Type of arch

21 Different Types Of Arches In Construction18 min read

An Arch is a structure that is composed of a wedge-shaped unit. The internal curve of an arch is recognized as Intrados and the external curve of the arch is recognized as Extrados. The major function of the arches is to support the load of the amount of the wall which is positioned above the openings.

Arches have been a common element in architecture since the time of the Etruscans who are placed with its innovation, although the Romans improved it further and circulate its use. The techniques included in designing and constructing arches have since been acquired into several other structural forms, containing vaults, arcades, and bridges.

There are different types of arches used in construction work such as Pointed Shape Arch 2. Horseshoe 3. Shape Arch 4. Flat Arch 5. Segmental Arch 6. Semi Circular Arch 7. Venetian Arch etc.,


What Is Arch?

Types Of Arches
Gateway Arch St. Louis

The arch consists of a curved structural shape that transmits loads over the opening, transmitting them over the shape of the arch to jambs, abutments, or piers on either side.

Arches are compressive structures, that is why there are no tensile stresses. Arches are self-supporting, balanced by the force of gravity conducting on their weight to carry them in compression. This establishes them largely stable and productive, capable of larger spans and supporting considerable loads than horizontal beams.

The downward load of an arch must be transmitted to its foundations. The external thrust put out by an arch at its floor must be restricted either by the weight of supporting walls or weight, by foundations, or by a contradicting tie between the two sides. The external thrust rises as the height, or rise, of the arch declines.

Read More: Culvert | What Is a Culvert | Types of Culvert | Culvert Meaning | Parts of Culvert


Arch Construction

Since several building materials, such as concrete and masonry, can withstand compression, arches are generally constructed utilizing these types of materials.

Types Of Arches
Arch Construction

Construction of the arches is needed where the span between the two supports is surplus and the load arriving on the supports is heavy. Arches are similarly utilized as an Architectural element which will enable to increase the aesthetical view of the structure.

Wedge-shaped blocks, named voussoirs, establish flank-to-flank with the upper perimeter being broader than the lower edge. The downward pressure on the arch possesses the impact of forcing the voussoirs together instead of apart. The voussoir that is situated in the center of the arch is called the keystone.

This adjustment reflects that the arch is self-supporting, but temporary supports from the under, normally in the form of timber ‘ centers ‘ (occasionally called ‘centering or ‘arch formers’), must be provided until the keystone has been establishing in place.

The interior, lower curve of the arch is called the intrados. The outer, upper curve of the arch is called the extrados. A springing line, or spring, is the point from which the arch starts to increase from its vertical supports.


Types Of Arches In Construction

The arches are classified as following factors,

According To The Shape

  1. Pointed Shape Arch
  2. Horseshoe Shape Arch
  3. Flat Arch
  4. Segmental Arch
  5. Semi Circular Arch
  6. Venetian Arch
  7. Semi-Elliptical Arch
  8. Stilted Arch
  9. Relieving Arch

According To Type Of Material Used For Construction

  1. Stone Arches
  2. Brick Arches
  3. Concrete Arches

Types of Arch According To Number Of Center

  1. One Centered Arches
  2. Two Centered Arches
  3. Three Centered Arches
  4. Four Centered Arches
  5. Five Centered Arches

Arches Types According To Shape

Types of Arches in this category are as follows,

1. Pointed Shape Arch

Types Of Arches
Pointed Shape Arch

The pointed-shaped arches are similarly identified as the Gothic arch. The pointed shape arch carries two arcs of the circle which fulfills at the apex and sets a triangle.

Triangle elements may be equilateral or isosceles (similarly recognized as Lancet Arch).


2. Horseshoe Shape Arch

Types Of Arches
Horseshoe Shape Arch

The title of this arch is offered horseshoe arch because its shape is like a horseshoe that curves better than the semicircle. The horseshoe arches are normally utilized for architectural provisions.


3. Flat Arch

Types Of Arches
Flat Arch

The Flat arch creates an equilateral triangle within Intrados as a base at an angle of 60° degrees. The Flat arch is normally utilized for the construction of light load structures.

The Extrados in the Flat arches is straight and Flat. The intrados is similarly Flat and provided a slight increase of camber of about 10 mm to 15 mm. A flat arch is generally the weakest arch.


4. Segmental Arch

Types Of Arches
Segmental Arch

The segmented arch is a type of arch in which a circular arc is less than 180° degrees. This type of arch is recognized as a Syrian arch. The segmental arch is one of the toughest arches which has a decent capacity to withstand thrust.

The Romans were the first who invented the segmental arch. This type of purchase was normally utilized in the construction of residential windows and doors within the 20th century.

