Space Frame Structure: Types, Advantages & Disadvantages

A space frame or space structure that is a 3D truss in architecture and structural engineeringmeans a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure that is constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern. To span large areas space frames can be used with the help of some internal support.

Space frame structure with the minimum required support or columns can in turn support the roof of an industrial building.

Further detailed discussion regarding space frame structure, types of space frame structure and a lot more is mentioned below.

Introduction to Space Frame Structure

It is due to the rigidity of the triangle that the space frame structures are strong, it is also to be noted that in such frames, the bending moment that is transmitted in the form of a stress and a compression load all throughout the length of each strut.

With the help of a stiffness matrix the space frame is usually designed. In architectural space frame the most important feature of the stiffness matrix is the independence of angular factors.

The angular deflection can be ignored in case the joints are sufficiently rigid.

Space frames are used if the span of buildings is large to cover the large span. Expansion joints are provided and the spaces can be subjected to movement.

With simple support space frames can be held also prefabrication by welding the various members of the space frames can also be an option.

Stated Below Are The Types Of Space Frame Structure:

1. Plane Frame

Flat planes are on which the plane frame is constructed. The examples are trusses or girders of aircraft which is usually used for roof construction and beams.

The construction remained subject to light loading for a long duration.

2. Structural Frame

Providing massive roof heights the structural frames are widely used commercially for oil as industrial buildings.

3. Space Frame

With spans in opposite directions of a single spread, the space frames are able to provide a lightweight roof structure.

As opposed to plane frame, the space frame is basically a series of linked pyramid frames.

What Are The Advantages Of Space Frame Structure?

? It is easy to transport, handle and stack space frame structures.
? Adjustable cambering facilities is provided.
? Due to the prefabricated components fast installation or very easily installation can be done on-site.
? There is no requirement for purlins.
? For structures which have irregular plan shape and site, space frame structures are especially ideal.
? It is also extremely suitable for a structure that has a larger span.
? It is able to provide a column-free explicit term.
? By providing a mid-column the space frame structure can eliminate the need for geometric stability.
? At low altitudes it can provide a large spawn.
? It also allows minimum deflection.
? Maximum seismic is provided by space frame structure.

? The duration to depth ratio provided is excellent.
? The transportation costs involved is also low.
? Space frame structure is lightweight and structurally effective.
? All over the entire structure concentrated loads are evenly distributed.
? Space frame structure provides very good acoustic properties.

Disadvantages of Space Frame Structure

? There is a chance of leakage from the prefabricated components into the joints in space frames.
? In case of volcanic prefabricated sections, the cost of transportation will increase.
? Heavy-duty cranes, precise measurement, and handling is necessary for large prefabricated sections.

Applications of a Space Frame Structure

? In modern construction space frames are a common feature which is found with minimal support in modern roofing especially in large commercial and industrial buildings.
? The space frame structures are mostly used to built aircraft hangars, factories, cinema balls, exhibition halls, airports, and canopies.

List of Examples of Buildings Based on Space Frames

? Stansted Airport situated in London.
? Bank of China Tower and Louvre Pyramid.
? Rogers Center by Roger Robbie and Michael Allen.
? Eden Project in Cornwall constructed England.
? Globen, Sweden ? where the dome diameter 110 m.


Therefore, to conclude we can state that the space frame structure provides flexibility and it is also efficient to satisfy any architectural and structural requirements.

Also, Read

Variations among framed structures & load bearing structures

Engineering Construction Cost Estimate Sheet

Space Frame Structure: Types, Advantages & Disadvantages
Image Courtesy: