Adaptable lightweight structures to minimise material use

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The optimal use of materials is highly necessary and a key issue for the near future. World’s current demand on resources and waste production has an enormous impact on the environment, which will even dramatically increase when future’s explosion on population takes place. The high contribution to this by the building industry gives it a big responsibility to reduce the concerning figures of material use. This paper describes an approach in which structures are optimised with the use of adaptability. Structural optimisation is normally only done for static structures, while they are loaded in a dynamic way, meaning loadings which are changing in time, level and location. When structures are made adaptable to these dynamic environmental conditions the adaptability can significantly decrease the structural materials needed by increase of its efficiency. Within this paper the structural adaptability is categorized in passive and active adaptability; passive adaptability using a higher deformation acceptance (flexibility) and active adaptability actively controlling the structure with actuators under different circumstances in a static or dynamic adaptive way. The required higher deformation acceptance for passive adaptable optimisation, and the non-efficient influences of actuators for permanent loadings, like self-weight, does focus the research within the field of lightweight structures. Within the chair ISD of the Eindhoven Technical University ‘adaptable lightweight structures’ is one of the key research topics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Textile Composites and Inflatable Structures, Structural Membranes 2013, 9-11 October 2013, Munich, Germany
EditorsK.-U. Bletzinger, B. Kröplin, E. Oñate
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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