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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 2/3
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper IX.1

TENSYL: An Integrated CAD Approach to Stressed Membrane Structures

D.S. Wakefield

Minitec Ltd, Bath, England

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
D.S. Wakefield, "TENSYL: An Integrated CAD Approach to Stressed Membrane Structures", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 247-254, 1985. doi:10.4203/ccp.2.9.1
Stressed membrane structures, be they air-supported such as the large American sports stadia or doubly curved, counter-stressed, surfaces such as the tents for the Diplomatic Quarter Diplomatic Club in Riyadh, are an ideal subject for computer aided design. Their very shape depends upon the determination of an equilibrium state of geometry and internal stress, whilst any load analysis must be non-linear to account for finite movement to take up load. The materials employed have strongly directional characteristics, and should generally only admit tensile stresses. Their complex shapes may be more readily visualised utilising computer graphics techniques, and accurate geometric data produced for their pre-fabrication.

This paper reviews the development and application of the TENSYL program suite for the form-finding, analysis and patterning of stressed membrane structures. Its integration into the various phases of the design process is illustrated by reference to current projects in North America and the Middle East.

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