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Published in: Journal Of Structural Engineering-Asce, vol. 138, p. 539-548 Publication date: 2012

Tensegrity structures are spatial systems composed of tension and compression components in a self-equilibrated prestress stable state. Although the concept is over 60 years old, few tensegrity-based structures have been used for engineering purposes. Tensegrity-ring modules are deployable modules composed of a single strut circuit that, when combined, create a hollow rope. The "hollow-rope" concept was shown to be a viable system for a tensegrity footbridge. This paper focuses on the deployment of pentagonal ring modules for a deployable footbridge application. The deployment sequence of a module is controlled by adjusting cable lengths (cable actuation). The geometric study of the deployment for a single module identified the path space allowing deployment without strut contact. Additionally, a deployment path that reduces the number of actuated cables was found. The number of actuated cables is further reduced by employing continuous cables. A first-generation prototype was used to verify both findings experimentally. The structural response during both unfolding and folding is studied numerically using the dynamic relaxation method. The deployment-analysis algorithm applies cable-length changes first to create finite mechanisms allowing deployment and then to find new equilibrium configurations. Therefore, the actuation-step size is identified as the most critical parameter for a successful deployment analysis. Finally, it is shown that the deployability of the footbridge does not affect its element sizing because stresses during deployment are lower than in-service values. DOI:10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000491. (C) 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Keywords: Tensegrity structures ; Deployable structures ; Active structures ; Dynamic relaxation method ; Deployable Structures ; Design ; Architecture ; Vibration Reference EPFL-ARTICLE-177377doi:10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000491View record in Web of Science

Autor: Rhode-Barbarigos, Landolf-Giosef-Anastasios; Schulin, Costanza; Bel Hadj Ali, Nizar; Motro, René; Smith, I. F. C.



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