Milan Cathedral spire structural reinforcement
Year: 2012 - Location: Milano, Italy
Modelling and analysis of the highest spire to determine the stress conditions.
The main spire of the Cathedral of Milan exhibited some degradation since 1842, mainly due to the corrosion of metallic parts. The problem reappeared in the sixties of the last century, when a heavy corrosion of metallic elements forced to begin a deep restoration and consolidation project. This intervention was probably definitive for steel parts, but it couldn’t avoid the degradation of marble parts. The planned restoration requires the erection of scaffolding which surrounds the spire almost to the top.
This work becomes more delicate since greatly increases the surface exposed to the wind. The effects of this modification may be dangerous if they were transmitted to the spire itself. To avoid that wind loads are transmitted to the spire is necessary to eliminate any connection or direct contact, at least in the upper part, and the scaffold should be substantially self-supporting. This implies the presence of suitable bracing systems.