A novel adaptive spatial scissor-hinge structural mechanism for convertible roofs
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In this paper, a new adaptive deployable spatial scissor-hinge structural mechanism (SSM) is introduced, which can be converted by means of actuators between a multitude of arch-like, dome-like and double curved shapes, where it can be stabilized and carry loads. This novel SSM is a spatial extension of a planar SSM introduced recently that can achieve a wide range of planar geometries. Main differences of the proposed structural mechanism from current deployable structures are the new connection type of the primary units and the proposed modified spatial scissor-like element (MS-SLE). With the development of this new connection detail and the modified element, it becomes possible to change the geometry of the whole system without changing the dimensions of the struts or the span. After presenting some disadvantages of current deployable structures and outlining the main differences of the proposed spatial SSM with existing examples, the dimensional properties of the primary elements are introduced. Then, geometric principles and shape limitations of the whole structure are explained. Finally, structural analyses of a typical structure in two different geometric configurations are performed, in order to discuss stiffness limitations associated with the advantage of increased mobility.