The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 82 (2004) > Issues > Issue 14 > Membrane material behaviour: concepts, practice and developments
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Membrane material behaviour: concepts, practice and developments

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

Author(s): Bridgens, B N;Gosling, P D;Birchall, M J S

Keywords: membranes;fabrics;tensile structures;behaviour;testing;structural analysis