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Numerical Simulation of Assemblages of Tensegrity Structures


II Simpósio Latinoamericano de Tenso-estructuras

Caracas - Venzuela, 4-6 de maio de 2005




This work outlines a research on tensegrity structures, currently under development at the Department of Structural and Foundation Engineering of the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo. It proposes a methodology to simulate of erection of tensegrity structures, which can be numerically represented by a set of nonlinear, geometrically exact truss and cable elements and, in particular, a kind of truss element capable of sustaining a constant normal load (in tension or compression), and a cable element capable of representing ideal or non-ideal sliding between the cable and other objects. Initially the paper derives the stiffness matrices and load vectors for these different types of elements, which have been implemented in the PEFSYS finite element code. Afterwards, the paper describes the use of the proposed methodology to simulate the assemblage of a large cable dome. The main aspects of the assembling process are discussed, and some possible operational problems are investigated, as those arising from the non-synchronous actuation of hydraulic jacks.

Keywords: tensegrity structures, assembling processes, numerical simulation