Use of helical wire core truss members in space structures

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009

Thesis Language: English

Student: Murat Işıldak



In an effort to achieve lighter and more economical space structures, a new patented steel composite member has been suggested and used in the construction of some steel roof structures. This special element has a sandwich construction composed of some strips of steel plates placed longitudinally along a helical wire core. The function of the helical core is to transfer the shear between the flange plates and increase the sectional inertia of the resulting composite member by keeping the flange plates at a desired distance from each other. Because of the lack of research, design engineers usually treat such elements as a solid member as if it has a full shear transfer between the flanges. However, a detailed analysis shows that this is not a valid assumption and leads to very unsafe results. In this context, the purpose of this study is to investigate the behavior of such members under axial compression and determine their effective sectional flexural rigidity by taking into account the shear deformations. This study applies an analytical investigation to a specific form of such elements with four flange plates placed symmetrically around a helical wire core. Five independent parameters of such a member are selected for this purpose. These are the spiral core and core wire diameters, the pitch of the spiral core, and the flange plate dimensions. Elements with varying combinations of the selected parameters are first analyzed in detail by finite element method, and some design charts are generated for the determination of the effective sectional properties to be used in the structural analysis and the buckling loads. For this purpose, an alternative closed-form approximate analytical solution is also suggested.