Analysis of Space Truss as Equivalent Plate

by William R. Flower, Sr. Lecturer in Information Sci.; Univ. of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia,
Lewsi C. Schmidt, (M.ASCE), Sr. Lecturer in Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 12, Pg. 2777-2789

Document Type: Journal Paper


An alternative approach to the direct method analysis of a two-layer rectangular-mesh space truss is considered. A reduction in dimensionality of the problem is sought by deriving the differential equation for a plate equivalent in behavior to the space truss. The differential equation is found from the nodal equations of equilibrium of the truss in which the nodal deflections are expanded in Taylor series form. The direct solutions of a uniformly loaded square space truss with three alternative boundary conditions are compared with finite difference solutions for the equivalent plate under the same boundary conditions. The comparison of examples shows that the equivalent plate is satisfactory for estimating chord forces of a space truss except over concentrated supports. As the influence of boundary conditions is seen to be significant, care is required in interpreting deflections drived from an equivalent plate.

Subject Headings: Boundary conditions | Space truss | Plates | Displacement (mechanics) | Equilibrium | Load factors | Professional societies | Comparative studies

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