October 24-26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sessions: Abstract


Creative Limits: Applying Finite Element Analysis to Assess Static Stress in a Large-Scale Stone Sculpture by Henry Moore   go to paper

Angela Geary, University of the Arts, United Kingdom
John P. Harrison, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Mingzhi Mao, University of the Arts London, United Kingdom
Derek Pullen, Tate, United Kingdom

This paper describes some of the solid body modeling methods developed during our initial analytical findings for Henry Moore’s sculpture, “Large Arch”, executed in fibreglass and travertine, and discusses the interim conclusions and applicability for future work. These methods include the application of advanced technologies capable of modelling stress behaviour and predicting damage to artefacts deemed critical within the field of cultural heritage conservation. Our development and use of Finite Elements with Laser Scanning for mechanical analysis of Sculptural Objects (FELSSO) has shown great promise in assessing hazardous static stress in large stone sculptures. To date, the project has explored the viability of finite element analysis (FEA) used in conjunction with high-resolution data sets obtained via three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning. This technique will allow analytical predictions of the probable effects on large scale stone sculptures relative to anticipated handling and display methods. The mature technologies of 3D laser scanning and FEA, are the principal analytical methods that have been applied in the research. The latter is widely used in engineering fields to calculate the structural strength of items such as buildings, cars and aircraft. For the purposes of this study, data capture was accomplished through phase-shift laser scanning, a technology capable of yielding highly accurate results at capture ranges approaching 80 metres. The research also addressed a key issue in determining the necessary density of scan data required for solid body modelling. Those findings ensure that sufficient detail of the surface texture of a sculpture is captured whilst preventing the inclusion of too large a number of elements. As a result, the overall approach is both accurate and economical in its application.

Session: Conservation [Documentation]

Keywords: finite element analysis, sculpture, stone, conservation, 3D laser scanning, Henry Moore, methodology