Parabolic arch (SE110.16)

statically determinate or statically indeterminate parabolic arch under load



  • Parabolic arches are popular elements in construction engineering.
  • They can be employed as bridges or beams for example.
  • Normally these bridges are statically indeterminate.
  • The special feature of the parabolic arch is that in the arch only normal forces and bending moments occur, but no shear forces.
  • That is the case when the arch is subjected to a uniform distributed load and both ends are mounted in fixed supports.
  • This enables arches to be constructed from loosely set stones – a construction technique which has been in existence for many centuries.
  • Loads acting upon the inner of the arch are primarily compressive forces in the direction of the normal force at every point of the arch.
  • SE 110.16includes a pre-shaped parabolic arch.
  • It can be subjected to point or distributed loads.
  • It is possible to suspend an elastic roadway and load it.
  • One of the arch’s supports is fixed, the other is horizontally movable support.
  • Weights are used to undo this movement.
  • The movable support thus becomes a fixed support.
  • Additional weights compensate for the vertical support reaction.
  • Dial gauges record the deflection of the arch under load and the horizontal displacement of the movable support.
  • As long as the movable support is movable, the arch is statically determinate, though it is substantially deformed under load.
  • As soon as the movable support becomes immovable, the arch is no longer statically determinate and is deformed only to a minor degree.
  • All the component elements of the experiment are clearly laid-out and housed securely in a storage system.
  • The complete experimental setup is arranged in the frame SE 112.

Technical Details:


  1. investigation of a parabolic arch, optionally statically determinate (1 fixed support, 1 movable support) or indeterminate (2 fixed supports)
  2. loading of the arch with a distributed load by way of 7 evenly distributed loads or by point loads or by suspended roadway with loads
  3. 2 dial gauges record the deformation of the arch under load
  4. weights to compensate for the reactions of a fixed support
  5. roadway with 1 set of shackles to be suspended into the arch; shackles in graduated length
  6. storage system to house the components
  7. experimental setup in frame SE 112

Technical Data:

Parabolically pre-shaped steel arch:

  • length: 1000mm
  • height: 280mm
  • cross-section: 20x6mm

Roadway made of PVC:

  • dead-weight: approx. 2,6N
  • L x W x H: 900x70x3mm

Dial gauge:

  • measuring range: 0…25mm
  • graduation: 0,01mm


  • 11x 1N (7+4 hanger)
  • 7x 1N (shackle)
  • 36x 1N
  • 19x 5N

Dimensions & Weight:

  • L x W x H: 1170x480x178mm (storage system)
  • Weight: approx. 38kg (total)

Learning Objectives/Experiments:

  • mechanical principles of the parabolic arch
  • differences between statically determinate and statically indeterminate arches
  • measurement of the deformations of the arch under load
  • measurement of the support reactions on the statically indeterminate arch under load
  • calculation of the support reactions
  • influence of load on reaction forces and deformation of the arch:
    • point load
    • distributed load
    • suspended elastic roadway under load

Scope of Delivery:

  • 1 arch with 7 shackles + 7 hangers
  • 1 roadway with shackles
  • 1 set of weights
  • 2 deflection rollers with fixture
  • 1 support
  • 2 dial gauges
  • 1 storage system with foam inlay
  • 1 set of instructional material


  • statically determinate or statically indeterminate parabolic arch under load
  • deformations of the arch under load
  • support reactions of the arch


·         Required: SE 112 Mounting frame

·         Optional: SE 110.30 Dial gauges


Due to the continuous development of our products, the goods supplied may vary in detail to that illustrated on this Website.