WG1 New applications of structural skins and new concepts

Study Group 1a: Adaptables
Study Group 1b: Bending Active
Study Group 1c: Fabric Formwork

In this SRC the use of structural textile and foil in a broad range of applications is being investigated, such as the integration of multi-functional properties, the use as formwork and reinforcement, the application in reliable inflatable systems, Tensairity structures and novel adaptable structures. Results from textile machinery improvements, material developments and prototyping are considered to increase the efficiency of a structural skin and to take advantage of the full lightweight potential. Typical research topics are:

  • New materials with specific properties such as high strength, variable stiffness, high radiation reflection, improved foldability, with integrated electrical devices etc.;
  • Advanced structural concepts for tensioned structures for a broad field of applications;
  • Multi-layer membrane structures with a load carrying interaction of all layers;
  • Methods for adaptable tensioned structures (e.g. influencing the air flow along a building);
  • Advanced systems capable of changing light transmission, light reflection and/or shape;
  • Multi-chamber inflated structures with a high redundancy against failure, improved load carrying capacity of inflated structures by integrating flexible bending elements (Tensairity structures);
  • Shell structures made with membrane scaffolding, hardening tensioned membranes for composite or shell structures with textile reinforcement;
  • Self-tensioned membrane structures with an advanced interaction between bending and tension elements: the membrane helps to reduce the buckling of bending elements.