WIT Press

Variations In Form And Stress Behaviour Of A V-shaped Membrane In A Foldable Structure


Free (open access)








1,438 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Mollaert, N. De Temmerman & T. Van Mele


Adaptable tensile structures are often considered to be either completely opened or completely closed. The current study is part of a research project studying adaptable tensile structures which demonstrate stable behaviour within a wide range of opened positions. In this paper a simple V-shaped membrane is studied during the unfolding process. Starting from an initially flat folded membrane, which is not pre-tensioned, a slight curvature is obtained when it is unfolded due to the fact that along the folding line a curved section is cut out of the fabric. The tension introduced in the transverse direction implies a tension in the longitudinal direction too. Two cases are analysed: one with a high curvature in the diagonal cable (~5% sag) and one with a low curvature (~1.3% sag). Based on computer simulations the form and the tensions are verified for different opening angles. The deformation under loading is checked for the shape with a low curvature of the diagonal cable at an opening angle of 70ยบ. The results indicate that the membrane could be used as a fabric roof. Further refined analysis is needed to be able to implement the presented concept for real applications. Keywords: tensile structure, formfinding, coated textiles, adaptable shelter, foldable structures. 1 Introduction Tension structures, made of high-strength coated fabrics, are well-suited to create adaptable buildings that can react (open/close) to changing environmental conditions [1]. Several solutions are possible, but only a few techniques keep the membrane tensioned while folding or unfolding. A first possibility is to start from a wave


tensile structure, formfinding, coated textiles, adaptable shelter, foldable structures.