Implementation of bending-active elements in kinematic form-active structures: design of a representative case study
Document typeConference lecture
Rights accessOpen Access
The challenge of combining two interesting structural principles, being formactive structures and bending-active structures, into a transformable configuration is investigated through a case study. The aim is to obtain a structurally efficient (quasi-)self- supporting structure with a minimum of external connection points, retaining the membrane pretensioned in all the phases of the deployment. This paper describes the conceptual design and the structural analysis of a kinematic bending-active membrane structure. The membrane is tensioned in a hyperbolic paraboloid ring, which serves as the bending-active boundary. Keeping the two lower points fixed at ground level and pushing the two upper points towards each other, the structure is transformed into its curled (closed) state. At different intermediate points on the ring bending-active beam elements are positioned, keeping the membrane tensioned when folding. A numerical model serves as a design and calculation tool, used to (i) study the influence of different membrane materials and varying prestress ratios, (ii) improve the kinematic deployment and (iii) dimension the bending-active boundary elements.