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Tension Structures: Form and Behaviour

The tension structures discussed in this book are predominantly roofing forms created from pre-stressed cable nets, cable trusses, and continuous membranes (fabric structures). A unique feature in their design is "form-finding" - an interactive process of defining the shape of a structure under tension. The book discusses the role of stable minimal surfaces (minimum energy forms occurring in natural objects, such as soap films) in finding optimal shapes of membrane and cable structures. The discussion of form-finding is extended to structural forms whose shape is supposedly known, such as suspension bridge cables.

This invaluable book presents numerical modelling of the structural form and behaviour of tension structures, but also addresses certain misconceptions related to their design. It provides unique insights into the most commonly used computational methods, emphasising their main strengths and limitations. Mathematical expositions do not go beyond the level of undergraduate engineering mathematics and wherever possible, non-mathematical language is used to aid understanding of the fundamental concepts. Tension structures presents a balance between analytical and pictorial aspects of the subject.

Graphic design: Alan Cartwright, School of Engineering (Civil and Mechanical Division)
Wanda J. Lewis
ISBN: 0 7277 3236 6
Publisher: Thomas Telford Publishing