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Double-Layer Tensegrity Grids

Abstract:

This study has three fundamental purposes: (1) to preliminarily investigate the structural behaviour of double-layer tensegrity grids while revealing some of their unique properties; (2) to experimentally test a structural model, identify the main issues related to the construction phase, and develop relevant methods and techniques to solve these issues; and (3) to propose a novel application for a double layer tensegrity grid and examine its potential through a conceptual case study.

The results of the analysis of the three types of double-layer tensegrity grids show: (1) the existence of a minimal grid possessing states of self stress associated with the structure as a rigid grid; (2) the ability to localise the states of selfstress using a heuristic method based on the minimal grid; and (3) that planar simplex assemblies lead to one internal mechanism. The experimental
investigation performed on the half-scale structural model reveals that the structure responds elastically and procedures concerning initial tightening and estimation of tensile forces in structural elements of the grid must be adopted. Techniques concerning the latter were developed and the results showed that by using a practical and user-friendly method it was possible
to accurately measure element tensile loads. Furthermore, findings concerning initial tightening revealed no ‘optimal’ tightening sequence for this grid.

Finally, the results concerning the application case study suggest that the examined double-layer grid has the potential to be part of the current facade design practice.