The mechanical response of mutually interconnected epistyles is studied experimentally. The specimens are made of two marble blocks connected to each other with an “I”-shaped titanium connector placed in grooves sculptured on the blocks and covered with cementitious material. The specific way of connecting epistyles simulates the one used by scientists restoring the ancient “connections” of the epistyles of the Parthenon Temple. This “connection”, although designed to sustain mainly tensile loading, undertakes, also, shear load, in case of excitations imposing to the epistyles displacements normal to the connector’s axis. Attention is focused to enlighten the role of a novel design technique aiming to relieve the stress field around the connector. According to this technique, part of the connector’s web is left uncovered, forming the so-called “Relieving Space”, assisting the unconstrained deformation of the connector. Both traditional and innovative sensing techniques were employed in an effort to obtain data from the interior of the three-material-complex (marble-cementitious material-titanium). Analysis of the data indicated that the “Relieving Space” reduces the overall stiffness of the system, protecting marble in case of over-loading. Moreover, it was concluded that the innovative techniques employed provide pre-failure indicators well in advance of the catastrophic failure of the specimens.
Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering
Corresponding author:S.K.KOURKOULIS,E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.