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Curved-crease folding of bending-active plates as formwork: a reusable system for shaping corrugated concrete shell structures

Scheder-Bieschin L., Van Mele T. and Block P.
Proceedings of ACADIA 2022: Hybrids & Haecceities

The critical environmental impact of the concrete construction industry demands material-efficient structures and construction methods applicable to low-tech and high-tech contexts. Thin structurally-informed shells with corrugations as stiffeners are material-efficient solutions as they gain their strength through their non-standard geometry. However, their bottleneck lies in their costly and wasteful formwork systems. This research introduces curved-crease folding (CCF) of bending-active plates as a flexible, light-weight, and reusable formwork system for shaping corrugated concrete shell structures. CCF is extended to an initially closed configuration that unfolds initially-planar bending-active strips into a 3D formwork when actuated on-site. The curved creases control the shape and structurally stiffen the formwork shaping a concrete shell structure with stiffening corrugations. The paper concentrates on the system design covering theoretical, computational, and fabrication aspects. The primary focus for the computational methods lies in implementing and extending the reflection method for the initially closed CCF; for the materialization method in textile hinge solutions for the curved creases. The approach is demonstrated with a small-scale proof-of-concept prototype. The proposed system offers a material-efficient, self-supporting formwork solution that can be flat-packed for transport, rapidly erected on-site through the actuation of the CCF mechanism, and reused after concreting and decentering. The proposed formwork’s geometry is not sensitive to stiffness variations as it is constrained by the CCF. Furthermore, the CCF makes the formwork independent of advanced machine technology, thus allowing for the construction of complex customized shapes also in low-tech contexts.


    author    = "Scheder-Bieschin, L. and Van Mele, T. and Block, P.",
    title     = "Curved-crease folding of bending-active plates as formwork: a reusable system for shaping corrugated concrete shell structures",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of ACADIA 2022: Hybrids & Haecceities",
    year      = "2022",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "",
    month     = "",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "in press",

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