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Publication numberUS3885360 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1975
Filing dateOct 2, 1974
Priority dateJul 3, 1973
Publication numberUS 3885360 A, US 3885360A, US-A-3885360, US3885360 A, US3885360A
InventorsFraioli Donato M
Original AssigneeAir Tech Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reinforces inflatable
US 3885360 A
A reinforced inflatable building in which an elongated fabric shell, anchored and sealed to the ground around its periphery, is supported by filling the enclosed volume with air at above atmospheric pressure. The entire outer surface of the building is overlayed with a cable network wherein the individual cables are arranged to form two intersecting sets of parallel cable lines. Each set of cable lines is oriented at an acute angle to the longitudinal axis of the building.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[111 3,885,360 1451 Mayr/,197s

United States Patent [191 Fralol 3,059,655 10/1962 '3.744.191 '7/1973 Bird [5,41 RElNroRcEs INFLA'TABLE [75] lvntor: DhtoMLlf'rloll, Marlnaroneck, I 3 765 134 wlw Gilc-n v NY.

` i I. v i l n. FOREIGN PATENTS'OR APPLICATIONS [73] Assignee:

[22] Filed:

Primary Examiner- John E. 'Murtagh Attorney, Age'nh'or Firm-Gerald Durstewitz Oct. 2,1974

] Appl. No.: 511,281

UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,024,196 3/1962 Bamm... .loclaimfbrawing Figures PATH-NEUW 27 |975 SHEET (210?.4

v 1-loads.

' Anotherobjecty is to'provide such a building includ This invention. relates to inflatable buildings yof' the' type wherein afabric shell is f azrchoredand sealed-to the ground around 'its periphery and the enclosed volurne is filled withair having apressure greater than`at-" mosphericA pressure. The 'shell is lifted bythe internal pressure and takes on a dome like configuration above the ground which forms the lloor of the building.

One conventional form of inflated structure has a central section whichis semi-'cylindrical and has two j SUMMARY oF Trie INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to'provide an improvedreinforced inflatable building capable of withstandinggreater static'and dynamic y, ing'a'cable system which uniformly releaves fabric tension in'alldirections under all conditions.

Another object isl to provide such a building wherein the tension generated inthe fabric skin in all directions by static pressure is greatly reduced.

end sections whichar'e quarter isphjes or truncated segments of duarter'spheres. Theaction ofth'e air pressure on the fabric skinproduces a tensile stress in the fabric skin. Where'theskin takesonacurvedfcongu-` duced by the internalair pressure is directlypropordg. tional to the radius of the c urve.,l`he tensile'stress -in the fabric is also effectedby the4 action of wind againstthe building. Wind loading adds tothe'overall stress of the fabric and also deformsthe lbuildinga'nd'rthereby redistributes the forces within various portions ofl skin.

Another object is to provide such a building highly resistant to deformation and twisting under wind loading v The foregoing objects are accomplished-by providing a reinforced inflatable"buildingcompressing an inflatable fabric skin adapted to be supportedby air pressure within the enclosedvolume'and a plurality of cables arration, as for example,betweenthejtwo edges of .the

semi-cylindrical center section, the. tensile`force`proranged to form first` and second intersecting sets of pargallel'equally spacedl cablelines overlying the entire outer surface of the'skin',`each of the cable lines extending alongthe surface of the skin between peripheral ground`anchors, each cable line extending from its ground anchors at j-'an acute angle to a vertical "plane taken throughthebuilding perpendicular to the surface sonable weight is ca'pable'of'withstanding the pressures v generated by the staticinternal pressure andbywind loading. However,v whenthe 4size lof thesbuilding'is' in-j creased, the radii of the arched portionsinciease and 1 a fabric of reasonable weightwili no -longer'beable to ff carry the forces generated,particularly; under.heavywind conditions. x

lt `has been common practice in fthepast-to -releave the tension in the fabric by ext endi ng' parallel.cables over the outer surface of the skinand ,anchoringthe' ends of the cables to'the ground at the edges of-the building. One type ofcable system previously used consists of a series of parallel cables extending perpendicu lar to the longitudinalaxisof the structure such as shown in U.S. Pat'. No. 3,651,609. Thesecablesreleave DErAILED vDESCRIPTINv 0F THE DRAWINGS I is shown inthefaccompanying drawings, forminga part vof the specification, whereinz' l '.FlG. llis'a side elevational view of areinforced inflat- .able-"building'according .tofthe present 'invent ion`.'f=

