Vibrational frequencies of a Guastavino spiral staircase shell

Parthasarathi Mandal, C R Calladine

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The Catalan technique for building thin-shell vaults and domes from layers of ceramic tiles bonded together by hydraulic cement was developed extensively in the United States of America by the Guastavino family, who described this kind of construction as timbrel vaults, because the structures would ring with a deep tone when jumped upon or struck. This paper is concerned with spiral staircase shells made by this Guastavino technique, and particularly with the fundamental natural frequency of vibration of the shell, as a function of the shells geometry and the material properties. We have studied many examples by means of ABAQUS finite-element software. We conclude that both membrane and bending / twisting behaviour of the elastic shell contribute towards the fundamental natural frequency; and we present simple general approximate empirical formulas, based on the ABAQUS results, for the fundamental frequency of these shells.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStructures and granular solids
    Subtitle of host publicationfrom scientific principles to engineering applications
    EditorsJ. F. Chen, J. Y. Ooi, J. G. Teng
    PublisherCRC Press
    ISBN (Print)978-0-415-47594-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    Dive into the research topics of 'Vibrational frequencies of a Guastavino spiral staircase shell'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this