Application of flexibility analysis for design of tensegrity structures

Authors: Dalil Safaei, S.D., Eriksson,  , Tibert, G.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Accepted
Journal: Structural Engineering World Congress (SEWC)
Year: 2011


Tensegrity structures have been the subject of research for many years, but very few of them have been built. One major disadvantage of tensegrities compared to typical trusses is their stiffness, which can be significantly reduced when a cable goes slack. This paper aims to introduce a method for stiffness characterization of tensegrity structures for the following purposes: (i) comparison of the stiffness of tensegrity structures with other truss structures, (ii) comparison of the stiffness of different form-found geometries, (iii) finding the most flexible nodes and the principal flexibility directions and (iv) finding stiffness effects of different pre-stress levels and patterns. The method is based on the flexibility analysis of tensegrity structures and the finite element method is used for the non-linear static analysis of the structure to obtain the flexibility figures which visualize the flexibility for different plane and spatial truss and slender boom tensegrity structures.