Design and an automated parametric study of geodesic domes

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

An automated parametric investigation of geodesic domes is conducted in this study. A brief description of the stiffness method of matrix structural analysis is included in addition to a discussion of the fully-stressed design procedure via the stress-ratio method. Automated solution algorithms based on the stiffness method are utilized in the development of WATFIV/FORTRAN computer codes to analyze space trusses and space frames.

Several geodesic dome demonstration problems are formulated and subjected to axisymmetric and asymmetric loads to ascertain the three-dimensional load distribution characteristics of these structures. Shallowness effects are investigated and a demonstration problem is modified to determine the load distribution characteristics in a geodesic dome evenly supported about its base perimeter. Analysis results are recorded and presented along with commentary and conclusions. Several suggestions for further study are also provided.

The WATFIV/FORTRAN computer code for space truss analysis is modified to include a stress-ratio algorithm for an automated fully-stressed design procedure. Numerical results obtained from a computer-aided design of a geodesic dome demonstration problem are provided in the appendix.