They are made of low quality materials, but the structure is normally thick.
They can be made by piling up materials into a shape or design.
Mass structures are solid structures which rely ontheir own weight to resist loads.
Natural mass Structures: Mountains and coral reefs.
The term “triangulation” is used to describe the use of triangles, arranged together to form a frame. This is one of the most economical ways of building structures.
Advantages: they are easy to build, usually inexpensive and lightweight.
Disadvantages: they can not resist strong impacts and not recommended for very big loads.
Electric towers, some bridges (example: suspension bridges), cranes, buildings and scaffolding, are just a few examples.
Natural Shell Structures: Eggs, shellfish, etc
Man made Shell structures: Tin cans, bottles, and usually food containers. Larger things such as car 🚗 and aeroplane bodies are examples of more complicated shell structures.
The arch has an advantage, when the top piece, called the key stone, is in place the arch can stay in position on its own. This means that it is self-supporting and it requires no mortar or cement. Thanks to that effect the geometry of the arch displaces the forces to the sides and its own weight is the main load.
- Vaults are built by using a series of arches in a line (a barrel vault) or intersecting arches (a rib vault).
A suspended structure holds its elements by cables that are held from the top of a tall column. Span is the space between one column and the next.
A suspended bridge is a type of suspended structure. There are several beams which are hold by dozens of steel wires (cables). The cables only bear traction stress, but the advantage is that they can adapt their shape to different loads at different times and they are incredibly light.
This type of structure is very good for covering large distances ( large span ) but are very expensive.
Advantages: Good for covering a very large span.
Disadvantages: Expensive to build. 💸