Membrane structures are one sort of spatial structures made of tensioned membranes. Tensile structures is architecture of new generation as well as possibility to supplement traditional architectural solutions. Tensioned membrane material is considered to be the fifth construction element after metal, stone, glass, and concrete. Structures are easy to combine and coordinate with other materials, such as wood, glass, stainless steel structures, connections, as well as cables, and since the material used is light translucently, incredibly attractive and luxurious image of the structure is obtained if properly arrange illumination of the structure.

Membrane structures are one sort of spatial structures made of tensioned membranes. The common membranes include fabrics such as PVC coated polyester fabric, translucent Polyethylene Fabrics, PVC coated glass fiber fabric and PTFE coated glass fiber fabric; foils like ETFE foil and PVC foil. According to different form-finding methods they can be divide into pneumatic structure, tensile membrane structure, cable dome. In these three kinds of membrane structures membranes work together with cables, columns and other construction members to find a form. There are also some constructions built with membrane, but it doesn't contribute to supporting the framework, such as the Beijing National Stadium. In this building the PTFE coated glass fiber fabric and ETFE foil are only filled into the space between large steel structures to build the large roof and facade. Membrane Structures are also referred to as tension fabric building. Another building beside it--Beijing National Aquatics Center--"Water cube" can be seen as one pneumatic membrane structure made of ETFE foil. Membrane Structures provides one-off architecturally designed structures to suit specific client requirements, and, alternatively, a range of standard designs that are cost effective and durable. These permanent installations include architectural sails, arch-supported structures, conicals, inverted conicals and other structures custom designed and built for a particular application. Membranes may be fabricated in PVDF (fluorined polymer) and PTFE (teflon) coated fabrics if full weather block-out is required. High strength mesh fabrics are also available.

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Types of Membrane structures :

Air-inflated membrane structure
Inflatable structures are supported by blowing air inside the structure, which is reflected in their name. It could seem that this would be uncomfortable for visitors to be inside of the structure; however air-pressure changes inside the structure are very minimal and not more than natural barometrical fluctuations. Types of air inflatable structures There are a few main types of air domes, i.e. high and low profile (referring to the height of the structure) structures:
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High-profile constructions are mostly used when the structure is to be run temporarily or periodically on a "zero" ground base. Low-profile constructions are used for large-scale overall dimension structures, such as stadiums, large sports complexes, etc. Also they are most often built on buildings themselves, but not on a "zero" base level. Cross cables hold the roof down.

Here are few samples of low and high profile structure types:

Covering material The structure’s awning is calculated by estimating snow and wind loads according to local building regulations. The material is welded and installed as a one-piece cover, securing an absolute impermeability of the structure. The cover is manufactured from flame retardant (DIN4102B1/M2 standard), light translucent material, both sides of which are covered by an acrylic layer. It is possible to produce the structure from blackout (light-proof) material of your chosen color. Special fastening units, produced 3 | Membrane Structures

from galvanized steel, arrange connecting structure to the ground. Inner layer In order to insulate the structure, minimize condensation, and improve acoustic properties, an air-gap can be made by fitting an additional layer of PVC material from the inside of an air supported structure. Doors For the main entrances to the structure revolving doors are used; direct-emergency exits can also be installed. Heating and air supporting system Automatic heating and air supporting system is calculated for each structure, which depend on the customer requests can use gas, oil, existing central heating or electricity. llumination Upon customer's request, illuminators of the structure can be direct (hanging on the ceiling) or indirect. Additional information
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Microclimate maintenance control system is designed and installed as an additional package. Sketches of the structure - drawings are presented and coordinated with a customer before signing an agreement or, upon the customer's request, earlier. All necessary technical documentation and warranty obligations are enclosed to the products.

