What Is Space Frame? | Components of Space Frame System | Types of Space Frame | Space Frame Structures Examples | Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure

What Is Space Frame

Introduction of Space Frame

Space frames or space structures are used as geometric patterns, especially in industrial sheds. The structure of the space frame is made up of interlocking struts. It has a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure in geometric patterns.

In architecture and structural engineering, there has been an increase in the construction and development of space frame structures. With modern technology, the space frame structure is chosen as an industrial shed.

The space frame can be designed with few internal supports for large spans. Like the truss, the space frame is formed in the shape of a triangle.

The space frame is strong in the long span due to the inherent rigidity of the triangle shape. Bending moments in space frames are transferred as tension and compression loads along the length of each strut.

Alexander Graham Bell first introduced the concept of space frames from tetrahedral geometry. Belle used it primarily to create a rigid frame for nautical and aeronautical engineering needs.

Dr. Ing. Max Mengeringhausen used a space frame for a space grid system called MERO in Germany.

Space frames are widely used for the construction of stadiums, airports, exhibition halls, towers, and swimming pools.

Also Read: Difference Between Dead Load Vs Live Load | Environmental Load

What Is Space Frame?

The space frame is a technique to cover long spans in architecture and structural engineering. This space frame is a rigid, truss type and light in weight structure.

The truss in the space frame is composed of interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames are used for long spans with few internal supports.

A rigid matrix is used for the design of space frame structures. The space frame structure is a three-dimensional structure with various strut and linear elements assembled together. Which is adjusted to transfer the load coming on it.

The characteristic of the stiffness matrix in an architectural space frame depends on the angular element. If the joints of the space frame structure are rigid enough, they can resist angular deformations. And simplifies calculations for the space frame design.

The space frame structure is an indefinite type of structure. Which can be constructed quickly over a long span. It can cover large areas in minimum time.

The space frame structure can be constructed using the element of steel and timber. But steel material is the right material for space frame structure to sustain the structure intended for long time use.

Components of Space Frame System

Space frame consists of various components for the construction of structures. These include linear action members and node connectors as key elements.

The linear members in the space frame are mainly round and rectangular in shape. Which includes tube or pipe sections. Which is used in the construction of space frames. The element can be easily assembled using space node connectors.

Node connectors are widely used to connect members from joints to space frame construction. The total applied load of the structure is transferred through the nodal joints.

The connection through the nodule is properly made very strong and rigid. So that it is able to transfer structural loads. Prefabricated units in various standard sizes and shapes of space frames are available in the market.

Also Read: What Is Shuttering? | 13 Different Types of Shuttering | Plastic Shuttering | Metal Shuttering

Types of Space Frame Structure

The Different Types of Space Frames Are Classified as Follows,

1. Curvature Classification

Curvature Classification

  • Barrel vaults
  • Space Plane Covers
  • Spherical domes

1.1 Barrel Vaults

Barrel vaults are a popular way to cover large open areas with little support. These structures are usually developed as an economical alternative to the construction of industrial buildings as required.

Barrel vault Space structures serve a need associated with a variety of configurations.

1.2 Space Plane Covers

Spatial structures are constructed of planar substructures. They act as rigid plates. The deflection on his plane is supported by the channel. Similarly, the transfer of shear force in its structure is supported by the diagonal.

1.3 Spherical Domes

The spherical space-frame structure is made up of a complex network of triangles. Each of the connected triangles forms a self-bracing structure. This type of structure is fragile despite being structurally strong.

2. Classification by Arrangements of Its Elements

Classification by Arrangements of Its Elements

2.1 Single Layer Grid

This type of space frame consists of two or more elements parallel to the grid. Which intersect at an angle to each other in the frame.

In this type of space frame, the element intersects perpendicularly to the plane. If the members of the grid are in the same plane, it is called a single-layer Grid.

2.2 Double Layer Grid

A double-layer grid is formed by extensions in single-layer grid systems, in which two elements of a parallel beam are connected perpendicular to each other. The design of this type of space frame consists of elements at diagonal angles.

