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The phenomenon of aerodynamic instability caused by the wind is usually a major design criterion for long-span cable-supported bridges. If the wind speed exceeds the critical flutter speed of the bridge, this constitutes an Ultimate Limit State. The prediction of the flutter boundary, therefore, requires accurate and robust models. The complexity and uncertainty of models for such engineering problems demand strategies for model assessment. This study is an attempt to use the concepts of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses to assess the aeroelastic instability prediction models for long-span bridges. The state-of-the-art theory concerning the determination of the flutter stability limit is presented. Since flutter is a coupling of aerodynamic forcing with a structural dynamics problem, different types and classes of structural and aerodynamic models can be combined to study the interaction. Here, both numerical approaches and analytical models are utilised and coupled in different ways to assess the prediction quality of the coupled model.

The thesis investigates at the computer aided simulation process for operational vibration analysis of complex coupled systems. As part of the internal methods project “Absolute Values” of the BMW Group, the thesis deals with the analysis of the structural dynamic interactions and excitation interactions. The overarching aim of the methods project is to predict the operational vibrations of engines.
Simulations are usually used to analyze technical aspects (e. g. operational vibrations, strength, ...) of single components in the industrial development. The boundary conditions of submodels are mostly based on experiences. So the interactions with neighboring components and systems are neglected. To get physically more realistic results but still efficient simulations, this work wants to support the engineer during the preprocessing phase by useful criteria.
At first suitable abstraction levels based on the existing literature are defined to identify structural dynamic interactions and excitation interactions of coupled systems. So it is possible to separate different effects of the coupled subsystems. On this basis, criteria are derived to assess the influence of interactions between the considered systems. These criteria can be used during the preprocessing phase and help the engineer to build up efficient models with respect to the interactions with neighboring systems. The method was developed by using several models with different complexity levels. Furthermore, the method is proved for the application in the industrial environment by using the example of a current combustion engine.

Environmental and operational variables and their impact on structural responses have been acknowledged as one of the most important challenges for the application of the ambient vibration-based damage identification in structures. The damage detection procedures may yield poor results, if the impacts of loading and environmental conditions of the structures are not considered.
The reference-surface-based method, which is proposed in this thesis, is addressed to overcome this problem. In the proposed method, meta-models are used to take into account significant effects of the environmental and operational variables. The usage of the approximation models, allows the proposed method to simply handle multiple non-damaged variable effects simultaneously, which for other methods seems to be very complex. The input of the meta-model are the multiple non-damaged variables while the output is a damage indicator.
The reference-surface-based method diminishes the effect of the non-damaged variables to the vibration based damage detection results. Hence, the structure condition that is assessed by using ambient vibration data at any time would be more reliable. Immediate reliable information regarding the structure condition is required to quickly respond to the event, by means to take necessary actions concerning the future use or further investigation of the structures, for instance shortly after extreme events such as earthquakes.
The critical part of the proposed damage detection method is the learning phase, where the meta-models are trained by using input-output relation of observation data. Significant problems that may encounter during the learning phase are outlined and some remedies to overcome the problems are suggested.
The proposed damage identification method is applied to numerical and experimental models. In addition to the natural frequencies, wavelet energy and stochastic subspace damage indicators are used.

Since the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, the high emission of gaseous wastes into the atmosphere from the usage of fossil fuels has caused a general increase in temperatures globally. To combat the environmental imbalance, there is an increase in the demand for renewable energy sources. Dams play a major role in the generation of “green" energy. However, these structures require frequent and strict monitoring to ensure safe and efficient operation. To tackle the challenges faced in the application of convention dam monitoring techniques, this work proposes the inverse analysis of numerical models to identify damaged regions in the dam. Using a dynamic coupled hydro-mechanical Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) model and a global optimization strategy, damage (crack) in the dam is identified. By employing seismic waves to probe the dam structure, a more detailed information on the distribution of heterogeneous materials and damaged regions are obtained by the application of the Full Waveform Inversion (FWI) method. The FWI is based on a local optimization strategy and thus it is highly dependent on the starting model. A variety of data acquisition setups are investigated, and an optimal setup is proposed. The effect of different starting models and noise in the measured data on the damage identification is considered. Combining the non-dependence of a starting model of the global optimization strategy based dynamic coupled hydro-mechanical XFEM method and the detailed output of the local optimization strategy based FWI method, an enhanced Full Waveform Inversion is proposed for the structural analysis of dams.

