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Vol. 50 (2009) No. 2 August n. 161

Tsuboi Proceedings Award Paper for 2008: Deployable Tensairity Structures

< Table of Contents for Vol. 50 (2009) No. 2 August n. 161
  • 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. 50 (2009) No. 2 August n. 161
  • Pages: 121-128
  • Title: Tsuboi Proceedings Award Paper for 2008: Deployable Tensairity Structures
  • Author(s): L. de Laet, M. Mollaert, R. H. Luchsinger, R. Crettol and N. de Temmerman
  • Keywords: Tensairity, Lightweight, Deployable, Inflatable, Flexible compression element, Foldable truss
The efficient and lightweight structural concept Tensairity can be used for a variety of applications, ranging from large span structures to temporary constructions. Tensairity structures provide features few conventional structures have, such as a fast assembling/dismantling, collapsibility, and a compact storage and transport volume. These are all aspects ideal for mobile and temporary applications. However, this structural concept would be even more appropriate for these kinds of structures if it would be capable to be folded or rolled together without having to disassemble anything, which a basic Tensairity girder is not able to. This paper presents the research of deployable Tensairity structures. Various foldable alternatives for the continuous compression element in a standard Tensairity beam are investigated experimentally. Several proposals for a flexible compression element are evaluated and discussed. The influence on a promising mechanism, the foldable truss, of different parameters such as the amount of hinges and the presence of pretensioned cables, is also studied and discussed. Finally, all these results are summarized and they will then provide the basis for further research for a proposal of an optimised deployment mechanism for the deployable Tensairity structure.

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