' FlG.` 2 is a'elevationalf ,1-Yie`woftheleft end of the I building shown' In` FIG.- 1j. v

FIGjz's Isra top;vewor'thebuilding,shown in FIG. I. FlG.'4 showsa'fcable connector used in the cable netwrkofthe banding shawn In FIGS. 1 3.

the hoop tension generatedinfabricskin andenable the building to withstandza greater degeeofwind loading, however,under.high windloads,thefabric will fail between the cables. lWhen-suelta failuresocc :urs the fabric will rip along a line'paralleltothe cables and the' structure will collapse.

ln other cable systems,l theseitransverse or hoop ca 5 bles have been augmentedbya'series 'of'parallel cables 5 igro und yanchor-bolts.. running longitudinally.- of the structure fromend toend.

Systems of this general'type'are shown in U'.S. ivat'. Nos. l

1,302,182 and l,402,077.

Such two directional cable systems' give added strength to the buildings and under static conditions would help to prevent rips or cuts from propagating cause high stresses in the fabric andfedistributethe` FIG. 5 isa view/ taken along line 5 1- 5 on FlGL4.

FIG. 7g-is anelevationalviewof door installation in a building. according tothe present invention.


` v vR je ferring t o thev drawings in detail, there is shown a reinforced inflatablebuilding according .to the-present invention' which includes, a .fabric skinflanchored .around its peripheryjtofground;anchor bolts and a systern of, interse,ct ing plasticcoated'steelcables overlying .theouter surface ofthe, skinland also anchored to the two end'sectionsifland13which-are in the form of loads on the cables so that ripscan propogate .past the a longitudinal cables causing collapse of the building.

ltruncatedquarterfspheres `and are sewn to the-'section l1,alo' ng lines i4 and-l5 respectively. The section ll is fabricatedfrom a number of fabricfstrips 16 which are sewn togetherf'at their edges and extend transversely or hoop wise'to-the longitudinal axis of the building. The end sections 12 and 13 each comprise z pair of generally triangularside panels 17 and a gener all'y 1t`riangular end panel 18 which are sewn togethei along lines 1 9 and 2 0. Eachof i these panels are fabri cated froma number of vertically oriented fabric strips 3 t A catenary cable 2l is sewn to fabric pockets in the ground engaging edge of the skin, in accordance with standard practice, and is connected to ground anchor bolts 22 at regularintervals base of the building.

The building is .inflated.byan airblower'unit 2 3@l around'y theperiphery ofthe 4 ln cable section D.c ables 30D to 34D are arranged in a similarmanner to that employed in section C, while in cable sections E and F. the cables are arranged in a mannersimilar to that employed in sections A and B.

through a fabric conduit 24 inaccordancewith stanl dard practice. The cable system is divided into `six`inter 'Aswill be seen mostlearlyin FIG. 3, the cables in leach cable section are aligned rwith cable-portions of like numberlinthe other sections lto form continuous Kcablelines'extending at'equalacute angles to the longiconnected sectionsA, B, C` D, Eand F toI facilitate the clamped rigidly together bycableclamps 25 of conveno tional design and-.the cablesjin` adjoining. sections are interconnected byconnectors26." Cable sections A and B each-cover one half of .theend section12`,".cable sec@ tions C and D` each cover one half "of the center section ll, and the 'cable sections E and F each cover onehalf of the end section 13.

