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Vol. 49 (2008) No. 3 December n. 159

Hangai Prize Papers for 2008: Designing Adaptive Spatial Structures

< Table of Contents for Vol. 49 (2008) No. 3 December n. 159
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 49 (2008) No. 3 December n. 159
  • Pages: 167-173
  • Title: Hangai Prize Papers for 2008: Designing Adaptive Spatial Structures
  • Author(s): J. Hunt, W. Haase and W. Sobek
  • Keywords: Adaptive structures, structural optimization, lightweight structures, computer-aided design
Current trends in architecture demand structures that are lighter and involve more slender aspect ratios with increasingly complex geometries. At the same time, these structures must function in a dynamic environment subjected to varying external forces such as wind and transient loads. In this paper we present a design concept that produces adaptive spatial structures that efficiently handle multiple load cases. The adaptive design principle involves integrating sensors, a control system, and active elements into the structural system to monitor and control the stresses and displacements under variable loadings. The sensors continuously measure the current state, and when the structure is subjected to a different load case, the active elements react by changing their length (linear actuators) or properties (smart materials) to redistribute the internal forces and control displacements. In this paper the adaptive design steps and calculations are discussed in detail, and a numerical example of a three-dimensional truss bridge with active elements is presented. The authors have found that adaptive design creates exciting new possibilities in spatial structures, including stress homogenization and reduction of displacements with little to no increase in structural mass.

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