SSL Software Suites
We use state of the art, software tools for our engineers to simulate the real world project. CFD, FEA, Formfinding; these are the language of the engineer. Computational Fluid Dynamics is a growing branch of the engineering industry which can simulate airflow around, under and through a building. Finite Element Analysis does what is says. Every element of the model is analysed for its effect on all other elements and the reaction forces shown. Formfinding proves the relaxed shape for further analysis.
Fabric structures possess significant structural and architectural advantages over conventional structures. However, fabric structures also present a unique set of design challenges. The shapes of membrane structures cannot be chosen at random. The absence of bending resistance's requires designers to work within the constraints of feasible membrane equilibrium shapes. These shapes are usually complex, doubly curved surfaces which must be pretensioned in such a way to resist applied loading such as wind and snow. A tensile membrane structure is prestressed and stabilised by the counteracting tensions of opposing curvatures of an anticlastic surface (two-directional curvature of opposite sign, as a saddle surface). Where flat profile sheet design is envisaged, the initial prestress is significantly higher due to the need to prevent movement. Special non-linear techniques are necessary for the structural analysis of tension structures, since membranes undergo shape changes under varying load conditions and fabric materials exhibit complex stress-strain response. Computer-based finite element techniques such as EASY are used to solve these non-linear problems.
NDN is the latest custom written software suite for the design, analysis and patterning of fabric membrane structures. Written and refined by Martin Brown, one of the finest tension structure engineers in the world, it is state of the art in the way that it handles the integration of fabric architecture with engineering requirements. The analysis tool also designs the steelwork in synergy with the membrane and it's supports. This means that an integrated approach is used towards design instead of using many different modules to do the job. NDN is at the leading edge of software engineering.
Tech-net 'EASY' membrane force and cable analysis software.
EASY analysis tools provide the most effective method of assessing the forces in the structures membrane, it's cables and the reaction loads on the supporting steelwork. With the ability to define and model precisely the ultimate tensile strength and stiffness of the membrane and reinforcement materials, and then to determine maximum loads, deflections and reaction loads from the dynamic membrane, every condition can be simulated and shown.