The key objective of this research is to study fracture with a meshfree method, local maximum entropy approximations, and model fracture in thin shell structures with complex geometry and topology. This topic is of high relevance for real-world applications, for example in the automotive industry and in aerospace engineering. The shell structure can be described efficiently by meshless methods which are capable of describing complex shapes as a collection of points instead of a structured mesh. In order to find the appropriate numerical method to achieve this goal, the first part of the work was development of a method based on local maximum entropy (LME)
shape functions together with enrichment functions used in partition of unity methods to discretize problems in linear elastic fracture mechanics. We obtain improved accuracy relative to the standard extended finite element method (XFEM) at a comparable computational cost. In addition, we keep the advantages of the LME shape functions,such as smoothness and non-negativity. We show numerically that optimal convergence (same as in FEM) for energy norm and stress intensity factors can be obtained through the use of geometric (fixed area) enrichment with no special treatment of the nodes
near the crack such as blending or shifting.
As extension of this method to three dimensional problems and complex thin shell structures with arbitrary crack growth is cumbersome, we developed a phase field model for fracture using LME. Phase field models provide a powerful tool to tackle moving interface problems, and have been extensively used in physics and materials science. Phase methods are gaining popularity in a wide set of applications in applied science and engineering, recently a second order phase field approximation for brittle fracture has gathered significant interest in computational fracture such that sharp cracks discontinuities are modeled by a diffusive crack. By minimizing the system energy with respect to the mechanical displacements and the phase-field, subject to an irreversibility condition to avoid crack healing, this model can describe crack nucleation, propagation, branching and merging. One of the main advantages of the phase field modeling of fractures is the unified treatment of the interfacial tracking and mechanics, which potentially leads to simple, robust, scalable computer codes applicable to complex systems. In other words, this approximation reduces considerably the implementation complexity because the numerical tracking of the fracture is not needed, at the expense of a high computational cost. We present a fourth-order phase field model for fracture based on local maximum entropy (LME) approximations. The higher order continuity of the meshfree LME approximation allows to directly solve the fourth-order phase field equations without splitting the fourth-order differential equation into two second order differential equations. Notably, in contrast to previous discretizations that use at least a quadratic basis, only linear completeness is needed in the LME approximation. We show that the crack surface can be captured more accurately in the fourth-order model than the second-order model. Furthermore, less nodes are needed for the fourth-order model to resolve the crack path. Finally, we demonstrate the performance of the proposed meshfree fourth order phase-field formulation for 5 representative numerical examples. Computational results will be compared to analytical solutions within linear elastic fracture mechanics and experimental data for three-dimensional crack propagation.
In the last part of this research, we present a phase-field model for fracture in Kirchoff-Love thin shells using the local maximum-entropy (LME) meshfree method. Since the crack is a natural outcome of the analysis it does not require an explicit representation and tracking, which is advantageous over techniques as the extended finite element method that requires tracking of the crack paths. The geometric description of the shell is based on statistical learning techniques that allow dealing with general point set surfaces avoiding a global parametrization, which can be applied to tackle surfaces of complex geometry and topology. We show the flexibility and robustness of the present methodology for two examples: plate in tension and a set of open connected
pipes.

