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The use of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) in the discipline of architecture opens new possibilities for the construction of architectural components. CFRP has been explored mainly in engineering fields, such as aeronautics, automotive, ballistic and marine engineering. CFRP has also been explored in the discipline of architecture in the construction of shell structures because of its high strength-to-weight ratio and low-cost. There is, however, limited research on how structural analysis can be used to inform weave patterns for shell structures using CFRP.
Further, previous research in the field has not performed physical structural tests to validate which force driven weave patterns perform best. This thesis addresses this gap by contributing a methodology for the creation of CFRP weave patterns from structural analysis and their validation through physical testing. Specifically, this thesis addresses three main problems: Firstly, understanding and analyzing the structural behavior of a shell structure through computation; Secondly, the creation of a weaving pattern of carbon fiber optimized for structural performance; the third part seeks to translate the digital model into fabricated prototypes. The results of this research show that force-flow derived patterns perform best. Consequently, force-flow is the information we should implement to create a more efficient force-driven weave pattern in shell structures.
Adviser: David Newton