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  • IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo and Advanced Textiles Expo

    • October 13–16, 2014

    Visit the land of 10,000 opportunities as Minneapolis, Minn., hosts the only industry event that spans the range of traditional and technical textile technologies and applications. Cultivate connections with hundreds of suppliers and thousands of manufacturers across the industry, and promote your products and ideas as well. For information, visit www.ifaiexpo.com.

  • Hardware basics for tension structures

    Sponsored by the Fabric Structures Association

    The key distinction between tensioned fabric structures and other structures, both fabric and “hard,” is the relatively minimal support system a tensile structure requires. As with any technology, when the basic design and engineering have been developed and advanced, greater refinement of the details can occur. Although the basics — such as clamping systems — have become more standardized (since the majority of tensile structures are custom designs), their anchoring and connection details also are unique. Some of the frame and connection materials hail from other industries, such as space frames and marine rigging.
    To determine the appropriate aesthetic design, consider the following:
    - Some tensile structure primary materials are flexible and the details are designed to move under loads.
    - Tensile structures weigh a fraction of what other buildings weigh; many of their materials are translucent.
    - Lateral forces play a much greater role in tensile structures than in conventional structures.
    - Reduce the problem to its simplest state with a minimum number of elements.
    - Be sure the physical resolution of each element’s force vector (angle of direction and magnitude) is accurate.