Departing from pioneering Heyman modern rational investigations on the purely-rotational collapse mode of least-thickness circular masonry arches, the hypothesis that joint friction shall be high enough to prevent inter-block sliding is released. The influence of a reducing Coulomb friction coefficient on the collapse modes of the arch is explicitly inspected, both analytically and numerically, by tracing the appearance of purely-rotational, mixed sliding-rotational and purely-sliding modes. A classical doubly built-in, symmetric, complete semi-circular arch, with radial joints, under self-weight is specifically considered, for a main illustration. The characteristic values of the friction coefficient that limit the ranges associated to each collapse mode are first analytically derived and then numerically identified, with self-consistent outcomes. Explicit analytical representations are provided to estimate the geometric parameters that define the limit equilibrium states of the arch, specifically the minimum thickness to radius ratio, at reducing friction. These formulas, starting from the analysis of classical Heymanian instance of purely-rotational collapse, make new explicit reference to the mixed sliding-rotational collapse mode, arising within a narrow range of limited friction coefficients (or friction angles). The obtained results are consistently compared to existing numerical ones from the competent literature.
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