Cable Net Structures

We have investigated special layouts for cable nets that are suitable for mesh reflectors and tension grid for theatre walkways. Most existing cable nets are kinematically indeterminate (i.e., they are structural mechanism that rely on the geometric stiffness resulting from the state of prestress) and therefore lack accuracy and stiffness, which are essential for space applications. We have proposed a new double-layer cable network, made from a tessellation of hexagons and triangles, whose top layer can be used to support a reflective wire mesh. This special cable network has only two states of self-stress (hence, it can be pretensioned by controlling the length of only two cables), and it is kinematically determinate (i.e. 'rigid').

This concept retains the main positive aspects of cable-nets, while eliminating their drawbacks.