Cable-nets and Tensioned Membrane Structures: Insights from the Form-finding Process

Jienan Zhang, Sudarshan Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Cable-nets and tensioned membrane structures demonstrate unique behaviour due to their flexibility. Geometrical nonlinearities play a significant role in both form-finding and force analysis. Advancements in solution methods to nonlinear problems and commercially available programs have made parametric studies an efficient endeavour.

This paper provides insights about the parametric effects in structural behaviour during the form-finding process for cable-nets and membrane structures. A series of hypar and cone forms were investigated were examined; the effects of different prestress levels and span-to-height ratios were studied. The behaviours are compared and observations are presented. The form-finding analysis was done using the program RFEM that employs the Updated Reference Strategy (URS) based on iterative regularization of the stiffness matrix during the process. This work is a prelude to the ongoing parametric study on structural behaviour of prestressed configurations under external loads.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of IASS Annual Symposia
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2016
EventThe International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures IASS2016 Symposium - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: Sep 26 2016Sep 30 2016


  • cable-net
  • tension
  • structural behaviour
  • prestress
  • membrane
  • hypar
  • cone


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