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

Space Frame System

Introduction of Space Structure:

The construction and development of the frame space structures are going all over the world. In the last few decades, space frame structures gain more importance.

Space frame or the space structure is a rigid and lightweight structure which is constructed from the interlocking struts in the different geometric patterns.

Space frame structures are widely used for the construction of large span areas with few interior supports. Space frame structure system is widely used worldwide because of the numerous advantages in covering the largest span areas.

In this article, you will get to know about the space frame structure and the types of space frame structure. The space frame structures are light in weight because the material which is used in the space frame structure is distributed especially in such a way that the total load transfer mechanism is primarily axial, compression or tension.

The space frame is the simplest form of Structure which is the horizontal slab of interlocking square pyramids main rebuild from the aluminum or steel struts.

Space frames were independently developed by Alexander Graham Bell. Space frame structures are light in weight and very easy to handle and transport from one place to another place. Space frame structures have very little deflection and consistent higher compressive as well as tensile loads.

In case of the space frame structures, the concentrated loads are evenly distributed all over the structure. The main purpose of using space frame structures to cover the large span area and giving a pleasant experience to the structure.

The space frame architecture is widely used in the construction of Airports, stadiums, exhibition halls, swimming pools and Towers, etc. Space frame structures have an ability to resist and redistribute the total concentrated load all over the structure.

The different types of services like lightning and Air conditioning can be easily accommodated in the space in the space frame structure. Space frame structures are three-dimensional structures which have different types of members and connections. The most common type of members and connections are double layer grids which have steel pipe sections.

Space frame structures are designed using a rigid matrix. The space frame structure is a three-dimensional structure which is assembled in linear elements which are arranged to transfer the load.

The Space frame structure is constructed with steel and Timber. The Steel material is for the space frame structure to sustain more load. Due to the 3D dimensional behavior, the space frame structures are usually stiff and it can sustain with heavily concentrated loading.

Space frame structure system is indeterminate structures. The speed of the construction in the space frame structures is very rapid and can cover large areas with minimum time duration.

Also, Read: Reinforced Concrete Frame | Concrete Frame Construction | Concrete Building Construction | Frame Construction | Types of Frame

What Is Space Frame?

In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame (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.

The strength of a space frame structure is due to the inherent stiffness of the triangle and flexing loads that are transmitted along the length of each strut in the form of tension and compression loads.

Components of Space Frame System.

Space Frame System

There are various components of space frame structures which mainly consists of linear action members and node connectors. The linear fractional members are mainly circular and rectangular The tube or pipe sections are used in the space frame system because it can be easily assembled with the help of node connectors.

The node connectors are widely used for the connect one of the different joints of the members. The structure is axially loaded in which the total applied structural load is transmitted through the nodal joints only.

It is very necessary that the nodal join should be very strong and rigid so that it can sustain the Structural loads. Simple prefabricated units of space frame structure of standard size and shapes are available in the market.

Also, Read: Skeleton Frame | What Is Building Skeleton | What Is Steel Structure Building | Use of Steel Frame Structures| Advantages & Disadvantage of Steel Frame

Advantages of Space Frame Structure.

Advantages of Space Frame Structure

There are various Advantages of a space frame structure which are as follows

  1. Space frame structures are lightweight.
  2. The space frame structure is sufficiently stiff.
  3. It is very easy to install the space frame structures because of its prefabricated component parts.
  4. Space frame structures have excellent duration to depth ratio.
  5. Space frame structures are very easy to transport and handle.
  6. This type of structures provides good cambering facilities.
  7. Space frame structures have excellent acoustic properties.
  8. It does not require purlins.
  9. It is more suitable for the structures which have irregular plan shape and site.
  10. Also, suitable for a structure that has a larger span.
  11. It provides a column-free explicit term.
  12. This structure eliminates the need for geometric stability, providing a mid-column.
  13. It provides a large spawn at low altitudes.
  14. It provides minimum deflection.
  15. It provides low transportation costs.

Also, Read: Detail of Beam Connection | Simple Framing Connection | Semi-Rigid Framing Connection | Rigid Frame Connection

Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure.

The disadvantages of space frame structures are as follows

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

Also, Read: What Is Superstructures | Difference Between Load-Bearing and Framed Structures

Types of Space Frame.

Types of Space Frame

There are different types of space frames classified into different types

  • Curvature Classification:
    • Space Plane Covers:
    • Barrel Vaults: 
    • Spherical Domes:
  • Classification by Arrangements of Its Elements:
    • Single Layer Grid:
    • Double Layer Grid:
    • Triple Layer Grid:

1. Curvature Classification:

1.a. Space Plane Covers

Spatial structures mainly composed of planar Sub-structures. The planes are channelled through the horizontal bars and the shear forces are supported by the diagonals.

1.b. Barrel Vaults

This type has a cross-section of a simple arch. It is usually required the use of tetrahedral modules or pyramids as a part of its unit.

1.c. Spherical Domes

Usually requires the use of tetrahedral modules or pyramids and additional support from a skin.

