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Tensile Membrane Structure Design Details

December 10,2019

The membrane structure design mainly includes the following:
1. Initial state analysis: to ensure that a three-dimensional balanced surface with stable shape and uniform stress distribution is generated, and able to resist various possible load conditions; this is an iterative modification process.
2. Load state analysis: The tensile membrane structure itself is very light, only 1/5 of the steel structure and 1/40 of the concrete structure; therefore, the membrane structure has good adaptability to seismic forces and is more sensitive to wind. The effects of snow and live loads must also be considered. Due to the lack of current observation data, the design of membrane structure usually adopts the safety factor method.
3. Determination of the size of the main structural members and finite element analysis of the supporting structure. When the design method of the support structure is different from the membrane structure, attention should be paid to the coefficient conversion between different design methods.
4. Connection design: including bolts, welds, and minor component dimensions.
5. Cutting design: This process should have the necessary test data, including the Young's modulus and the cutting compensation value of the selected film material (should be determined by biaxial tensile test).

The membrane structure needs to be considered at the solution stage:
1. The size of the pre-tension and the tension method;
2. Determine the size of the diaphragm and the arrangement of the cables according to the control load;
3. Consider the shape of the membrane surface and its fixings to avoid standing water (snow);
4. Design of key nodes to avoid stress concentration;
5. Consider the transportation and lifting of the membrane;
6. Durability and fire considerations.

The main points to be considered during the membrane structure design stage are:
1. Ensure that the film surface has sufficient curvature to obtain greater stiffness and aesthetic effects;
2. Refine the supporting structure to fully express the transparent space and lightweight shape;
3. Simplify the connection nodes between the membrane and the support structure and reduce the amount of construction on site.

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