Tensile Systems

Architectural Cables, Tension Rods and Disc Clamps

Architectural tensile elements are an integral part of lightweight technical structures due to the possibilities of creating minimal structure and high visual impact. Tension elements require varying degrees of prestress to function as intended. These elements cannot carry compression so designs require excellent in-house engineering which Novum provides. The amount of prestress typically determines the type of the tensile system required. Accordingly, Novum has developed three system products to provide a full range of solutions. The architectural material of choice for tension elements is typically stainless steel for aesthetic and corrosion resistance.

Cables: TC-System. Cables are used where high levels of prestress are required, or where there is a need for very long elements. Cables are typically used as primary structure and so high prestress serves to resist environmental load reversals (i.e. preventing cable compression), control of deformations and other key design requirements.

Rods: TR-System. Where a nominal prestress is needed due to design without load reversal or components are short, then tension rods are best adopted. Hence, tension rod applications typically relate to being bracing or hanging elements as opposed to primary structure.

Disc Clamps: DC-System. Semi-rigid orthogonal grids using Novum’s Nodal Systems can be stiffened dramatically without the need for bulky diagonal members. Novum uses the DC-System to clamp cables or rods of nominal diameter to the nodes to create a very lightweight network of post-tensioned bracing.

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TC-System

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DC-System

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TR-System

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TC-System

Tension Cable. Minimal primary structure can be achieved by cables which require high levels of prestress to resist environmental loads and meet other service needs. Given the inherent lack of structural redundancy of these applications, Novum utilizes only the premiere European cable suppliers to assure the quality of the critical connection of the cable to its end fittings. Cables are preloaded and pre-tensioned prior to shipping to check strength and reduce creep effects.

Architectural cables are usually from stainless steel, although for larger tensions and diameters galvanized strands are necessary. End fittings are of varied designs to meet visual, functional and installation requirements and feature open sockets or threaded ends. Fittings are typically brushed stainless steel.

Applications. Novum uses cables as structure only or integrated with our membrane or steel structure product lines. Our CTF-System and SSM-System for membranes utilize cables to tension and support the membrane respectively. Architectural examples are cable facades, cable nets, tension trusses, stayed arches, tensile membrane structures, stressed skinned membranes and more. Novum is the global market leader in glazed cable facades with over 25 such projects internationally.

DC-System

Disc Clamp: Novum has the industry’s most comprehensive range of spaceframe systems and most are suited to single layer grid applications. Orthogonal grid systems, due to their nature unless fully moment connected, do benefit from or require bracing to be more structurally efficient. Rather than using bulkier compressive elements in the plane of the grid, the disc clamp system was developed to use either small diameter continuous cables or rods which post tension as a two-way mesh to the grid shell using a disc clamp assembly. The density of the mesh is a function of each unique application.

TR-System

Tension Rod. Where nominal prestress is required in tension elements then high strength stainless rods are better suited than cables. Novum has created and fully tested its own line of architectural lightweight stainless steel tension rods which are aesthetic, fast to design with, stocked and economical. The rod ends are typically cast and machined open clevis and the design is such that the rod fails not the clevis pin or casting. Various diameters are available up to 30mm (1.2”) and attractive connectors and turnbuckles are used for longer items. The actual rod is machined and end fittings are typically brushed finish. Alternative end fittings are developed per specific project need. Conventional stock type mild steel tension rods and fittings are also available where architecturally requested or loading dictates.

Applications. Design examples are suspended facades, dead load hangers and the in-plane X-bracing of trusses, walls and roofs.