What are Arches?| Elements of an Arch

What are Arches?

An arch is a structure which is constructed to span across an opening. It generally consists of small wedge-shaped units which are joined together with mortar.

Elements of an Arch


elements of arches

  1. Intrados: It is the inner curve of the arch.
  2. Extrados: It is the external curve of an arch.
  3. Soffit: It is the inner surface of the arch.
  4. Voussoirs: These are the wedge-shaped units forming the courses of an arch.
  5. Skewback: It is the inclined or splayed surface on the abutment which is so prepared to receive the arch and from which the arch springs.
  6. Crown: It is the highest point on the extrados.
  7. Key: It is the wedge-shaped unit at the crown of an arch.
  8. Springing points: These are the points from which the curve of an arch springs.
  9. Springing line: It is an imaginary line joining the springing points of either end.
  10. Abutment: It is the end support of an arch.
  11. Piers: These are the intermediate supports of an arcade.
  12. Span: It is the clear horizontal distance between the supports.
  13. Rise: It is the clear vertical distance between the highest point on the intrados and the springing line.
  14. Centre: It is the geometrical center of the curve of an arch.

Also Read – What are Spillways? Types of Spillways

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