-cast lintel: lintels are casted into mould and have
been hardened before it is built into wall.
• For smaller spans up to 1.2m precast lintels are used.
• Marking is done to know the location of reinforcement in
the lintel. Letter ‘T’ is marked to know position of top
surface of lintel.
• Additional reinforcement has to be provided to guard
against lifting stress.
• Advantage of precast lintels – brickwork can be raised on
lintel immediately after it is placed in position.

• Cast in situ lintel: lintel is cast in position inside

formwork over the opening in walls.
• Need formwork for casting.
• Need to be cured and hardened before the masonry is
being constructed above.
• For cantilever of chajja additional reinforcement has to
provided at top of cantilever portion to take care to
tensile forces that develop.
Pre-stressed concrete
• Used particularly over internal openings.
• Concrete is casted around high tensile steel wire which are
anchored into the concrete.
• Concrete is compressed by tension in the steel wires
• Under the load, the compression of concrete due to pre-
stressed wires has to overcome before the lintel bends.
Steel lintels

• For large spans and heavy loading conditions, RCC lintels may
prove uneconomical because of increasing depth.
• Steel lintels- section of rolled steel joists used singly or in
combination of two or three.
• Connected to each other by bolts passing through them at
• System is embedded in concrete and cured like RCC lintel.
• Less depth than RCC lintels.
Introduction- arches
•‘A curved structure for
spanning an opening,
designed to support a
vertical load primarily by
•Example of form
following function.
•The invoiced stresses
are principally
•Because brick masonry
has greater resistance to
compression than
• Masonry arch is
Arch Forms - Components

Vousso Keystone

Arch Forms - Terminology
Key Stone



Soffit Centre

Springing line


Arch Forms - Terminology
Forms of Arch
• The first civilization to
make extensive use of
arches: Romans
• Shape of Roman arches:
• why?
• Circle - the easiest way
to set out
Semi Circular Arch

•An arch whose intrados is a

semicircle (half circle).
•Exactly half a circle, centre is on
the Springing Line
•All joints radiate from the centre of
the circle
•All these types of arch have an odd
number of arch stones or voussoirs
•The centre voussoir is called the
Keystone, the final stone to be
Forces acting in semicircular
• A linear
semicircular arch:
loaded by uniform
radial pressure
•An arch whose intrados
Segmental Arch is circular but less than
a semicircle.
•Shallow arch with the
centre below the
springing line
•Lateral movement of
the abutment is due to
the horizontal thrust of
the arch.
•This thrust develops in
all arches.
•The flatter the arch, the
greater the horizontal
•This thrust must be
sufficiently restrained so
that lateral movement of
Jack arch/Flat Arch
• A flat arch with zero or little
• The relatively small rise of a
jack arch is called camber
which is provided to correct
illusion of sagging.
• Bricks are placed in ‘soldier’
manner adjacent to each
• Lesser strength than semi-
circular and segmental arch.
• For spans over 1.0m need
additional support such as a
metal flat or angle.
• Metal cramps can be
inserted at vertical joints to
resist tensile stresses.
• Suitable for small spans.
Bull’s eye arch

• An arch whose
intrados is a full circle.
• Also known as a
Circular arch.

• Do not require
staging or form
• Simple to
Gothic Lancet Arch

•Pointed arch
•Tall and narrow opening
•Centres are located on the
springing line outside the
clear opening or width of
the arch
•Taller than width
•Can have a keystone or a
joint at the point…
Forces acting in Gothic arch
Gothic Drop Arch

•Pointed arch
•Centres on the springing line
inside the clear opening
•Wider than height
•Can have a keystone or joint at
the point…
Gothic Equilateral Arch

•Based on an equilateral
•The centres are on the
springing line exactly at
the clear opening.
•Can have a keystone or in
this case a joint at the
Three Centred Arch

•A geometrically
formed arch
•Has three centres two
on the springing line
and one in the centre
•The bedding layers
can be clearly seen in
this example…
Tudor Four Centred Arch

•Uses 4 curves and centres

to make up the arch…
•A pointed, four-centered
arch of medium rise-to-span
ratio whose four centers are
all beneath the extrados of
the arch.
Elliptical Arch

n arch with two centers and continually changing radii.

Circle on Circle Arch
•Probably one of the most
complex arch shapes to
produce in stone
•Arch is circular in plan and
circular in elevation
•Requires complex geometry
to set out to produce
Horseshoe Arch
•Arch extends below
the centre springing
•In this case it is a
redundant railway
tunnel arch…

•An arch formed by a combination of jack arch at the

ends and
semicircular arch at the middle.
•Also known as a Queen Anne arch
Rough Arches
• Constructed from ordinary
uncut bricks.
• Give rise to edge shaped
• To reduce too wide mortar
joints at extrados, arches
are constructed in header
• Used for low cost
construction or where
appearance has little
importance than cost.
failure of an arch
There are three failure modes of an un-reinforced brick
• Rotation of the arch about the abutment-
Rotation occurs when tension develops in the arch.
Tension can be reduced by increasing the depth or rise
of the arch. If tension develops in the arch,
reinforcement can be added to resist the tensile

• Sliding of the arch at the skewback,

Sliding of the arch will depend on the angle of
skewback (measured from horizontal) and the vertical
load carried by the arch. Reinforcement can be added
to avoid sliding at the skewback, as the reinforcement
acts as a shear key.
• Crushing of the masonry.
Crushing will occur when compressive stresses in the
arch exceed the compressive strength of the brick
masonry. If compressive stresses are too large, the
arch must be redesigned with a shorter span or a
greater arch depth. Compression failure seldom
failure of an arch

A stone arch (no

strength in tension)
will fail when the
thrust lie reaches
the extrados and
intrados in four
points, becoming a
Arches: design

• Avoid cracking (tensile stresses) under loads

• Keep the thrust line within the middle third of the
arch cross-section
Arches: design
• Thrusts at springing
(reactions at supports)
are inclined:
– vertical component
– horizontal component
• Horizontal reactions
tend to spread the
supports apart.
• Buttresses can be used,
especially for
arches/vaults on high
Arches: buttresses
Arch Forms – Setting Out


Set out Springing Set out Face of

Line 20mm
Set out Centre Produce Joint line
Line from centre
Set out arch using C/L
a rad of 120mm
Formwork for
Formwork for arches

•Temporary support to be given until the brick joints have set &
arch gains sufficient strength to support itself and carry the loads
over opening.
•Formwork has less width than the soffit of an arch to allow the
setting a plumb to check alignment.
•Type of formwork will depend upon-
-The wt. to be supported
-The width of soffit.
Formwork for arches
The brickwork is
over the frame.
Formwork for

Frame must be removed after the mortar

joints are set and arch has received suffient
strength to take self load and load of
masonry above.
Formwork for small span
Formwork for spans up to 1.5m
Formwork for spans up to 4.0 m
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
•Templates of
hardboard or
plywood are
made to cut
•Wedge shaped
bricks cut with
axe and rubbed
with abrasive
stone to get
smooth & sharp
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
Jack Arch Construction Sequence
Jack Arch Construction Sequence