Numerical models and their combination with advanced solution strategies are standard tools for many engineering disciplines to design or redesign structures and to optimize designs with the purpose to improve specific requirements. As the successful application of numerical models depends on their suitability to represent the behavior related to the intended use, they should be validated by experimentally obtained results. If the discrepancy between numerically derived and experimentally obtained results is not acceptable, a model revision or a revision of the experiment need to be considered. Model revision is divided into two classes, the model updating and the basic revision of the numerical model. The presented thesis is related to a special branch of model updating, the vibration-based model updating. Vibration-based model updating is a tool to improve the correlation of the numerical model by adjusting uncertain model input parameters by means of results extracted from vibration tests. Evidently, uncertainties related to the experiment, the numerical model, or the applied numerical solving strategies can influence the correctness of the identified model input parameters. The reduction of uncertainties for two critical problems and the quantification of uncertainties related to the investigation of several nominally identical structures are the main emphases of this thesis. First, the reduction of uncertainties by optimizing reference sensor positions is considered. The presented approach relies on predicted power spectral amplitudes and an initial finite element model as a basis to define the assessment criterion for predefined sensor positions. In combination with geometry-based design variables, which represent the sensor positions, genetic and particle swarm optimization algorithms are applied. The applicability of the proposed approach is demonstrated on a numerical benchmark study of a simply supported beam and a case study of a real test specimen. Furthermore, the theory of determining the predicted power spectral amplitudes is validated with results from vibration tests. Second, the possibility to reduce uncertainties related to an inappropriate assignment for numerically derived and experimentally obtained modes is investigated. In the context of vibration-based model updating, the correct pairing is essential. The most common criterion for indicating corresponding mode shapes is the modal assurance criterion. Unfortunately, this criterion fails in certain cases and is not reliable for automatic approaches. Hence, an alternative criterion, the energy-based modal assurance criterion, is proposed. This criterion combines the mathematical characteristic of orthogonality with the physical properties of the structure by modal strain energies. A numerical example and a case study with experimental data are presented to show the advantages of the proposed energy-based modal assurance criterion in comparison to the traditional modal assurance criterion. Third, the application of optimization strategies combined with information theory based objective functions is analyzed for the purpose of stochastic model updating. This approach serves as an alternative to the common sensitivity-based stochastic model updating strategies. Their success depends strongly on the defined initial model input parameters. In contrast, approaches based on optimization strategies can be more flexible. It can be demonstrated, that the investigated nature inspired optimization strategies in combination with Bhattacharyya distance and Kullback-Leibler divergence are appropriate. The obtained accuracies and the respective computational effort are comparable with sensitivity-based stochastic model updating strategies. The application of model updating procedures to improve the quality and suitability of a numerical model is always related to additional costs. The presented innovative approaches will contribute to reduce and quantify uncertainties within a vibration-based model updating process. Therefore, the increased benefit can compensate the additional effort, which is necessary to apply model updating procedures.

