Effects of Spatial Triangulation on the Behavior of Tensegrity Domes

by David M. Campbell, Geiger Gossen Hamilton Liao, Engineers P.C., Bellingham, United States,
David Chen, Geiger Gossen Hamilton Liao, Engineers P.C., Bellingham, United States,
Paul A. Gossen, (M.ASCE), Geiger Gossen Hamilton Liao, Engineers P.C., Bellingham, United States,
Kris P. Hamilton, (M.ASCE), Geiger Gossen Hamilton Liao, Engineers P.C., Bellingham, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Spatial, Lattice and Tension Structures

Abstract:

A number of long span 'tensegrity' dome type structures have recently been realized pursuant to the inventions of R. Buckminster Fuller and David H. Geiger. These structures have demonstrated structural efficiency in a variety of long-span roof applications. The primary attribute that these structures share which classifies them as tensegrity systems is their utilization of discontinuous compression elements connected within a network of continuous tension members. Beyond this common trait the current built types of tensegrity domes differ somewhat in the geometry of their networks. These variations in network geometry result in differences in behavior and structural efficiency. A significant variable in tensegrity dome networks is the degree of spatial triangulation, which as a consequence of the geometric non-linear behavior of these structures is not required for structural stability. The extent to which spatial triangulation may be advantageous or detrimental is investigated by comparing the behavior of examples of two tensegrity dome structural systems. The non-linear behavior of these structures subjected to various load conditions is compared analytically using computer modeling techniques.



Subject Headings: Structural behavior | Tensile structures | Structural stability | Compression members | Computer models | Roofs | Tension members | Triangulation

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