Journal article

Designing tensegrity modules for pedestrian bridges

Tensegrity systems are spatial structures composed of tensile and compression components in a self-equilibrated state of prestress. The tensegrity concept has already been studied by researchers in various fields over the past decades. A family of tensegrity modules that can offer promising solutions for civil engineering applications such as tensegrity domes, towers and bridges is analyzed. Research into tensegrity systems has resulted in reliable techniques for form finding and structural analysis. However, the tensegrity concept is not yet part of mainstream structural design. This paper presents a design study of a tensegrity-based pedestrian bridge. The structural performance of the bridge using three tensegrity modules is evaluated through parametric studies. Design requirements for pedestrian bridges and results of parametric studies are used to define a design procedure that optimizes section sizes for this type of structure. A structural efficiency indicator is proposed and used to compare proposals for feasible bridge configurations. Design results illustrate that the hollow-rope tensegrity bridge can efficiently meet typical design criteria.

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