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Design Strategies of Hybrid Bending-Active Systems Based on Graphic Statics and a Constrained Force Density Method

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In the design of bending-active structures, the shaping of actively bent elements can be achieved either by means of additional restraining systems such as membranes and cable nets, or by a controlled variation of the bending stiffness along their length. Combining both approaches, this paper proposes a novel method for the design of hybrid bending-active structures composed of flexible linear elements with non constant stiffness, actively bent into in-plane shapes by cable nets. The actively bent elements and the tensile cable nets are considered successively: first, the bent geometry of the splines is set, as a design input, and, in a second step, compatible equilibrium cable nets are form-found. The proposed method utilizes a graphical method for the modelling of the in-plane bent splines and a constrained force density method for the form-finding of the cable nets. First, it is shown how the use of a force diagram enables the calculation of a non constant distribution of bending stiffness along an in-plane spline to reach a target bent geometry under given loads. Then, an extension of the force density method under the constrains of equilibrium between the splines and the restraining systems is presented. Finally, as the different design strategies are explained, their potential is illustrated through design case studies.
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Keywords: ACTIVE BENDING; CONSTRAINED FORCE DENSITY METHOD; GRAPHIC STATICS; RESTRAINING SYSTEMS; SPLINE BEAM; STIFFNESS; TARGET GEOMETRY; VARIABLE BENDING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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  • The Journal of the IASS is the peer-reviewed, quarterly journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures. The journal mainly presents technical papers and project reports submitted by members or nonmembers of the IASS. Typically, one issue per year focuses on a special topic arranged by guest editors. Additional articles annually include the four Hangai Prize winning papers and Tsuboi Proceedings Award contribution from the IASS annual symposium. Finally, additional content includes announcements of events and memorial statements of distinguished IASS members.
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