An investigation of an existing aluminum lattice dome under snow loads
A linear analysis of a commercial aluminum lattice dome was performed with the loads prescribed by the American National Standards Institute. The pressure snow loads were transformed into a distributed load along the dome members. The analysis of the dome was performed with the structural analysis program STAAD-III. The dome was modeled as a space frame with the joint member stiffness range from pinned-end to four times the member stiffness. The internal forces in the pinned-end and framed-end models were compared to the specifications by the Aluminum Association. The pinned-end model under the unbalanced snow load were found to exceed the allowable. The maximum deflection occurred when the joint stiffness was one-half of the member stiffness. The maximum axial force occurred when the joint stiffness was four times the member stiffness. The maximum moment at the midpoint of the member occurs when the member ends are pinned.