Bart-Jan van der Gaag

Building Technology

Pedestrian bridge structure

Exploiting active bending for double curved structures: research in self-supporting double-curved structures composed of elastically deformed planar elements

Imagine the high complexity of double-curvature going hand in hand with the purest form of structural design - that is the essence of active bending structures. Arbitrary double-curved architecture is getting more popular in the built environment. However, such structures often require custom and expensive construction methods. Active-bending structures base their simplicity on the creation of double-curved objects from initially planar elements. The strength of a planar plate highly increases when it is subject to bending, as a result of the expansion and contraction properties in composite materials (the Poissons ratio). Balanced and optimised bending deformation of a planar strip results in very minimalistic structural components; with just a thickness of fifteen millimetres, a remarkable span of ten meters can be achieved. This research results in new design methods for designers and engineers, as well as a minimalistic, light-weight and easy-to-construct structural component.