Coordinated Control for Flexible Structures and Formwork

Coordinated Control for Flexible Structures and Formwork investigates how the use of flexible elements such as cable-nets, bending-active elements and knitted membranes can be combined to create novel hybrid structures and/or to fashion efficient formwork. For the latter, creating new, easily deployable and lightweight formwork systems for concrete elements can have many advantages compared to traditional, stiff formwork methods. The combination of different flexible elements into new hybrid structures can realise the tensile strength of cable elements, the discrete flexible framing and stiffening that can be achieved with bending elements, and the expressive, functional form that can be created from knitted membranes with a minimal number of seams. As these flexible structural components gain their stiffness through their geometry and not exclusively through material stiffness, they are sensitive to deviations in the as-built geometry versus the designed geometry. It is therefore important that the construction sequence be carefully controlled to eliminate these deviations in the final state. To this end, methods are sought in controlling and measuring accurately the erection of these structures from an easily transportable form, from a pre-fabricated and flat or low-volume state, for example, to the completed final (formwork) structure.

Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Philippe BlockProf. Dr. Roy Smith

Main Collaborators: Mariana Popescu, Maryanne Wachter, Yvonne Stürz

Extended Collaborators: Dr. Andrew Liew, Cristian Calvo Barentin, Dr. Matthias Rippmann, Dave Pigram

External Collaborators: Dr. Sébastien Guillaume, Dr. Tom Van Mele

Publications

Liew, Andrew, Yvonne Stürz, Sébastien Guillaume, Tom Van Mele, Roy Smith, and Philippe Block. 2016 “Active control of the NESTHiLo net formwork prototype.” Automation in Construction. Submitted for review.

Popescu, Mariana, Matthias Rippmann, Tom Van Mele, and Philippe Block. 2016 “Complex Concrete Casting: Knitting Stay-in-Place Formwork.” Proceedings of the International Association of Spatial and Shell Structures Symposium, Tokyo.

Stürz, Yvonne, Manfred Morari, and Roy Smith. 2016a. “Sequential Quadratic Programming for the Control of an Architectural Cable Net Geometry.” In Proceedings of the American Control Conference, Boston.

Stürz, Yvonne, Manfred Morari, and Roy Smith. 2016b. “Two Methods for the Identification of Uncertain Parameters of an Architectural Cable Net.” Proceedings of Conference on Control Applications, Buenos Aires.

Wachter, Maryanne, Andrew Liew, Tom Van Mele, and Philippe Block. 2016. “Non-prismatic Bending/Torsion Beam Elements for Form Finding by Dynamic Relaxation.” In Proceedings of the International Association of Spatial and Shell Structures Symposium, Tokyo.

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