Figure 7: Stabilization of Tension: Minimum of 12 Spokes

Figure 7:  Stabilization of Tension:  Minimum of 12 Spokes

  1. solid mast without stays stands erect by itself in "solid" earth. Tension stays may be added at end of the lever arm helping against hurricane "overturning." Humans have until now employed a compression continuity as the primary load-carrying structural system with tension employed secondarily to stabilize angular relationships.
  2. The old artillery wheel provides a series of compressional vaulting poles.
  3. Pole vaulting along, a "pushing-up" load.
  4. Hanging in tension like the wire wheel.
  5. The wire wheel provides a series of tension slings. The axle load of the wire wheel is hung from the top of the wheel, which tries to belly out, so spokes as additional tension members are added horizontally to keep it from bellying.
  6. It takes a minimum of 12 spokes to fix the hub position in relation to the rim: six positive diaphragm and six negative diaphragm, of which respectively three each positively and negatively oppose hub torque.
  7. Many spokes keep rim from bending outwardly any further. The hub load is suspended by central vertical spokes successively leading crisscross from top of wheel tangentially to fore-and-aft sides of hub and its load.

Back to Letter
Copyright 1999, Estate of Buckminster Fuller, all rights reserved.