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IJSTE - International Journal of Science Technology & Engineering | Volume 2 | Issue 09 | March 2016

ISSN (online): 2349-784X

Analytical Study on Hollow Space Grid

Nidhi A. Mehta
Research Scholar
Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Anand, Gujarat, India

Vishal A. Arekar
Assistant Professor
Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Anand, Gujarat, India

Atul N. Desai
Associate Professor
Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, Anand, Gujarat, India

Double layer grids are an important family of space structures used to cover large spaces. For ease in fabrication, handling and
speedy on-site erection double layer grid is widely used. Connecting members of double layered grid plays a vital role in
structural strength as well as economical aspect of the structure. The present study is on balancin g both the structural &
economic aspect of Connection system of double layered grid structure. An attempt has been made to reduce the weight of
recently developed Truncated Hexahedron connector i.e. THH 130 by making it hollow. Both, solid THH130 and hollo w
THH130 models have been analysed using ANSYS software and results of stresses have been obtained under different static
loads. The comparison of the result validates the possibility of it being economically feasible solution.
Keywords: ANSYS, Hollow Connector, Double layer grid, Space structures


The term 'space structure' is a three dimensions structural system. It is more advantageo us for easy transportation, fast assembly,
mass production, light weight and aesthetic view. A Double Layer Grid consists of two plane grids in the top and bottom layer s,
parallel to each other and interconnected by vertical and/or diagonal members.
Ahmed El-Sheikh [1] developed a space truss system, named Catrus is introduced, and that has continuous chord
members and does not need node components as an attempt to reduce the cost of space trusses without a compromise in their
behaviour or ease of construction. Jin-Woo Kim [2] discussed the behaviour of post-tensioned space trusses with HYPAR
shape and ultimate load test that was performed on such structures. It was shown that the hypar space truss has significant
structural strength with ease in simplifying fabrication and erection processes. Zhang Yulan et al [3] discussed about the structure
and design method of ribbed steel ball nodes wherein nonlinear finite element method was applied. The bearing capacity and
deformation capacity of ribbed steel ball nodes in complex stress state was analysed to determine mechanical performance of the
ribbed steel ball. Koushky A. et al [4] investigated the behavior of space structures with compositive nodes. Structural modeling,
closeness of analysis and test results were demonstrated by 3-D modeling, modeling of eccentricity of joints, material
nonlinearity and load deflection diagrams of the structures. Ghasemi et al [5] presented the relationship of force-displacement of
MERO jointing system. It was shown through the experiments that the behaviour of connector was nonline ar and was affected by
the degree of bolt tightness. Arekar et al [6] presented the analytical study of MERO-connector in double layer grid structure
using ANSYS software. Neil D. Sheth et al [7] compared the stress pattern of MERO and THH150 and concluded that THH150
is as strong as MERO connector. Faizullah R. Bhania [8] worked to reduce the weight of THH150 by modifying the size of
THH150 connector and the stresses were studied under different loading conditions using Finite Element Analysis softwa re
ANSYS and elaborated how the maximum principal stress values varies linearly as load increases linearly and were found quite
high near all corner supports and reducing towards central region for all the nodes.
The present paper focuses on reduction in weight of THH130 connector which consists of a solid mild steel cube of size 130
mm, with all the eight corners cut at a specific angle so that to get converted into a truncated hexahedral cube with fourtee n plane
surfaces; out of which six are perfect octagons and remaining eight are equilateral triangles. The weight of THH130 connector is
16.3 kg. To reduce weight, a 30 mm diameter hole is drilled throughout its core. The weight of Hollow THH130 connector is
14.61 kg. Figure 1 shows the geometry of both, solid and hollow THH130 connectors.

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Analytical Study on Hollow Space Grid Connector

(IJSTE/ Volume 2 / Issue 09 / 036)

(A) Hollow THH 130

(B) Solid THH 130
Fig. 1: M odel of Hollow THH130 and Solid THH130 connector


A double layer grid of size 12 m x 12 m having panel size 2.4 m x 2.4 m (5 panels) shown in fig. 2 is considered for analysis.
Supports are at four lower corner nodes. The material properties of members are E = 2.05 x 105 N/mm2 and Fy = 250 N/mm2 .
The grid is subjected to concentrated load P, applied vertically downward to each node of top layer grid. The analysis of the grid
was carried out in the STAAD Pro software for different values of P ranging from 2 kN to 10 kN in increments of 2 kN [9].


(B) Plan
Fig. 2: Details of double layer grid

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Analytical Study on Hollow Space Grid Connector

(IJSTE/ Volume 2 / Issue 09 / 036)

The forces to be applied on the connectors are calculated from the forces found from STAAD Pro analysis. The forces are
different for different node connectors. By taking the advantage of geometry only 12 nodes are considered for analysis out of 61
A. THH130 Connector:
THH130 Connector is modelled in ANSYS considering 10 noded tetrahedron elements. Square threading is used to ma tch the
actual field situation.
B. Hollow THH130 Connector:
THH 130 is made Hollow by drilling a hole throughout from Top face to Bottom face of connector so as to reduce the weight of
the connector. Hollow THH130 connector is modelled in ANSYS with similar threading as in THH130 connector. Fig.3 (a)
shows dimensions of Hollow THH130 connector.

(A) Dimensions
(B) Connector under loading
Figure 3: M odel of Hollow THH130

Both connectors are analysed in ANSYS for their respective forces, and graphs of load increments vs. the maximum principal
stresses for each node under consideration are plotted. The graphs show the comparison of Maximum Principal Stresses between
both the connectors. The results for different nodes are shown in Fig. 4.

(A) NODE-1

(B) NODE-2

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Analytical Study on Hollow Space Grid Connector

(IJSTE/ Volume 2 / Issue 09 / 036)

(C) NODE-3

(D) NODE-8

(E) NODE-9

(F) NODE-15

(G) NODE-37

(H) NODE-38

(I) NODE-39

(J) NODE-43

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Analytical Study on Hollow Space Grid Connector

(IJSTE/ Volume 2 / Issue 09 / 036)

(K) NODE-44
(L) NODE-49
Fig. 4: Comparison of M aximum Principal Stresses

The present study compares the performance of recently developed THH130 connector and modified THH 130 connector. A
double layered grid has been analysed at different magnitudes of vertical loading and the connectors are further analysed for the
forces from members joining at the connectors. It is obvious that for hollow connector stress values to be developed will be more
than solid connector and the same has been observed. Further, it has been noticed that the joints near the corner location are
critical locations for connector design, irrespective of the type of connector. The results of Principal Stress in both the c onnectors
at majority locations are quite comparable. Hence this paper explores the possibility of hollow connector being feasible solution.

Sheikh Ahmed El, Development of a New Space T russ System, J. Construct. Steel Res. Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 205-227, 1996.
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Stress State, Advanced Materials Research Vols. 284-286 (2011) pp. 1120-1125.
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