Air-supported membrane structure
An air-supported (or air-inflated) structure is any structure that derives its structural integrity from the use of internal pressurized air to inflate a pliable material (i.e. structural fabric) envelope, so that air is the main support of the structure. Material The materials used for air-supported structures are similar to those used in tensile structures, namely synthetic fabrics such as fibreglass and polyester. In order to prevent deterioration from moisture and ultraviolet radiation, these materials are 4 | Membrane Structures

coated with polymers such as PVC and Teflon. Depending on use and location, the structure may have inner linings made of lighter materials for insulation or acoustics. Advantages and disadvantages There are some advantages and disadvantages as compared to conventional buildings of similar size and application. Advantages:
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Considerably lower initial cost than conventional buildings Lower operating costs due to simplicity of design (wholly air-supported structures only) Easy and quick to set up, dismantle, and relocate (wholly air-supported structures only) Unobstructed open interior space, since there is no need for columns Able to cover almost any project Custom fabric colors and sizes, including translucent fabric, allowing natural sunlight in

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Continuous operation of fans to maintain pressure, often requiring redundancy or emergency power supply. Dome collapses when pressure lost or fabric compromised Cannot reach the insulation values of hard-walled structures, increasing heating/cooling costs Limited load-carrying capacity Conventional buildings have longer lifespan

Arch-supported membrane structure
A pre-stressed arch supported membrane structure, a method of assembly and erection and a means of tensioning a membrane of double curvature supported by and attached to upright arches. By moving the ends of flat resilient arch structural members closer together, pre-stressed arches are formed by "bowing." Assembly and erection consists of attaching flat arch member ends to base beams, one fixed and one movable; attaching membranes to these flat members when reclined on the ground, operatively attaching transverse or inclined arch members to their respective structural members; moving the non-fixed base beam towards the fixed base beam thus causing the arches to be formed as the structure rises to its erected position. Preliminary tensioning of the membrane can take place when the transverse or inclined arches are attached to the arch members in their reclined position. Final membrane tensioning adjustments at the crown and at the base by moving the arches 5 | Membrane Structures

horizontally then anchoring the structure to the base, safely securing the base beams and arch ends completes the erection of the main structure. An alternate method of erection is provided by elimination of the base beams by fastening the arches directly to the base. The support arches are bowed after being attached to the transverse or inclined arches and then attached to the base by means of an adjustable fastener. Lightweight end closures or doors may be assembled and partially attached before erection to eliminate or decrease above ground assembly.

Cable-suspended membrane structure
A cable-suspended roof structure is provided to span wide areas as, for example, stadiums, coliseums, arenas, playing fields and the like. More specifically, a roof is provided in which cables under tension extend between substantially centrally located tension ring means and a surrounding continuous or enclosed ringlike compression member, their ends being anchored securely therein and said cables being under tension. An upper and a lower double layer of cables is employed and compression spreader means spanned between each cable of either set and each of the proximate cables of the other set. cable-roof structure is particularly adapted to cover wide areas in part because it is the most economical method of spanning such wide areas and in part because of its lightness, structural and architectural advantages are to be derived. A cable-roof structure is one in which steel cable is the load-bearing, structural element and the use of trusses and beams and intermediate supporting columns may largely be avoided. This invention, more specifically, is concerned with a cable-suspended structure which quite simply can be produced as a roofing structure having a substantial lightness while at the same time being inherently stable under both positive and negative loading conditions. Further, this invention is concerned with the use of cables in a cable-roof suspension system in which the individual cables are kept in equilibrium and the inherent elastic stability of cable suspenders is dampened and restrained to combat motion, sometimes referred to as "flutter" which may occur upon being subjected to exterior dynamic forces as in the case of wind, mobile and seismic load and, conceivably, from sound waves or vibrations in the ground set up by vehicular traffic. In this invention cables function as suspenders between a centrally or medially located tension ring and surrounding an elevated compression structure wherein the cables are under tension. More particularly, two layers or sets of cables are employed. One set is superposed with respect to the other set in such manner that each cable of the superposed set divides the space between the proximate cables of the lower set and each cable of the upper set is in relation to each cable of the lower set equidistantly spaced there between and compression spreader means is securely fixed at its ends to said closely adjacent cables of the two sets. It is also a part of the invention to arrange that the compression spreader means function as roofing and space enclosing element to shield the area beneath the cable from the forces of nature.