The Segmental arch is the traditional type of arch utilized for buildings in which the center of the arch lies under the springing line. In the segmental arch, the thrust is carried in an inclined direction to the abutment.


5. Semi-Circular Arch

Types Of Arches
Semi-Circular Arch

The semi-circular arch is in the center will lie on the spring line. In the semi-circular arch, the thrust transmitted to the abutment is completely in a vertical direction. The shape of the arch looks like a semi-circle.


6. Venetian Arch

Types Of Arches
Venetian Arch

A Venetian arch is a three-centered arch. It has a deeper depth at the crown than the springing line. Venetian arch is another form of the pointed arch.

It includes four centers, all placed on the springing line.


7. Semi-Elliptical Arch

Types Of Arches
Semi-Elliptical Arch

The semi-elliptical arch has a form of a semi-ellipse which has either 3 or 5 centers. The semi-elliptical arch is similarly recognized as the basket-handle arch.

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8. Stilted Arch

Types Of Arches
Stilted Arch

The stilted arch is the type of arch in which the curve starts above the impost line. This arch contains a semicircular arch with two vertical parts at springings. The center of the stilted arches on the straight line.


9. Relieving Arch

Types Of Arches
Relieving Arch

This type of arches is created above the Flat arch or on a wooden lintel. The major purpose of the Relieving arch is to give greater strength. The ends of this arch should be taken adequately into the abutments.

In the case of relieving the arch, we can restore the decayed wooden lintel easily without affecting the arch and stability of the structure.


Arches Classification According to Material Used For Construction

1. Stone Arches

The stone arches are similarly sub-classified into two types which are as follows,

A. Ashlar Arches

Types Of Arches
Ashlar Arches

For the formation of the arches, the stones are cut into an adequate shape and dressed suitably. The joints are filled appropriately with the use of cement mortar so that adequate bonding should be obtained. The Ashlar stones are similarly utilized in the construction of the Flat arches.

B. Rubble Arches

Types Of Arches
Rubble Arches

The Rubble arches are utilized for the formation of arches up to the span of 1 meter. These types of spans are formulated of rubber stones that are hammered and dressed appropriately. The rubble arches are unstable and normally utilized for inferior work only. The mortar is utilized for binding stones.

Occasionally these are also utilized as relieving arches up to a depth of 37.5 cm, but these are established in one ring. If the depth is greater, we can go for two rings in an alternate procedure of headers and stretchers.


2. Brick Arches

The brick arches are one of the popular types of arches which are utilized in construction. This type of arch that established with the help of conventional bricks. Cement mortar is utilized in the construction of the brick arches.

The brick arches are subdivided into three types,

A. Rough Brick Arch

Types Of Arches
Rough Brick Arch

The Rock brick arches are generally wedged in form. This type of arches is established where high accuracy for completing is not needed. These are constructed with conventional bricks without cutting to the shape of voussoirs.

The arch curve is given by creating wedge-shaped joints with incredible thickness at extrados and less thickness at intrados. So, it looks unattractive. For this reason, it is not approved for exposed brickworks.


B. Fine Axed Brick Arch

Types Of Arches
Fine Axed Brick Arch

The Fine Axed arches are composed by establishing bricks into the desired shape. In the case of the formation of Fine axed brick arches, the bricks are cut into wedge-shaped appropriately any three are normally utilized where the Fine work is needed.

These are roughly shape and size. Thus, the complete surface of this type of arches provides an extremely aesthetical appearance.


C. Gauged Brick Arches

Types Of Arches
Gauged Brick Arches

This type of arches are relatively expensive in formation and the bricks which are utilized in this type of arches should have fine dressing. The formation of the gauged brick arches needed experienced workmanship for its construction.

In the gauge brick type of arch, bricks are cut to the perfect shape and size of the necessary voussoir with the help of a wire saw. The bricks are completely dressed and these bricks are joined by lime putty. Nevertheless, for gauged brick arches simply soft bricks are utilized. The joints are fine, thin, and simply radial.


D. Purpose Made Brick Arches

Types Of Arches
Purpose Made Brick Arches

The unique bricks are generated, similar to the accurate shape and size of voussoirs, to give extremely fine workmanship. Lime putty is utilized as a binding material.


3. Concrete Arches

The stone arches are subdivided into two types,

A. Monolithic Concrete Block Arches

Types Of Arches
Monolithic Concrete Arches

The Monolithic concrete arches were initially utilized for longer spans. Monolithic concrete block arches are generally formed from cast-in-situ concrete, either plain or reinforced. The thickness is around 15 cm for the arches up to 3 m spans.

