Line of thrust

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The line of thrust is the locus of the points, through which forces pass in a retaining wall or an arch. It is the line, along which internal forces flow, [1], [2].

In a stone structure, the line of thrust is a theoretical line that through the structure represents the path of the resultants of the compressive forces, [3]. For a structure to be stable, the line of thrust must lie entirely inside the structure, [4], [5].

Where important[edit]

The line of thrust is important in almost any architecture bearing weight. This includes aircraft, bridges, plus arches; see catenary arch.

An arch won't collapse, when the line of thrust is entirely internal to the arch, [6].

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