2. Classification by Arrangements of Its Elements

2.a. Single Layer Grid

All Elements are placed on the surface approximately.

2.b. Double Layer Grid

This type of frames is commonly used in the space frame. Elements are organized in two parallel layers with each other at a certain distance apart. The diagonals bars connecting the nodes of both layers are in different directions.

2.c. Triple Layer Grid

These frames are placed in three parallel lines are linked by the diagonals. This is almost always flat. They are mostly used for larger span building.

Also, Read: Kani’s Method | Advantages of Kani’s Method | How to Use Kani’s Method for Analysis | Procedure of  Kani’s Method

Space Frame Structures Examples.

Space Frame Structures Examples

The space frame structure example is as follows

  1. Stansted Airport, by Foster Partners.
  2. Bank of China Tower and the Louvre Pyramid.
  3. Rogers Centre by Rod Robbie and Michael Allan
  4. McCormick Place East in Chicago.
  5. Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil by Populous
  6. Eden Project in Cornwall, England
  7. Globen, Sweden – Dome with a diameter of 110 m, (1989)
  8. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport terminal 2.

Also, Read: What Is Mat Foundation | Mat Building | Advantage and Disadvantage of Mat Slab Foundation | Types of Mat Foundation | Where Mat Foundation Is Used

Limitations of Space Frame Structure

Space Frame Structure has following limitations.

  1. Space frames are classified into three types conferring to the number of grid layers; Single, double, or triple layer.
  2. Space frame trusses can be used for platforms or overhead structures that span large distances without the need for internal load-bearing supports.
  3. Space can be made by frame connection; welding, bolting or threading
  4. Space frame construction uses three main methods of construction; Scaffolding Method, Block Assembly Method, Lift-up Method
  5. Space frames are beneficial by them as associated with other common structures; Lightweight, mass production, rigidity, and versatility.

Short Note

Space Frame

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.

What Is 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 Structure

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 Structures Examples

  • 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.

Types of Space Frame

Space frames are classified into three types according to the number of grid layers as follows; single, double, and triple layer. Space frame connections can be made by; welding, bolting, or threading.

Space Frame System

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

Also, Read: Functions of Foundation | Requirements of Good Foundation | Types of Foundation | Types of Shallow Foundations | Types of Deep Foundations

Space Truss Structure System

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 Framing System

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 Architecture

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.

Steel Space Frame

Steel Space Frames are amongst the most weight efficient form of light weight 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.

What Is Steel Space Frame Structure?

Space Frames are amongst the most weight efficient form of light weight 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.

What Are the Components of Space Frame?

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.

What Is an Example of a Frame Structure?

Natural frame structures include coral, trees, spider webs, and skeletons. Man made shell structures include tunnels, roofs, helmets, drink cans, and boats. The frame structures are mostly made of beams.

How Many Types of Space Frame Supports Are There?

Space frames are classified into three types according to the number of grid layers as follows; single, double, or triple layer. Space frame connections can be made by; welding, bolting, or threading.

How Much Can Space Frame Span?

Single span designs can provide large clear spans of up to 22 m, while two-way span designs can provide up to 33 m.

What Does Space Frame Mean?

Aa usually open three-dimensional framework of struts and braces (as in buildings and racing cars) which defines a structure and distributes its weight evenly in all directions — compare monocoque, unibody.

Types of Space Frame Structure

  • Curvature Classification:
    • Space Plane Covers:
    • Barrel Vaults:
    • Spherical Domes.
  • Classification by Arrangements of its Elements:
    • Single Layer Grid:
    • Double Layer Grid:
    • Triple Layer Grid:

How Do You Design a Space Truss?

  • Finite Element Method: According to the different elements used in the bar, it can be further divided into the bar finite element method and the beam finite element method.
  • Force Method: The force method in classical structural mechanics is used to solve the problem.
  • Differential method: Differential equation is solved by difference method.
  • Analytical method of differential equation: approximate solution of differential equation, such as variational method, weighted parameter method, etc.

Advantages of Space Frame Structure

The steel elements are portable and lightweight. Therefore, their assembly is modular, secure and efficient. It is capable of bearing heavy loadings with minimum deflections. The cost of transportation is less as compared to conventional steel structures.

Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure

In space frames, prefabricated components can leak into the joints. The price of transport may be higher than volcanic prefabricated sections. Large prefabricated sections require heavy-duty cranes, precise measurement, and handling.

What Is Space Frame Analysis?

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.

What Is the Difference Between Space Frame and Space Truss?

Truss members are free to rotate and can only carry axial loads, whereas frame members are rigidly connected and can support all load types. When it comes to usage in structures, a truss member can afford to be lighter than frame members since it only carries axial loads.

2 thoughts on “Space Frame | Components of Space Frame System | Types of Space Frame | Advantages & Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure | Space Frame Structures Examples”

  1. SAFS steel structure engineering as a space frame structure company, very much agree with the author of the above content, the author in this article detailed introduction of space frame structure, so that more friends can quickly understand it, here to thank the author hard work writing such content.

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