2.3 Triple Layer Grid

In such frames, the element is placed in three parallel lines. Which are connected to each other by diagonals. Its texture is almost flat. This type of structure is used for industrial sheds for large spans.

Space Frame Structures Examples

The Following Are Some Examples of Space Frame Structures

  1. Eden Project in Cornwall, England
  2. Rogers Centre by Rod Robbie and Michael Allan
  3. Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil by Populous
  4. Bank of China Tower and the Louvre Pyramid, by I. M. Pei
  5. McCormick Place East in Chicago
  6. Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain by Arata Isozaki
  7. Harbin Opera House in China
  8. Entrance to Six Flags Magic Mountain
  9. Harbin Opera House in China by Ma Yansong
  10. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport airport terminal

Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure

Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure

Advantages of Space Frame Structure

The Various Advantages of Space Frame Structure Are Given Below

  1. Space frame structures generally have acoustic properties.
  2. Perlin is not required in the construction of space structures.
  3. The space frame can be easily installed as it has prefabricated component parts for construction.
  4. Height can be obtained from space frame structures as required for industrial.
  5. The elements of space frame structures are light in weight. So its element can be easily transported and handled.
  6. Proper cambering features can be provided by the space frame structure.
  7. The elements of space frame structures are lighter than the materials of other structures.
  8. The space frame structure has a rigid type structure.
  9. In the design of this type of space frame structure, the concentrated load is evenly distributed over the entire structure.
  10.  Since the element of the space frame structure is lighter, the transport cost is less than the element of other types of structure.
  11. The design of the space frame structure gives minimum deflection.
  12. This type of structure can be designed in the right shape for an irregular plan.
  13. The wide span can be properly selected for the structure design.
  14. This type of structure can provide a term like column-free.
  15. This structure provides a mid-column to eliminate the need for geometric stability.

Disadvantage of Space Frame Structure

Some of the Disadvantages the Advantages of Space Frame Structures Are as Follows,

  1. Heavy-duty cranes are required for space frame structures.
  2. The construction of a space frame structure requires precise measurement and handling to fit large prefabricated sections properly.
  3. The elements of space frame structure are more expensive than prefabricated volcanic sections.
  4. Specially skilled labor is required for the construction of the space frame structure.
  5. There is a possibility of leakage from the joints of various elements in the space frame.

Also Read: What Is Lintel? | Size of Lintel Beam | Types of Lintel

Conclusion of Space Frame Structure

Space frame trusses can be used for overhead structures. This type of space can extend from a few supports in a frame structure to a large span.

It is designed as per the requirement of the Space Frame Structure. Which is usually used based on the number of grid layers. Its three types are single-layer grid, double-layer grid, and triple-layer grid.

The space frame is constructed by the proper combination of different elements. Which involves processes like welding, bolting or threading, etc.

Space frame construction is done by three main methods. These include the scaffolding method, block assembly method, lift-up method, etc.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Space Frame?

In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame or space structure is a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports.

What Is Space Frame Structure?

Space frame structures are mainly used in buildings that span large areas with few interior supports. They are also used because of their pleasing architecture. Space frame architecture can be found in airports, stadiums, exhibition halls, swimming pools, and towers.

Space Frame Components

Space Frame Components

Composed of two components, the members and joints form the structural integrity of the space frame. Members are axial elements with circular or rectangular sections resisting tension and compression, while the connecting joints are critical to the strength, stiffness, and safety of the design.

Types of Space Frame

Types of space frames
  • Triple-layered grid.
  • Double-layered grid.
  • Single-layered grid.

Materials Used for Space Frame Structures

The simplest form of space frame is a horizontal slab of interlocking square pyramids and tetrahedra built from Aluminium or tubular steel struts. In many ways, this looks like the horizontal jib of a tower crane repeated many times to make it wider.

Space Frame Structure Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  1. Space frame structures are lightweight.
  2. The space frame structure is sufficiently stiff.
  3. It is very easy to install space frame structures because of their prefabricated component parts.
  4. Space frame structures have an excellent duration-to-depth ratio.

