C., Douthe, O. Baverel, J.-F. Caron


Applications in which composite materials are used as bearing structural elements are rare and generally copy structural solutions that have been optimized for steel for years. Unfortunately these materials have very different properties, therefore specific construction methods and specific structural forms have to be invented for composite materials. Gridshell structures may be one of those. So, after a brief history of gridshells, a demonstration with the Ashby’s method that glass fibre reinforced polymers are an alternative for this kind of structure is shown. An original experimental test for the identification of the parameters of the short and long time behaviours of bent pultruded tubes is then detailed. Afterwards a scale one prototype of composite gridshell is presented and loaded. Results of the experimental tests are compared to numerical results of a non-linear analysis done with the dynamic relaxation method. The authors then concluded on the feasibility of such composite gridshells and on their potential for future development.