Space frame

Space frame

In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame or space structure is a truss-like, lightweight rigid structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports. Like the truss, a space frame is strong because of the inherent rigidity of the triangle; flexing loads (bending moments) are transmitted as tension and compression loads along the length of each strut.

The simplest form of space frame is a horizontal slab of interlocking square pyramids and tetrahedra built from aluminium or tubular steel struts. In many ways this looks like the horizontal jib of a tower crane repeated many times to make it wider. A stronger form is composed of interlocking tetrahedra in which all the struts have unit length. More technically this is referred to as an isotropic vector matrix or in a single unit width an octet truss. More complex variations change the lengths of the struts to curve the overall structure or may incorporate other geometrical shapes.

Within the meaning of space frame, we can find three systems clearly different between them Curvature classification Space plane covers. These spatial structures are composed of planar substructures. Their behavior is similar to that of a plate in which the deflections in the plane are channeled through the horizontal bars and the shear forces are supported by the diagonals.

This train station is supported by a barrel vaults structure.Barrel vaults. This type of vault has a cross section of a simple arch. Usually this type of space frame does not need to use tetrahedral modules or pyramids as a part of its backing.Spherical domes and other compound curves usually require the use of tetrahedral modules or pyramids and additional support from a skin.

Classification by the arrangement of its elements Single layer grid. All elements are located on the surface to be approximated.Double layer grid. The elements are organized in two layers parallel to each other at a certain distance apart. Each of the layers form a lattice of triangles, squares or hexagons in which the projection of the nodes in a layer may overlap or be displaced relative to each other. Diagonal bars connect the nodes of both layers in different directions in space. In this type of meshes, the elements are associated into three groups: upper cordon, cordon and cordon lower diagonal.

Triple layer grid. Elements are placed in three parallel layers, linked by the diagonals. They are almost always flat.Other examples we could attach with the definition of space frame are these:

Pleated metallic structures. Emerged to try to solve the problems that formwork and pouring concrete had their counterparts. Typically run with welded joint, but may raise prefabricated joints, a fact which makes them space meshes.

Hanging covers. Designs on the cable taut, spine, and the catenary arch antifunicular show their ability to channel forces theoretically better than any other alternative, have an infinite range of possibilities for composition and adaptability to any type of plant cover or ensure vain. However, imprecisions in shape having the loaded strand (ideally adapts dynamically to the state of charge) and the risk of bending the arc to unexpected stresses are problems that require pre-compression and prestressing elements. Although in most cases tend to be the cheapest and the technical solution that best fits the acoustics and ventilation of the covered enclosure, are vulnerable to vibration.

The dome is a ‘parashell’ concrete structure and is the only one in Scotland. It was constructed using a pioneering technique in which concrete was poured onto a special neoprene membrane and then pneumatically inflated.

Pneumatic structures. Wherein the closure membrane is subjected to a pressurized state, may be considered within this group.
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