.tudinalaxis of lthe building between ground anchor bolts.f'.1 4 o l As shownin FIGS. 4-6, the connectors 26 include a metal bar 40 provided with a hook 4l ateach end and a piece of fabric tape 42 for attaching the bar 40 to the skin ofthe building. A spring metal strip 44 is attached .to the bar 40 and extends overthe openings ln the -v hooks. The cable is insertedinto the hook by bending the end ofthe spring s'tripf4fl1which then snaps back to .prevent accidental vd' engagement during erection of the' building;t s j The tape 42 is wrapped loosely around the bar 40 and stitched.` along lines 45 and the ends of the tape are As shown in F1os. 1eme cblefseiion Ajneiudes 'f from ground anchor bolts at the end ofthe building up-y wardly and toward the center line ofthe building at an acute angle. At the center of the building,v these cable pass through connectors 26 andmake a right angle turn and extend to the .junction line' 14 between the end building section l2 and the center building section'll. These cables pass through connectors 26at the line 14 and make another rightangle turn and rextend down-v wardly toward the end ofthe building lto ground anchor bolts. Cables'37A.'extendfrorn ground anchor bolts upwardly at an acute 'angle towardthe side ofthe building and over the corner ofthe building to anchor' bolts at the side ofthe skin endfsec'tio'n l2. 4

ln cable section' B, the cables 30B to 33B extend up,

wardly from anchorbolts toward the center-of v he stitched to a fabricskin of the'building.

. As shown in'FlG. 7,'one ormore doors can be positioned on the side or end walls ofthe building without weakeningithe cablesystern.`

. By means of a slight'local'modification of the cable system, as shown in FlG. v"l, one or more doorways can be positioned at any convenient positionin the side or fend walls of the building.l .The doorstructure, which may be of any design conventionally used in such buildings, includes a door mounted within a door frame 5l. The cable systemislaltered by removing the portions of the vcables which wouldpass through the door location.l These shortenedgcables are attached. to a header-cableISZ at the pointswhere they are clamped to thecables which intersect with them just above the doorway.- ln' FIG. 7, the cables `which are shortened to accomodate the door-are indicated by the reference building and pass through the sameconnectorswhich 30B to 33B make right angle turns and extend u'pwardly to connectors 26 on the junction line 14 and then downwardly to anchor bolts. Cables 34B to 37B numerals 54 and ',55.' The cables'intersecting `the shortened `cable.'. above'the doorwayare indicated by the reference numerals 5 6'and 57.

The h'eader cablei52ex'tends.upwardly from aground anchorbolt to the junction of Acables 54 and 56, then extend upwardly and away from the longitudinal center line ofthe building in the same-manner as cables 34A to 37A.

ln cable section C, cables 30C "to33 C extend upwardly to the junction line 14 and' f .pas s.through thehorizontally to the junction of cables 55 and 57, and then downwardly to a ground anchor bolt.

The cables parallel Ito and below the shortened cables 54 and 5 S1are indicated by reference numerals59 and same connectors 26 which-respectively`hold cables 30A to 33A. From the connectors, thefcables `extend upwardly at an .angle-tothe top of .therbuildin'g where they pass through yconnectors 26 joining the sections C and D and thence downwardly towardthe end-.13ct' the building. The cables 30 C to 32C extend to the junction line l5 where they lpass.through'another set of 'connec tors spaced along the junction-line and areV redirected downwardly towardl the end l2v of the building to ground anchor bolts.Th e cable 33C extends vdirectly from the top of the building toa ground anchor bolt. The cable 34C extends upwardly from "an anchor bolt toward the end 13 of the building and passes through a connector at the top of the building. lt then extends downwardly to a connectoronthe junction line 17 and extends downwardly toward the building end l2 to an anchor bolt.

respectively.'-The endsof lthe cables 59'and 60 are attached to the Vanchorboltsto -which the ends of the header jcable 52 are attached;`

lnzconstruct'ing'th'e, building,.the section ll and the panels l7' and 1 84 ofthe fabric' skin are fabricated from strips of fabric-and `the s ectionsand panels are sewn togetherialon'g `the'line`s. 14,1$, 1 9'and v20. The catenary cable is .sewn into'pocket's'a'roundthe base ofthe building and tliejcon'nectors26.'aresewn tothe fabric skin at 4the-appropriate locations.y Each of the cable sections A-F are laid outon a flat surface and the intersecting cables arelocked together at right angles by the cable clamps 25. p

