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Optimal structural membranes - II. Form-finding of prestressed membranes using a curved quadrilateral finite element for surface definition

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Gosling


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Form-finding of minimal surface membranes is investigated in this paper. A curved quadrilateral finite element (formulated in Part I) is used to provide a numerical representation of a thin surface (structural membrane) established between fixed or flexible boundaries. Pre-stress is introduced to generate the form. Application of the matrix-based finite element method to the vector-based dynamic relaxation algorithm is presented. When analysing minimal surfaces, the assumption of large strains is shown to lead to a stress deviation at equilibrium. Various techniques are proposed to improve the numerical stability of the solution algorithm. The resulting final numerical model adequately represents both large displacements and large summative strains. Comparisons between numerical and experimental solutions to several minimal surfaces demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed formulation. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gosling PD, Lewis WJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Computers & Structures

Year: 1996

Volume: 61

Issue: 5

Pages: 885-895

Print publication date: 01/12/1996

ISSN (print): 0045-7949

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2243

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/0045-7949(96)00091-0


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