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Membrane material behaviour: concepts, practice and developments

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ben BridgensORCiD, Professor Peter Gosling


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A review of architectural fabric material properties leads to new work on fabric testing including the design of biaxial test equipment, analysis of the cruciform test piece and a new test protocol. It is proposed that plane-stress theory may be inappropriate for architectural fabrics. Warp and weft stresses and strains can be directly related without the inherent approximation and inaccuracy incurred when non-linear fabric behaviour is represented using a plane-stress model. A proposed scheme for implementing the test data in structural analysis is outlined. The benefits of this research to fabric structure design were discussed in the previous paper1. A better understanding of fabric behaviour will reduce the uncertainty and unnecessary conservatism in the design process, which should lead to the design and construction of more economic and increasingly bold fabric structures.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bridgens BN, Gosling PD, Birchall MJS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Structural Engineer

Year: 2004

Volume: 82

Issue: 14

Pages: 28-33

ISSN (print): 1466-5123

Publisher: Structural Engineers Trading Organisation Ltd.