' The elements of `the building can then be moved to the erection site. In erecting the building, the doorway is anchored in place, the skin is spread .over the ground arid the catenary cable is secured to ground anchor bolts at regular. intervals. The edge of the skin is sealed tothe ground by conventionalmethods and the skin is secured to the door frame.zThe cable sections are then laid over the fabricefskinon the ground andy thefree` ends of the cables are secured to anchor bolts. The cables at the edges of each lsection are then placed inthe hooks of the appropriate-.connectors 26. The blower During fthe finflation'fsoftheskini' the-conne'ctors 26 maintain. the cable" system in properf'orientation with respectto the sk i 1 f The forces generatedv e ly the pressuref within the-in'-I flated', building 'aref largely carried by thecable system." The'fabric skinspanningeach diamond-'shaped aren` bef- Y the surface of the buildingfaf-dimpled effect. Each of thesebalooned sections of fabricassumesa -curvature having a veryv short radiusin all directions. Therefore,4 the stress in the-(fabric. isfsever'ely reduced in all 'clir'ec-y tions. 5 Y .g i...

Each of the cables in the cable systern'is."equallymtensioned by the internal pressure becauseof theirorientav tio'n with rcspect'tofthe longitudinal-axis of Vthebuild- '20 ing. The tension in the'cables-in eachlsectionis transmitted to the cables intheadjoiningsections throughv the connectors 26, whichfare partof the sarne cable lines. s

ln buildings employing cable'systems using cables extending longitudinally yand'tran'sverselythoop wise) with respect tothe longitudinal axis ofthe buildin`g,v"th`c transverse or hoopv cables*are'subjeetedpto' about'twice l the tensionI as are .the longitudinalfcables.The lfabric' was therefore insufficientlyreinforeed one direction 30 and the entiretruct'ure'would-collapse'if the-'stress on 1 the fabric nthat directionexc'eeded thatwhich thefabric couldv withstand. Also, becaus'eo'f this uneven'static loading, such a prior art building is highly subject'to twisting under wind loading -which could transferthey entire tension in one direction from thecables-tfthe fabric. 1

lt has been foundthat a building constructed according to the present inventionis extremely-,stable under wind loading. It is believed thatthis' extreme stability under wind loadingis theresult of aenumber of factors.

Sincethe cablesare equallyfvtensioned:under.static loadingconditions there' are"no inequalities to be'rnagnified by windloading. Wind loads perpendicular tothe side-or the endof the buildingja'reequallyabsorbedlby the intersecting cable line's'be'causethe Cable lines'yare ,L

at equal angles tothe wind.-Wind loads at an'angletog.

the building have components perpendicular to the,side. 'y of the building-andthefehd ofnthebuilding. The "cablejso lines being at equal angles toeach of these components s are equally loaded. v.

The shapefofthe building in cross section cannot change appreciably since inlorderfor the Windward side of the building to be depressedguthe lee side must raise andv this isprevented byfthefcable system. Also, the dimpled surfaceof the building creates turbulent air flow over the entire surface and thereby reduces the relative effect ofthe lift forces Von the' leeV side of the building. q 1 H l,

lt will be seen from the foregoing that the present invention provides an .improved reinforced inflatable building capable of withstanding greater static and dynamic forces in which an improved cable system uniformly releaves fabric tension in all directions under all l l r end of each of the cables in each of said sections ter 'nating at groundanchors at the edge of the section conditions and prevents the building fromdeforming and twisting under wind loading.

l claim:

. 15A reinforced innatable building comprising i combination aninflatable fabric skin anchored to th ground atg' itsperiphery ,and adapted to be sel l l l l 4 l 1 supporting'upon'filling of the interior of thebuildin unit 2,3'is thenj placeclin operationandthe skin inflat'es. 51"

with air'underlpressu're, acable network overlying th outer'su'rface'of said skinr including a plurality of cable lying along first and second'intersecting sets of parallf cable lines,eachof said cable lines extending betwee lperiphfcral ground anchors. mea' ns l for rigidly clampin `the.intersecting cablestogetherat the'points of intel l V l t y section. said cable networkcomprising a number c tween the:l intersecting cables baloons outwardly to give sections interconnected at connection points. and cor nectors provided at said connection points for intel connecting the cables in adjacent cable sections. sai sections comprising a numberof cables which exten alongacable line in one of said sets through a conne( tor at alconnec'tion pointland turn to extend along cable linein the other of said sets,A each end of the c: bles in eachfof said sections terminating at 'ground ai clhorsat thevedgeof' the-section positioned at the pi riphery of thebuilding.

l 2. Afreinforced inflatable building according to claii l, whereinsaid connectors are readily detachable froi at leastgone vof the cables interconnectedthereby.