One major research focus in the Material Science and Engineering Community in the past decade has been to obtain a more fundamental understanding on the phenomenon 'material failure'. Such an understanding is critical for engineers and scientists developing new materials with higher strength and toughness, developing robust designs against failure, or for those concerned with an accurate estimate of a component's design life. Defects like cracks and dislocations evolve at
nano scales and influence the macroscopic properties such as strength, toughness and ductility of a material. In engineering applications, the global response of the system is often governed by the behaviour at the smaller length scales. Hence, the sub-scale behaviour must be computed accurately for good predictions of the full scale behaviour.
Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations promise to reveal the fundamental mechanics of material failure by modeling the atom to atom interactions. Since the atomistic dimensions are of the order of Angstroms ( A), approximately 85 billion atoms are required to model a 1 micro- m^3 volume of Copper. Therefore, pure atomistic models are prohibitively expensive with everyday engineering computations involving macroscopic cracks and shear bands, which are much larger than the atomistic length and time scales. To reduce the computational effort, multiscale methods are required, which are able to couple a continuum description of the structure with an atomistic description. In such paradigms, cracks and dislocations are explicitly modeled at the atomistic scale, whilst a self-consistent continuum model elsewhere.
Many multiscale methods for fracture are developed for "fictitious" materials based on "simple" potentials such as the Lennard-Jones potential. Moreover, multiscale methods for evolving cracks are rare. Efficient methods to coarse grain the fine scale defects are missing. However, the existing multiscale methods for fracture do not adaptively adjust the fine scale domain as the crack propagates. Most methods, therefore only "enlarge" the fine scale domain and therefore drastically increase computational cost. Adaptive adjustment requires the fine scale domain to be refined and coarsened. One of the major difficulties in multiscale methods for fracture is to up-scale fracture related material information from the fine scale to the coarse scale, in particular for complex crack problems. Most of the existing approaches therefore were applied to examples with comparatively few macroscopic cracks.
Key contributions
The bridging scale method is enhanced using the phantom node method so that cracks can be modeled at the coarse scale. To ensure self-consistency in the bulk, a virtual atom cluster is devised providing the response of the intact material at the coarse scale. A molecular statics model is employed in the fine scale where crack propagation is modeled by naturally breaking the bonds. The fine scale and coarse scale models are coupled by enforcing the displacement boundary conditions on the ghost atoms. An energy criterion is used to detect the crack tip location. Adaptive refinement and coarsening schemes are developed and implemented during the crack propagation. The results were observed to be in excellent agreement with the pure atomistic simulations. The developed multiscale method is one of the first adaptive multiscale method for fracture.
A robust and simple three dimensional coarse graining technique to convert a given atomistic region into an equivalent coarse region, in the context of multiscale fracture has been developed. The developed method is the first of its kind. The developed coarse graining technique can be applied to identify and upscale the defects like: cracks, dislocations and shear bands. The current method has been applied to estimate the equivalent coarse scale models of several complex fracture patterns arrived from the pure atomistic simulations. The upscaled fracture pattern agree well with the actual fracture pattern. The error in the potential energy of the pure atomistic and the coarse grained model was observed to be acceptable.
A first novel meshless adaptive multiscale method for fracture has been developed. The phantom node method is replaced by a meshless differential reproducing kernel particle method. The differential reproducing kernel particle method is comparatively more expensive but allows for a more "natural" coupling between the two scales due to the meshless interpolation functions. The higher order continuity is also beneficial. The centro symmetry parameter is used to detect the crack tip location. The developed multiscale method is employed to study the complex crack propagation. Results based on the meshless adaptive multiscale method were observed to be in excellent agreement with the pure atomistic simulations.
The developed multiscale methods are applied to study the fracture in practical materials like Graphene and Graphene on Silicon surface. The bond stretching and the bond reorientation were observed to be the net mechanisms of the crack growth in Graphene. The influence of time step on the crack propagation was studied using two different time steps. Pure atomistic simulations of fracture in Graphene on Silicon surface are presented. Details of the three dimensional multiscale method to study the fracture in Graphene on Silicon surface are discussed.

The nonlinear behavior of concrete can be attributed to the propagation of microcracks within the heterogeneous internal material structure. In this thesis, a mesoscale model is developed which allows for the explicit simulation of these microcracks. Consequently, the actual physical phenomena causing the complex nonlinear macroscopic behavior of concrete can be represented using rather simple material formulations. On the mesoscale, the numerical model explicitly resolves the components of the internal material structure. For concrete, a three-phase model consisting of aggregates, mortar matrix and interfacial transition zone is proposed. Based on prescribed grading curves, an efficient algorithm for the generation of three-dimensional aggregate distributions using ellipsoids is presented. In the numerical model, tensile failure of the mortar matrix is described using a continuum damage approach. In order to reduce spurious mesh sensitivities, introduced by the softening behavior of the matrix material, nonlocal integral-type material formulations are applied. The propagation of cracks at the interface between aggregates and mortar matrix is represented in a discrete way using a cohesive crack approach. The iterative solution procedure is stabilized using a new path following constraint within the framework of load-displacement-constraint methods which allows for an efficient representation of snap-back phenomena. In several examples, the influence of the randomly generated heterogeneous material structure on the stochastic scatter of the results is analyzed. Furthermore, the ability of mesoscale models to represent size effects is investigated. Mesoscale simulations require the discretization of the internal material structure. Compared to simulations on the macroscale, the numerical effort and the memory demand increases dramatically. Due to the complexity of the numerical model, mesoscale simulations are, in general, limited to small specimens. In this thesis, an adaptive heterogeneous multiscale approach is presented which allows for the incorporation of mesoscale models within nonlinear simulations of concrete structures. In heterogeneous multiscale models, only critical regions, i.e. regions in which damage develops, are resolved on the mesoscale, whereas undamaged or sparsely damage regions are modeled on the macroscale. A crucial point in simulations with heterogeneous multiscale models is the coupling of sub-domains discretized on different length scales. The sub-domains differ not only in the size of the finite elements but also in the constitutive description. In this thesis, different methods for the coupling of non-matching discretizations - constraint equations, the mortar method and the arlequin method - are investigated and the application to heterogeneous multiscale models is presented. Another important point is the detection of critical regions. An adaptive solution procedure allowing the transfer of macroscale sub-domains to the mesoscale is proposed. In this context, several indicators which trigger the model adaptation are introduced. Finally, the application of the proposed adaptive heterogeneous multiscale approach in nonlinear simulations of concrete structures is presented.

