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The Structural Engineer
The Structural Engineer
The Structural Engineer
The Structural Engineer
The Structural Engineer

A review of architectural fabric material properties leads to new work on fabric testing including the design of biaxial test equipment, analysis of the cruciform test piece and a new test protocol. It is proposed that plane-stress theory may be inappropriate for architectural fabrics. Warp and weft stresses and strains can be directly related without the inherent approximation and inaccuracy incurred when non-linear fabric behaviour is represented using a plane-stress model. A proposed scheme for implementing the test data in structural analysis is outlined. The benefits of this research to fabric structure design were discussed in the previous paper1. A better understanding of fabric behaviour will reduce the uncertainty and unnecessary conservatism in the design process, which should lead to the design and construction of more economic and increasingly bold fabric structures. B. N. Bridgens, MEng University of Newcastle & Arup Ben Bridgens delivered an oral presentation at the 2003 Young Researchers Conference and won first prize P. D. Gosling, BEng, MSc(Eng), DIC, PhD University of Newcastle & Consultant to Arup M. J. S. Birchall, MA(Cantab)(Eng), BA(Arch), MIStructE, CEng Arup Newcastle

The Structural Engineer
The Structural Engineer

Current design considerations and practice for tensile fabric structures are discussed with reference to a recent project (Dalton Park, County Durham, UK). Non-linear fabric behaviour, large displacements and the use of membrane action to resist loads require a fundamentally different approach to structural design compared to traditional roof structures. The benefits to the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of fabric structures to be gained from a better understanding of fabric material properties are considered. An ongoing programme of research at the University of Newcastle aims to thoroughly explore the behaviour of architectural fabrics, and to use this knowledge to improve design practice. Areas of research include biaxial testing of in-plane material properties1, creep, shear and the development of a reliability based analysis and simulated installation analysis. B. N. Bridgens, MEng University of Newcastle & Arup Ben Bridgens delivered an oral presentation at the 2003 Young Researchers Conference and won first prize P. D. Gosling, BEng, MSc(Eng), DIC, PhD University of Newcastle & Consultant to Arup M. J. S. Birchall, MA(Cantab)(Eng), BA(Arch), MIStructE, CEng Arup Newcastle

The Structural Engineer