Disadvantages

  1. The construction of the space frame structure is restricted to 40 ft when reinforced concrete is used.
  2. Space frames which are span in three-dimensional plate structures that are based on the rigidity of the triangle and composed of linear elements generally subject only to axial tension or compression.
  3. Even though some connections are comparatively rigid joints due to the influence of bending or torsional moment is insignificant.

How to Space Frames on a Wall?

Try to keep all frames 2-3 inches apart from one another, so placement looks purposeful. Keep this rule in mind whether you’re hanging a small frame or an oversized canvas piece. This is the key to how to hang a gallery wall straight and evenly.

How Much Space Between Frames?

Try to keep all frames 2-3 inches apart from one another, so placement looks purposeful. Keep this rule in mind whether you’re hanging a small frame or an oversized canvas piece. This is the key to how to hang a gallery wall straight and evenly.

Space Frame

space frame or space structure (3D truss) is a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports.

Space Frame Structure

Used mostly in structural engineering and architecture, a space frame (also called a 3D truss or a space structure) is a rigid structure with a truss-like composition that consists of several struts that are interlocked in a geometric pattern.

Space Frame Architecture

space frame, a Three-dimensional truss based on the rigidity of the triangle and composed of linear elements subject only to compression or tension. Its simplest spatial unit is a tetrahedron having four joints and six members.

Space Frame System

Space frame system

In architectural design, a space framing or space frame system is a truss-like, lightweight, rigid structure manufactured from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frame structures can be utilized for large areas with few interior supports.

Space Frame Truss

In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame or space structure (3D truss) is a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large areas with few interior supports.

Space Frame Construction

A Space Frame structure can be defined as a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure. It is constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. The Space frames can be used efficiently to cover huge areas with minimum interior supports.

Steel Space Frame

Space Frames are amongst the most weight efficient form of lightweight steel structures. Elements and nodes are separated and bolted together to form frames. Geometrical shapes can be either curved or flat, with many variations in grid types.

Types of Space Frames

There are five main forms of structural frames: Plain Frame, Structural Frame, and Space Frame. Monocoque and Semi-Monocoque. These are structures created in two dimensions. An example is seen the opposite.

Space Frame Buildings

Examples of buildings based on space frames include:
  • Stansted Airport, by Foster + Partners.
  • Bank of China Tower and the Louvre Pyramid, by I. M. …
  • Rogers Centre by Rod Robbie and Michael Allan.
  • McCormick Place East in Chicago.
  • Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil by Populous.
  • Eden Project in Cornwall, England.

Aluminium Space Frame

ASF® utilizes state-of-the-art technology to create an aluminum body frame that offers increased stiffness, reduced weight, and enhanced handling. The third generation ASF® is an all-aluminum frame structure that offers the dual benefits of being both lighter and stronger than steel.

Space Frame Examples

Tower cranes and communication towers are examples of frame structures. Frames are made from bars joined together to form a ‘framework.’ This is one of the most economical ways of building structures. Some modern buildings have a frame structure that can only be seen during construction.

Space Frame Steel Structure

Space Frames are amongst the most weight efficient form of lightweight steel structures. Elements and nodes are separated and bolted together to form frames. Geometrical shapes can be either curved or flat, with many variations on grid types.

Types of Space Frame Structures

Different Types Of Frame Structures
  • Braced Frame System. One of the main frame structure types is the braced frame system.
  • Gabled Structural Frames.
  • Portal Structural Frames.
  • Light Frame Structure.
  • R.C.C Frame Structures.
  • Pin Ended Rigid Structural Frames.

Space Truss Vs Space Frame

Different nature: A space truss is a structure made of rods connected with each other by hinges at both ends. A space frame structure is a space structure made of multiple rods connected by nodes according to a certain grid form.

Space Frame Is

Space frame structures are mainly used in buildings that span large areas with few interior supports. They are also used because of their pleasing architecture.

1 thought on “What Is Space Frame? | Components of Space Frame System | Types of Space Frame | Space Frame Structures Examples | Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure”

  1. I have read this article about space frame structure carefully and got a lot of benefits. I am very grateful to the author for sharing. I am also engaged in the space frame industry. I have worked in SAFS Steel Structure Engineering Co., Ltd. for more than ten years. More people who want to know about this will pay off.

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