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Research Papers

A Numerical Method for Simulating Nonlinear Mechanical Responses of Tensegrity Structures Under Large Deformations

[+] Author and Article Information
Li-Yuan Zhang

AML & CMM,
Department of Engineering Mechanics,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Yue Li

Institute of Nuclear and
New Energy Technology,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Xi-Qiao Feng

e-mail: fengxq@tsinghua.edu.cn
AML & CMM,
Department of Engineering Mechanics,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Huajian Gao

School of Engineering,
Brown University,
Providence, RI 02912

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 26, 2012; final manuscript received January 23, 2013; accepted manuscript posted March 7, 2013; published online August 21, 2013. Editor: Yonggang Huang.

J. Appl. Mech 80(6), 061018 (Aug 21, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: JAM-12-1575; doi: 10.1115/1.4023977 History: Received December 26, 2012; Revised January 23, 2013; Accepted March 07, 2013

An efficient numerical method is developed to analyze the mechanical responses of tensegrity structures subjected to various actuations that lead to large and highly nonlinear (e.g., hardening or softening) deformations. The proposed method, whose accuracy and efficacy are demonstrated through a number of representative examples, holds promise for applications in design, analysis, and safety evaluations of large-scale tensegrity structures.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Expandable octahedron tensegrity under tension

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Fig. 3

Mechanical responses of pinned and looped expandable octahedron tensegrities under tension or compression along the x axis. The numerical results (symbols) obtained from the present method are compared with the analytical solutions (lines) of Stamenović et al. [18].

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Fig. 4

A five-bar cylindrical tensegrity under internal actuation: (a) initial configuration and (b) final configuration

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Fig. 1

Flow chart of the structural stiffness matrix based numerical method established in the present paper

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Fig. 5

Elements meeting at the node 1 in a v-bar cylindrical tensegrity

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Fig. 6

A three-bar cylindrical tensegrity subjected to (a) axial tension and (b) torsion

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Fig. 7

Mechanical responses of cylindrical tensegrities subjected to (a) and (b) axial tension/compression or (c) and (d) torsion. The numerical results (symbols) obtained from the present method are compared with the analytical solutions (lines) in Eqs. (43) and (44).

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Fig. 8

Carbon nanotube-like tensegrity structures: (a) armchair (5,5) and (6,6) capped carbon nanotubes and (b) the corresponding tensegrities

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Fig. 9

Mechanical responses of carbon nanotube-like tensegrity structures subjected to (a) axial tension and (b) torsion. The solid and dashed lines correspond to the (5,5) and (6,6) tensegrities, respectively.

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