Cost-Effective Design of Space Structures Joints: A Review
Mohammed I. Ali;
Peter N. Khakina;
In construction of any structure, the aesthetic and utility values should be considered in such a way as to make the structure cost-effective. Most structures are composed of elements and joints which are very critical in any skeletal space structure because they majorly determine the performance of the structure. In early times, most space structures were constructed using rigid joints which had the advantage of better performing structures as compared to pin-jointed structures but with the disadvantage of requiring all the construction work to be done on site. The discovery of semi-rigid joints now enables connections to be prefabricated and quickly assembled on site while maintaining good performance. In this paper, cost-effective is discussed basing on strength of connectors at the joints, buckling of joints and overall structure, and the effect of initial geometrical imperfections. Several existing joints are reviewed by classifying them into categories and discussing where they are most suited and how they perform structurally. Also, finite element modeling using ABAQUS is done to determine the buckling behavior. It is observed that some joints are more economical than others. The rise to span ratio and imperfections are also found to affect the buckling of the structures. Based on these, general principles that guide the design of cost-effective joints and structures are discussed.
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