Table of Contents

Read here about the role, significance and function of prestress in tensegrity structures.


Prestressing is the intentional creation of permanent stresses in a structure for the purpose of improving its performance under various service conditions. A prestressed structure is one whose overall integrity, stability and security depend, primarily, on prestressing.

Prestress is conventionally divided into compression and tension prestress:
  • Precompression, usually by the weight of the structure itself
  • Pretension with embedded or external tendons
  • Post-tension with bonded or unbonded tendons

Prestress is a critical component of any independent tensegrity structure, meaning a tensegrity that achieves its structural cohesion solely by the interplay of its tendons and struts, without any reliance on external scaffolding or anchors.

Links and references

See also stress, scale.

Portal To Basic Concepts
A series of pages addressing critical concepts; see also the index.

Tensegrity> Benefits, Chronology, Definitions, Dynamics, Force, Geodesic Dome, Humor, Mast, Nexorade, Prestress, Pneumatics, prestress, Stability, Stiffness, Stress, Videos
Compression> Strut: Curved, Linear, Nucleated, Ring, Spring
Tension> Floating, Tendon, Membrane, Wire Roap, Materials

Forms> Bicycle wheel, Buckminsterfullerene, Folding, Musical instruments, Plane, Prism, Skew, Specific Strength, Springs, Torus, Tuning, Wall, Weaving
Materials> Bone, DNA, Fabric, Glass, Inox, Integrin, Spring, Tendon Materials, Wire Roap
Founders> Fuller, Snelson