Precision Cable, Rod and Bracing Elements Feature Machined Stainless Fittings
Architectural Cables, Tension Rods and Disc Clamps
Architectural tensile elements are an integral part of lightweight technical structures due to the possibility of creating minimal structure with high visual impact. Tension elements require varying degrees of prestress to function as needed. These elements cannot carry compression so designs require Novum’s excellent in-house engineering. 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 corrosion resistant stainless steel.
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 so that 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 nominal prestress is needed due to design without load reversal, or where components are short, tension rods are best. Tension rod applications are typically 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.
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 utilises only the highest quality European cable suppliers to assure the caliber 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 made from stainless steel, though 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.
Novum uses cables as structure only or integrated with our membrane or steel structure product lines. Our CTF-System and SSM-System for membranes utilise 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 50 such projects internationally.
Disc Clamp: Novum has the industry’s most comprehensive range of spaceframe systems and many are suited to single layer grid applications. Orthogonal grid systems, due to their nature unless fully moment connected, can 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.
Tension Rod. Where nominal prestress is required in tension elements, high strength stainless-steel rods are better suited than cables. Novum has created and fully tested its own line of architectural lightweight stainless-steel tension rods which are aesthetically pleasing, fast to design, readily available and economical. The rod ends are typically cast, and machined open clevis. Various diameters are available up to 1.2” (30mm) and attractive connectors and turnbuckles are used for longer items. The actual rod is machined, and end fittings are typically brushed finish. However, alternative end fittings can be developed. Conventional stock type mild steel tension rods and fittings are also available where architecturally desired or loading dictates.
Design examples are suspended facades, dead load hangers and the in-plane X-bracing of trusses, walls and roofs.