Licentiate seminar

Vibration Frequencies as Status Indicators for Tensegrity Structures

Defendant Main Advisor Extra Advisor Date
Nasseradeen Ashwear Anders Eriksson Gunnar Tibert 2014-06-13

Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Chalmers University

Evaluation committee
Anders Eriksson, KTH Mechanics
Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Chalmers University


Applications of vibration structural health monitoring (VHM) techniques are increasing rapidly. This is because of the advances in sensors and instrumentation during the last decades. VHM uses the vibration properties to evaluate many civil structures during the design steps, building steps and service life.
The stiffness and frequencies of tensegrity structures are primarily related to the level of pre-stress. The present work investigates the possibilities to use this relation in designing, constructing and evaluating the tensegrity structures.
The first part of the present work studies the improvement of current models for resonance frequency simulation of tensegrities by introducing the bending behaviour of all components, and by a one-way coupling between the axial force and the stiffness. From this, both local and global vibration modes are obtained. The resonance frequencies are seen as non-linearly dependent on the pre-stress level in the structure, thereby giving a basis for diagnosis of structural conditions from measured frequencies. The new aspects of tensegrity simulations are shown for simple, plane structures but the basic methods are easily used also for more complex structures.
In the second part, the environmental temperature effects on vibration properties of tensegrity structures have been investigated, considering primarily seasonal temperature differences (uniform temperature differences). Changes in dynamic characteristics due to temperature variations were compared with the changes due to decreasing pre-tension in one of the cables. In general, it is shown that the change in structural frequencies made by temperature changes could be equivalent to the change made by damage (slacking). Different combinations of materials used and boundary conditions are also investigated. These are shown to have a significant impact on the pre-stress level and the natural frequencies of the tensegrity structures when the environment temperature is changed.