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Computational Design and Experimental Behaviour of Deployable Mass Timber Arches

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This paper discusses the computational design and digital fabrication process for a novel deployable timber structural system. Termed a 'mass timber stressed arch', the proposed system transforms a modularised geometry from a flat state to an interlocked curved structure, with rotational assembly occurring from a post-tensioning actuation mechanism. Two techniques are developed for design of the structure: a subdivision scheme for low-waste manufacturing of component arch modules and a hybrid integral joint system for resolution of the required kinematic freedoms and fixities between adjacent modules. The deployment mechanism and digital design-to-fabrication process are validated through construction and repeated installation of a full-scale timber arch pavilion. Full-scale experimental testing of the system showed the system to possess a high load carrying capacity, with ultimate failure occurring by shearing of the pin connection between adjacent modules.
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Keywords: DEPLOYABLE STRUCTURES; DIGITAL FABRICATION; HYBRID MATERIALS; PARAMETRIC DESIGN; STRESSED ARCH; TIMBER ENGINEERING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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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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