A probabilistic material framework for the analysis of fabric structures

Project Leader: Miss Nicola Bartle, Professor Peter Gosling, Dr Ben Bridgens
Start/end dates: 2010-2013

Project Details

fabricModern architectural fabrics enable the construction of striking minimal surfaces which act as both structure and cladding. Current design practice uses a plane stress framework to model architectural fabric behaviour. The well documented non-linear behaviour of architectural fabrics leads to a need for varying degrees of manipulation of test data in order to find plane stress moduli. An alternative to the plane stress framework is therefore required.

This project aims to develop a more accurate material model and implement it within fabric structural analysis. The key hypotheses are that it is possible to represent fabric material strain stress behaviour using a probabilistic response-surface approach and that it is possible to relate design using a factor-of-safety approach to reliability indices. This will enable architects and engineers to further push the boundaries of lightweight structure design and reduce the often prohibitive cost of fabric structures.

Academic Staff