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Read here about tuning tensegrity structures.

Tension and Tuning

Engineers of tension structures often speak about tuning, as the taut cables produce vibrations in the human sonic hearing range. Early aircraft, for example, had cable stays that were "tuned."

Structural Tuning

Snelson and others often speak of "tuning" the tensegrity. The term is found fitting for a few reasons.

  • Tension adjustment: The tension of a tension element is adjusted, be they strings or cables, evocative of the tension adjustments that are required to rune a string instrument such as a guitar
  • Interdependence and harmony: The high interdependence of the tension adjustments in a typical tensegrity are unusual to those structural engineers accustomed to traditional structures. Wood, for example is sanded or planed, not tuned. The word "tune" evokes the musical principle of inter-cooperation with other entities separated in space; the violin tunes with the flutes in order to make music together, and the tension in any given tension member is highly interdependent with the tension in every other member.

Skelton wrote, "The same deployment technique can also make small adjustments for fine tuning of the loaded structures, or adjustment of a damaged structure. Structures that are designed to allow tuning will be an important feature of next generation mechanical structures, including civil engineering structures.[1]"

Links and References

See also Musical instruments.

[1] "An Introduction to the Mechanics of Tensegrity Structures", by Skelton, Helton, Adhikari, Pinaud, Chan. © 2002 by CRC Press LLC