What Are Some Examples of Frame Structures?

Some of the most recognizable examples of frame structures include spider webs, ladders, bicycles and the Eiffel Tower. In each case, the frame of the structure fulfills its load-bearing requirements and remains unadorned while strictly meeting those needs.

Frame structures are distinguished from shell structures and solid structures by the purpose of their design. Whereas shell structures such as eggs and coffee mugs use exterior strength to retain their shape when bearing a load on the inside, frame structures are designed to bear external loads. Solid structures such as stones and bricks consist of a single inert piece of material with no internal load-bearing capability.

Spider webs are often used as an example of frame structures in nature, and are among the strongest structures in existence owing to their extremely high tensile strength. When taking the weight of spider silk into consideration, it provides load-bearing capacities far beyond what man-made materials such as steel can produce.

Bicycles and ladders are some of the most commonly seen man-made frame structures in any urban environment. Both tools are rarely constructed using any material beyond what is strictly necessary to provide the finished product with the load-bearing capabilities it needs. The Eiffel Tower is the most famous and immediately recognizable frame structure in modern architecture.