Numercial design and analysis of flexible structures
When working with lightweight structures it is fascinating to observe how their inherent beauty seems to rather spontaneously ‘appear’ – usually after a laborious process of definition and optimisation, not by a predetermined design.
The fact that many lightweight structures seem to ‘appear’ by themselves is related to the inherent interaction of stress and form, following a principle of optimal self-organization under ideal stress patterns with minimal cost of energy and best use of construction material.
This article describes the application of numerical tools to the structural engineering design of special and lightweight building structures. Moreover, the interaction between the solid structure and the surrounding fluids is demonstrated using four real life industrial examples.