Space frame


Space frame
The roof of this industrial building is supported by a space frame structure.

A space frame or space structure is a truss-like, lightweight rigid structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports. Like the truss, a space frame is strong because of the inherent rigidity of the triangle; flexing loads (bending moments) are transmitted as tension and compression loads along the length of each strut.

Contents

Overview

Simplified space frame roof with the half-octahedron highlighted in blue

The simplest form of space frame is a horizontal slab of interlocking square pyramids built from aluminium or tubular steel struts. In many ways this looks like the horizontal jib of a tower crane repeated many times to make it wider. A stronger form is composed of interlocking tetrahedral pyramids in which all the struts have unit length. More technically this is referred to as an isotropic vector matrix or in a single unit width an octet truss. More complex variations change the lengths of the struts to curve the overall structure or may incorporate other geometrical shapes.

History

Space frames were independently developed by Alexander Graham Bell around 1900 and Buckminster Fuller in the 1950s. Bell's interest was primarily in using them to make rigid frames for nautical and aeronautical engineering. Few of his designs were realised. Buckminster Fuller's focus was architectural structures; his work had greater influence.

Applications

If a force is applied to the blue node, and the red bar is not present, the behaviour of the structure depends completely on the bending rigidity of the blue node. If the red bar is present, and the bending rigidity of the blue node is negligible compared to the contributing rigidity of the red bar, the system can be calculated using a rigidity matrix, neglecting angular factors.

Construction

Space frames are a common feature in modern construction; they are often found in large roof spans in modernist commercial and industrial buildings.

Notable examples of buildings based on space frames include:

Large portable stages and lighting gantries are also frequently built from space frames and octet trusses.

In February 1986, Paul C. Kranz walked into the U. S. Department of Transportation office in Fort Worth, Texas, with a model of an octet truss. He showed a staff person there how the octet truss was ideal for holding signs over roads. The idea and model was forwarded to the US Department of Transportation in Washington, D. C. Today, the octet truss is the structure of choice for holding signs above roads in the United States.

Vehicles

Space frames are sometimes used in the chassis designs of automobiles and motorcycles. In a space-frame, or tube-frame, chassis, the suspension, engine, and body panels are attached to a skeletal space frame, and the body panels have little or no structural function. By contrast, in a unit-body design, the body serves as part of the structure, such as design by Ivan Taslimson. Tube-frame chassis are frequently used in certain types of racing cars. British manufacturers TVR were particularly well known for their tube-frame chassis designs, produced since the 1950s. Other notable examples of tube-frame cars include the Lotus Seven, Audi R8, Ferrari 360, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

Space frames have also been used in bicycles, such as those designed by Alex Moulton.

Design methods

Space frames are typically designed using a rigidity matrix. The special characteristic of the stiffness matrix in an architectural space frame is the independence of the angular factors. If the joints are sufficiently rigid, the angular deflections can be neglected, simplifying the calculations.

See also

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • space frame — noun : a usually open three dimensional framework of struts and braces (as in buildings and racing cars) which defines a structure and in which the weight of the structure is evenly distributed in all directions * * * space frame, a building… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Space Frame — Der englische Begriff Spaceframe bezeichnet ein räumliches Fachwerk auch Raumfachwerk genannt einen Gitterrahmen eine Bauart einer selbsttragenden Karosserie, siehe auch Audi Space Frame …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • space frame — Three dimensional truss based on the rigidity of the triangle and composed of linear elements subject only to compression or tension. Its simplest spatial unit is a tetrahedron having four joints and six members. A space frame forms a very strong …   Universalium

  • space frame — A type of frame construction which has high rigidity for its low weight. It is used with some racing and low production cars. It is made up of several lengths of tubing welded into a strong, light web like structure to which the engine,… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • space frame — noun Date: 1912 a usually open three dimensional framework of struts and braces (as in buildings and racing cars) which defines a structure and distributes its weight evenly in all directions …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • space frame — noun A three dimensional truss, often of steel, forming a rigid, stable structure …   Wiktionary

  • space frame — noun a three dimensional structural framework designed to withstand loads applied at any point …   English new terms dictionary

  • Audi Space Frame — 48.78332811.4180357Koordinaten: 48° 47′ 0″ N, 11° 25′ 5″ O …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Space in landscape design — refers to a set of theories that address the meaning and nature of space as a volume and as an element of design.The concept of space as the fundamental medium of landscape design grew from debates tied to modernism, contemporary art,… …   Wikipedia

  • Frame — A frame is a structural system that supports other components of a physical construction. Frame may also refer to:Engineering construction* Framing (construction), a building term known as light frame construction * Frame (vehicle), to which… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.