KAROLA DIERICHS Architectural Research and Design

ITECH Master Thesis 2016 – A Wolkow

A two particle-type granular system for
performance in tension

A Wolkow M.Sc.

Thesis Advisors
Karola Dierichs, Dylan Wood

Thesis Supervisor
Prof. Achim Menges

First Examiner
Prof. Achim Menges

Second Examiner
Prof. Jan Knippers

‘The thesis project aims to create a designed granular system composed primarily of a cost-effective and material efficient bulk particle type, and materially programmed particles able to adopt a binding geometry. This allows reinforcement in regions within an aggregate where a capacity to perform in tension is required. Because the majority of particles within this system can be made from low-cost, low-grade materials, and because all particles within the system have or can adopt a flat rectilinear geometry, aggregate structures of larger scale and low cost are made feasible.

This project is relevant within the field of aggregate architecture because it represents a particle system able to act in compression and tension in a specific manner i.e., through the specific combination of two types of particle only where it is required, meaning aggregates created in this way are non-uniform in their composition. This stands in contrast to other aggregate examples where one particle morphology is required to perform in compression or tension depending only on its location within a structure. In this system, a simple particle morphology is sufficient on its own to act in compression, and only in regions of a structure where a capacity to act in tension is required must this particle type be combined with another particle designed to embody the former with a tensional capability. Aggregates are thus assembled with respect to their local structural rolls. Because the second particle type is actuated hygroscopically, structures can be loosened or freed of their tensional capacity through saturation with water, enabling easier disassembly of structures and reuse of their constituent parts.’ (AW)



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