On the Materiality and Structural Behaviour of Highly-Elastic Gridshell Structures
Gridshell structures made of highly elastic materials provide significant advantages thanks to their cost-effective and rapid erection process, whereby the initially in-plane grid members are progressively bent elastically until the desired structural geometry is achieved. Despite the strong growing interest that architects and engineers have in such structures, the complexity of generating grid configurations that are developable into free-form surfaces and the limitation of suitable materials restrict the execution of elastically bent gridshells.
Over the past ten years, several research studies have focused on methodologies to generate developable grid configurations and to calculate their resulting geometry after the erection process. However, the same curved shell surface can be reproduced by various developable grid configurations which, in combination with their material properties, exhibit different structural behaviours not only during the shaping process but also on the gridshell load-bearing capacity.
In this paper, the structural consequences of the choice of the grid configuration for an anticlastic surface have been analysed by means of FEM-Modelling combined with an geometrical optimisation of the initial bending stresses. In addition, the potential of using natural fibre-reinforced composites as a lightweight and environmentally friendly alternative has been investigated.
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