Space engineering

Foldable tensegrities for deployable structures

Tensegrities are traditionally made of rods/struts and strings. Thus, they offer great potential for foldable structure. However, due to these slender structures, they likely fail by buckling of individual members when subjected to dynamic loading conditions. In addition, these structures often demonstrate “wobbliness” and thus complex flow-structure interaction. Such a structural instability, if uncontrolled, can lead to significant and unwanted reduction in aerodynamic performance. The design and engineering of foldable tensegrities require careful consideration of the materials used, the arrangement of struts and cables, and the overall geometry of the structure. The struts must be able to fold or collapse without compromising the integrity of the tension network, and the cables must maintain their tension to ensure structural stability. This delicate balance between flexibility and stability is a defining characteristic of foldable tensegrities. As the development and understanding of foldable tensegrities progress, we can anticipate exciting advancements in design, manufacturing techniques, and applications. These structures have the potential to revolutionize various industries by offering lightweight, efficient, and adaptable solutions to complex engineering challenges.