Tensile Membrane Structures Company and tensile fabric have developed through history. Mankind has appreciated the advantages of tensile fabric structures for centuries. Their light weight and portability as well as their adaptability made them the best choice for nomadic people wanting a shelter that they could erect easily and dismantle and relocate quickly.

Tensile Membrane Structures Company

The path from the fur, flax and hide fabric structures of the earliest recorded man made shelters to the PVC, Teflon or silicon coated polypropylene and fibreglass fabrics of today was long, winding and often very faint.

From the nomadic fabric structures, some of which are still in use today, modern man moved to a more permanent compression type of construction reflecting his desire to put down roots. These structures became critical for the safety of a settlement as well as a shelter from the elements. One rock, brick or load of concrete piled on top of another provided a relatively secure shelter as compared to the thin walls of tensile fabric structures.

In today’s fabric architecture, unless the structure is a full dome of air inflated tensile membrane, tensile fabric structures usually require a compression type of building or frame to anchor the tensioned cables, Tensile Membrane Structures Company and designed to resist the forces of the tension.

Tensile Membrane Structures Company

It wasn’t until the late 1940’s that fabric structures began making a comeback. Initially they appeared as very basic inflated tunsion structures to provide quick portable shelter for radar installations. These structures were essentially an inflated dome fastened to the ground. By the late 1950’s more permanent structures were combining the compression type of construction with tensile cables to attain wider clear spans. However, until the late 1970’s the majority of tensile fabric structures were still intended for temporary use.

Tensile Membrane Structures Company

As chemical engineering advanced, fabrics and fibres capable of standing increased tension became available leading to the concept, design and engineering of tensile fabric.

Ancient and modern tensile structures utilize segments that are in tension. A tensile fabric structures specialist must evaluate the different loads and consider the best shapes to sustain these loads. The membrane supports, the tensile fabric geometry and pre-stressing of the fabric structures must be determined.

The Tensile Membrane Structures Company must consider the qualities of the polymeric base materials and their mechanical behavior to design a tensile membrane or tensile fabric that meets the needs of the building architects.

A few facets of engineering that are not common to the typical compression style of building but are critical to Tensile construction concern seams, fittings, ridges, valleys, corners, high and low points, base plates, cables, fittings and anchors. As required for Tensile Architecture, these are relatively new concepts and even with the aid of computers have proven challenging to grasp.

Clean ability of the Tensile Membrane Structures Company

Tensile fabric structures specialists have an expanding list of enhancements that can be considered in the design and function of the tensile fabric structure. Most basic is the colour and the clean ability of the Tensile Membrane Structures Company. They can also address insulation issues for the building with phase-change material, aerogel granules or pillow fabric structures. More recent technology has added vegetation mats and algae cultures to the tools available to the designer.

Tensile Membrane Structures Company

The concept, design, mathematics and initial engineering that led to the first tensile and tensioned building designs in the 1940’s was all paper and pencil. As with most of modern life, computers have played a part in accelerating the concepts and pushing the envelope harder, faster and farther in a shorter time than ever before.

The power of the computer has advanced exponentially since its early beginnings. The accumulated data on tensile fabric inputs, advances in chemical and structural engineering, simulated weather conditions or almost any other exterior condition that might affect a tensile fabric structure is enormous. The efficiency of the data recall has made modelling designs much easier for the tensile fabric structure specialist.

Globally the building sector consumes 50% of all primary resources used and 40% of energy while creating 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the waste. The environmental impact of tension and tensile structures is less onerous than that of traditional compression type structures when applying full life cycle environmental criterion

Tensile fabric structures present special problems for consideration due to the overall light weight of the structure as a whole, the fragility of the fabric materials and its foldability. For a fabric roof specifically concerns are raised regarding wrinkles, standing water, corrosion of anchors and rupture of the fabric or anchor points. Many of these problems can be overcome or avoided by such basic maintenance as periodic re-stretching of the fabric, cleaning of the anchors and membrane, rust proofing and the replacement of the Tensile Membrane Structures Company. Outside of rust proofing, all have been applicable to tensile structures old and new.

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