-3.'A reinforced inflatable building according to clai;

- 2,; wherein said'connectors include hook;| means ft loosely engaging=eachof the cables interconnecte 4 "L-reinforced-inflatablebu'ilding according to clai 3,. whereinsaidlkc'onnectors"include a pair of intercoi .juectedj4 hookmembers and-resilient-means position@ 4 "tonormally close the opening in each hook member allow insertion of a cable therein and to retain the cab therein.

5. A'renforced inflatable building according to clai 4, whereinsaid connectors include a bar member inte l connecting-said -hook members and means for attac ing said b ar said fabric skin.

6..A reinforced inflatable building, comprising combination an inflatable fabric skin having a recta guiar floor plan including lend sections each in the ge f 4eral vform of a truncated quartersphere, saidskin beii anchored tolthe'groundat its periphery and adaptat to'be self-supporting upon filling of the interior of t .bnilding'withairunder-pressure, a plurality of cabl arranged toform 'a cablt'fnetwork overlying the enti `-'fjout er surfacefl'of 1 the skin,A the cables-in the netwo forming only first and second sets of parallel cable lin extendingover the surface 'of the skin between peri;

l 'eralground"anchors,V said first and second sets of cal llines intersecting substantially at right angles and bei positioned at equalangles to the longitudinal axis said building, and'means for interconnecting the cab at the pointslo'f intersection.

7. A reinforced inflatable building according to cla 6`,.whereinsaid.cable network comprises a number sections interconnected at connection points a wherein connectors are provided at said connecti 4-points for interconnecting the cables in adjacent n work sections, said sections comprising a number of bles which extend along acable line in one of said s through a-connector at a connection point and turn extendalong a .cable'line in the other of said sets` e:

sitioned at the periphery of the building.

8. A reinforced inflatable building according to claim 6, wherein eachof said endl sectionsof saidskinis formed from a triangularendpanel andtworight triangularside panels. said end panel hayingftwoequal 1" sides and a base lying along the peripheral lend edge of the building, each of said side panels hayingits hypotenuse connected to one of said equal sides' of said end panel and having its base lying along ythe end portion of the side of the building.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3024796 *Apr 18, 1958Mar 13, 1962Birdair StructuresAir supported structures
US3059655 *Dec 23, 1957Oct 23, 1962Birdair StructuresAir inflated fabric structures
US3744191 *Dec 14, 1971Jul 10, 1973Birdair StructuresLarge air supported structures
US3765134 *Aug 10, 1970Oct 16, 1973Gilchrist TConstruction of rigid tensioned frame structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4058939 *Sep 23, 1975Nov 22, 1977Camusot Gerard RTiered grandstand
US4478012 *Sep 20, 1982Oct 23, 1984Air Structures International, Inc.Cabling system for an inflatable building
US4511279 *Aug 31, 1982Apr 16, 1985Air Structures InternationalCable tie for an air supported structure cable net
US4558543 *Apr 19, 1985Dec 17, 1985Taisei Kensetsu Kabushiki KaishaMoving apparatus for a pneumatically supported membrane structure
US7770332 *Nov 30, 2006Aug 10, 2010Muhamed SemizStructure with space applications and methods of construction thereof
U.S. Classification52/2.25, D25/18
International ClassificationE04H15/22, E04H15/20
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/22
European ClassificationE04H15/22
Legal Events
Apr 23, 1990AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ASATI, INC., A CORP OF NY
Effective date: 19890811
Apr 23, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: ASATI, INC., A CORP OF NY
Effective date: 19890811
Feb 28, 1990ASAssignment
Effective date: 19890808
Jan 16, 1990ASAssignment
Effective date: 19900110
Oct 28, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19861007
Oct 28, 1986AS03Merger
Effective date: 19841228
Oct 28, 1986ASAssignment
Effective date: 19861007
Effective date: 19841228