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Frame-supported membrane structure
frame supported fabric structures offer the most inexpensive alternative solution for temporary or permanent industrial enclosures. Designed for specific climate and application, including warehousing, construction site enclosures, hazardous waste disposal and clean-up site enclosures, waste treatment pond enclosures, bulk storage of fertilizers and ore, radar antenna enclosures, coffee and other grain warehousing.
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Most cost effective enclosure Rapid delivery Quick and simple installation and dismantle Energy efficient World-wide installations

Frame Supported, Tensile Membrane Structure shall be a pre-engineered system of standard metal framing components and membrane enclosure designed to provide gross square feet of fully-enclosed space and shall include the following: 1. Flat gable ends to maximize interior dimensions. 2. The side, and end, wall construction shall accept passage and exit doors. 3. Exterior membrane shall run continuous from eave to eave or base of structure to base of structure. 4. Exterior membrane will be fabricated for post-installation tensioning in both primary grid directions; draped or loose-laid membrane installation is not acceptable. 5. Exterior membrane will be colors selected by the Architect from Manufacturers’ standard line. 6. Exterior membrane shall, upon completion, provide a continuous weather-tight enclosure. 7. Upon installation and tensioning of the exterior membrane it will be smooth and wrinklefree and shall remain so under anticipated thermal and live-load conditions. 8. Membrane shall be repairable without the need to dismantle any portion of the structural framing. 9. Membrane shall be attached to framing that allows for ventilation fans or HVAC duct penetrations.

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Mast-supported membrane structure
Likewise a typical ‘lightweight’ canopy with masts and cable tie backs to ground level will generally need significant concrete foundations or screw anchors to resist the tensile loads. Loading analysis derived from a computer model is offered to all clients where it is felt that there is a need, and can give typical loads directions and the size of the design loads. Mast supports can be internal, peripheral or both. Internal masts create peaks in the roof. They may carry their load directly to their foundations. However, to prevent blocking the view of spectators, they can be cut short, and placed on top of trusses, which are extended between peripheral support.

Tensegrity cable membrane structure
Tensegrity, tensional integrity or floating compression, is a structural principle based on the use of isolated components in compression inside a net of continuous tension, in such a way that the compressed members (usually bars or struts) do not touch each other and the prestressed tensioned members (usually cables or tendons) delineate the system spatially. ensegrity structures are structures based on the combination of a few simple but subtle and deep design patterns:
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loading members only in pure compression or pure tension, meaning the structure will only fail if the cables yield or the rods buckle preload or tensional prestress, which allows cables to be rigid in tension mechanical stability, which allows the members to remain in tension/compression as stress on the structure increases

Truss-supported membrane structure
This lightweight and 3-dimensional space frame system, designed to support membrane and other materials, makes it possible to do roofing for a large clear-span buildings. The membrane structure supporting system uses trusses created by joining pieces of steel tubing together with spherical steel nodes. The resulting framework is exceptionally strong and aesthetically pleasing, permitting a wide range of design choices for virtually any size construction. The component-based truss system facilitates assembly, and also permits disassembly and reusability. All aspects of a project, from design through fabrication of our steel truss system, are carefully controlled by an integrated computer system. This assures every completed structure will have maximum strength, durability and aesthetic qualities. A structural truss has upper and lower wooden chords separated along their lengths 8 | Membrane Structures

by vertical wooden struts. The chords and struts are joined together to form the truss frame solely by adhesive-backed paper membranes covering the opposite sides of the frame so as to transmit tensile stresses within the frame. The truss may be manufactured in multiples of various lengths by a continuous assembly line process.

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Tensile structures is architecture of new generation as well as possibility to supplement traditional architectural solutions. Tensioned membrane material is considered to be the fifth construction element after metal, stone, glass, and concrete. Tensile membrane structures are used as:
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stadiums, sports facilities, exhibition halls, business centers, concert halls and etc.; shade roofs of the entrance of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and other commercial buildings; airport roofs, bus, train stations and terminals, car parking and gas stations; other permanent or temporary structures.

Singularities of architecture textile structures:

Aesthetic image and luxurious tone -Architects fit textile structures to a specific environment or building, therefore each project becomes individual. Structures are easy to combine and coordinate with other materials, such as wood, glass, stainless steel structures, connections, as well as cables, and since the material used is light translucently, incredibly attractive and luxurious image of the structure is obtained if properly arrange illumination of the structure. durability - Special PVC, PVDF or Teflon layer covered materials, which does not attract dust can be used for these structures, so aesthetic image does not change for more than 25 years

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