Tubular Steel Arch Stabilized by Textile Membranes
Tubular steel arch supporting textile membrane roofing is investigated experimentally and numerically. The stabilization effects of the textile membrane on in-plane and out-of-plane behavior of the arch is of primary interest. First a model of a large membrane structure tested in laboratory is described. Prestressed membranes of PVC coated polyester fabric Ferrari® Précontraint 702S were used as a currently standard and excellent material. The test arrangement, loading and resulting load/deflection values are presented. The supporting structure consisted of two steel arch tubes, outer at edge of the membrane and inner supporting interior of the membrane roofing. The stability and strength behavior of the inner tube under both symmetrical and asymmetrical loading was monitored and is shown in some details. Second the SOFiSTiK software was employed to analyze the structural behavior in 3D, using geometrically nonlinear analysis with imperfections (GNIA). The numerical analysis, FE mesh sensitivity, the membrane prestressing and common boundary conditions are validated by test results. Finally a parametrical study concerning stability of mid arch with various geometries in a membrane structure with several supporting arches is presented, with recommendations for a practical design.
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