Analysis of the Design Criteria for Ancient Greek and Roman Catapults

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    This paper will give a short overview of use of COMSOL Multiphysics for analyzing ancient Greek and Roman catapults with the main focus on the energy storing torsion springs. Catapults have been known and used in the Greek and Roman world from around 399 BC and a fully standardized design for powerful torsion catapults emerged around 270 BC, based on one basic factor, the diameter of the torsion springs. This value is then scaled to give all vital structural dimensions of the catapult. How optimal this design is has until now not been fully understood and earlier work has been dominated by trial-and-error methods. The use of COMSOL Multiphysics enables the construction of virtual catapults parts, non-linear analysis of structural parts where no analytical solution is known as well the analysis of the surviving designs, with respect to optimal performance. The result from COMSOL Multiphysics is compared to a traditional analysis and to data obtained from Sigma X Section software.
    Translated title of the contributionAnalyse af designkriterierne for antikke græske og romerske katapulter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCOMSOL Multiphysics Conference 2010 Paris : Proceedings of the COMSOL Conference 2010 Paris
    Number of pages6
    Publication date17. Nov 2011
    ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9825697-6-4
    Publication statusPublished - 17. Nov 2011

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