It is essential that the curing of the monolithic concrete block should be done for 14 to 28 days.


B. Precast Concrete Block Arches

Types Of Arches
Precast Concrete Block Arches

These types of arches are established with the help of precast concrete blocks. The precast concrete blocks are available in the accurate shape and sizes which are needed for the construction of the arches.

In the case of the requirements of the keystone, a particular type of mold is prepared for the formation of the precast concrete block arches.

In the formation of the precast concrete blocks, the 1:2:4 ratio is utilized. Because of the perfect shape and size of the precast concrete blocks, it will provide a very decent view.

Read More: What Is a Porch | 15 Types of Porch used for Home


According To Number Of Center

Arches Classified as per the number of centers are given below,

1. One Centered Arches

Types Of Arches
One Centered Arches

The one-centered type of arches has simply one special center. These types of arches which arrive under the classification of types of arches are semicircular arches, Flat arches, horseshoe arches, and segmental arches, etc.

In some cases, the completely circular arch is furnished for circular windows which are called bull’s eye arch are similarly come under these categories.


2. Two Centered Arches

Types Of Arches
Two Centered Arches

The two-centered type of arches has simply two centers. The pointed arches or gothic arches or lancet arches come under the category of two centered arches. Semi elliptical arches similarly come under this classification.


3. Equilateral Arch

Types Of Arches
Equilateral Arch

An Equilateral Arch possesses a two-center. The Curves surface creates 2 Center Points. The shape arrives at an equilateral Arch so-called an equilateral Arch.


4. Lancet Arch

Types Of Arches
Lancet Arch

Lancet Arch appears in Two Center Arch. The curved surface creates 2 center points and the shape of the Lancet Arch is indicated in the figure.


5. Venetian Arch

Types Of Arches
Venetian Arch

Venetian Arch possesses 2 centers. Its curved surface is responsible for creating two numbers of center points its shape is as shown in the figure.


6. Three Centered Arches

Types Of Arches
Three Centered Arches

These types of arches contain three centers. The elliptical arches as well as equilateral arches approach under the classification of three centered arches.


7. Four Centered Arches

Types Of Arches
Four Centered Arches

These types of arches contain four centers. The Venetian arches come under the classification of four center arches which have a sum of four centers. Tudor similarly comes under this category.


8. Five Centered Arches

Types Of Arches
Five Centered Arches

The Five center arches possess a total of five centers and it enables in getting a decent semi-elliptical shape.

Types of Arches PDF

Free download types of arches pdf here,


What are the various types of the arch?

Various Types of Arches differently classified are listed Below,
1. Pointed Shape Arch
2. Horseshoe Shape Arch
3. Flat Arch
4. Segmental Arch
5. Semi-Circular Arch
6. Venetian Arch
7. Semi-Elliptical Arch
8. Stilted Arch
9. Relieving Arch
10. Stone Arches
11. Brick Arches
12. Concrete Arches
13. One Centered Arches
14. Two Centered Arches
15. Equilateral Arch
16. Lancet Arch
17. Venetian Arch
18. Three Centered Arches
19. Four Centered Arches
20. Five Centered Arches

Brick Arch

The brick arches are one of the popular types of arches which are utilized in construction. This type of arch that established with the help of conventional bricks. Cement mortar is utilized in the construction of the brick arches.

Pointed Arches

The pointed arches are similarly identified as the Gothic arch. The pointed shape arch carries two arcs of the circle which fulfills at the apex and sets a triangle.
Triangle elements may be equilateral or isosceles (similarly recognized as Lancet Arch).

Rounded Arch

Round Arch can be defined as an arch formed in a continuous curve that has characteristics of Roman architecture.

Arches Architecture

Arches have been a common element in architecture since the time of the Etruscans who are placed with its innovation, although the Romans improved it further and circulate its use.  The techniques included in designing and constructing arches have since been acquired into several other structural forms, containing vaults, arcades, and bridges.

Arch Construction

Construction of the arches is needed where the span between the two supports is surplus and the load arriving on the supports is heavy. Arches are similarly utilized as an Architectural element which will enable to increase the aesthetical view of the structure.

Semi Circular Arch

The semi-circular arch is in the center will lie on the spring line. In the semi-circular arch, the thrust transmitted to the abutment is completely in a vertical direction. The shape of the arch looks like a semi-circle.

Types of Arch used in Construction

1. Pointed Shape Arch
2. Horseshoe Shape Arch
3. Flat Arch
4. Segmental Arch
5. Semi-Circular Arch
6. Venetian Arch
7. Semi-Elliptical Arch
8. Stilted Arch
9. Relieving Arch
10. Stone Arches


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