Paper number 334


Christian Wielgosz1 - Etienne Leflaive2- Jean-François Dubé1- Jean-Christophe Thomas1

1 Laboratoire de Génie Civil de Nantes - St Nazaire
Ecole Centrale de Nantes - Université de Nantes
2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 92208, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3, France
2 17 rue Michel Voisin, 92330 Sceaux, France

Summary The aim of the paper is to display experimental and numerical results on the behaviour of inflated fabric beams (panels and tubes) submitted to bending loads. These structures are inflated at medium pressures (about several bars) in order to ensure very good strength abilities. Panels are made of two coated linen cloths connected by yarns in order to ensure a perfect flatness, and tubes are made of simply coated fabrics. The behaviour of the structures depends on the inflation pressure which leads the cloths and the yarns to be prestressed. These structures are very light, easily transportable and extremely strong. The shape of the deformed structures is linear between points of loading. It seems therefore that they behave as tight yarns, but it is shown that a yarn model gives valuable results on the deflection when the pressure is low, but very bad results for higher values of this pressure. A beam model is not suitable to calculate deflections because of the less of curvature, but gives a correct answer for the collapse load. Modelling of these structures suppose computations with hypothesis of large displacements and following forces.
Keywords inflated beam, pneumatic, textile, following forces, medium pressure.

Theme : Industrial Applications ; Civil Engineering and Building Applications

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