Overview

The lattice design is generally the most weight-efficient choice for load-bearing structures since the bars are predominantly loaded along their axial direction (compression or tension), where the material mechanical properties are most favourable.

Lattice structures have been traditionally constructed by bolting or welding, using or not using gusset plates. Although such methods are reliable and well developed, the material, time, labour, and infrastructure cost represents a high fraction of the total project expenditures.

For example, bolting requires periodic tension checks, gusset plates must be cut for the specific application, and welding is comparatively slow and expensive, particularly for thick sections. In most cases, specific tooling and operations at workshop are required.



One of the most recognizable application scenarios for lattice structures is towers construction for electricity transport and wind power generation. In practice, sections of these structures are first fabricated on the ground using galvanized steel L-shaped profiles and bolts with gusset plates. Then, the sections are joined together and lifted to their final position using cranes. This method usually requires large areas for sections assembly and expensive infrastructures and cranes.



Besides these traditional methods, there also exist proprietary connectors for the general fabrication of lattice structures. However, although the assembly is faster than with traditional methods, these node-based technologies also require bolts and bar ends modifications, which leads to overall cost increases and reduces structural efficiency.