Briefly, the two basic questions that this research is supposed to answer are:
1. Howmuch fiber is needed and how fibers should be distributed through a fiber reinforced composite (FRC) structure in order to obtain the optimal and reliable structural response?
2. How do uncertainties influence the optimization results and reliability of the structure?
Giving answer to the above questions a double stage sequential optimization algorithm for finding the optimal content of short fiber reinforcements and their distribution in the composite structure, considering uncertain design parameters, is presented. In the first stage, the optimal amount of short fibers in a FRC structure with uniformly distributed fibers is conducted in the framework of a Reliability Based Design Optimization (RBDO) problem. Presented model considers material, structural and modeling uncertainties. In the second stage, the fiber distribution optimization (with the aim to further increase in structural reliability) is performed by defining a fiber distribution function through a Non-Uniform Rational BSpline (NURBS) surface. The advantages of using the NURBS surface as a fiber distribution function include: using the same data set for the optimization and analysis; high convergence rate due to the smoothness of the NURBS; mesh independency of the optimal layout; no need for any post processing technique and its non-heuristic nature. The output of stage 1 (the optimal fiber content for homogeneously distributed fibers) is considered as the input of stage 2. The output of stage 2 is the Reliability Index (b ) of the structure with the optimal fiber content and distribution.
First order reliability method (in order to approximate the limit state function) as well as different material models including Rule of Mixtures, Mori-Tanaka, energy-based approach and stochastic multi-scales are implemented in different examples. The proposed combined model is able to capture the role of available uncertainties in FRC structures through a computationally efficient algorithm using all sequential, NURBS and sensitivity based techniques. The methodology is successfully implemented for interfacial shear stress optimization in sandwich beams and also for optimization of the internal cooling channels in a ceramic matrix composite.
Finally, after some changes and modifications by combining Isogeometric Analysis, level set and point wise density mapping techniques, the computational framework is extended for topology optimization of piezoelectric / flexoelectric materials.

Polymeric nanocomposites (PNCs) are considered for numerous nanotechnology such as: nano-biotechnology, nano-systems, nanoelectronics, and nano-structured materials. Commonly , they are formed by polymer (epoxy) matrix reinforced with a nanosized filler. The addition of rigid nanofillers to the epoxy matrix has offered great improvements in the fracture toughness without sacrificing other important thermo-mechanical properties. The physics of the fracture in PNCs is rather complicated and is influenced by different parameters. The presence of uncertainty in the predicted output is expected as a result of stochastic variance in the factors affecting the fracture mechanism. Consequently, evaluating the improved fracture toughness in PNCs is a challenging problem.
Artificial neural network (ANN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) have been employed to predict the fracture energy of polymer/particle nanocomposites. The ANN and ANFIS models were constructed, trained, and tested based on a collection of 115 experimental datasets gathered from the literature. The performance evaluation indices of the developed ANN and ANFIS showed relatively small error, with high coefficients of determination (R2), and low root mean square error and mean absolute percentage error.
In the framework for uncertainty quantification of PNCs, a sensitivity analysis (SA) has been conducted to examine the influence of uncertain input parameters on the fracture toughness of polymer/clay nanocomposites (PNCs). The phase-field approach is employed to predict the macroscopic properties of the composite considering six uncertain input parameters. The efficiency, robustness, and repeatability are compared and evaluated comprehensively for five different SA methods.
The Bayesian method is applied to develop a methodology in order to evaluate the performance of different analytical models used in predicting the fracture toughness of polymeric particles nanocomposites. The developed method have considered the model and parameters uncertainties based on different reference data (experimental measurements) gained from the literature. Three analytical models differing in theory and assumptions were examined. The coefficients of variation of the model predictions to the measurements are calculated using the approximated optimal parameter sets. Then, the model selection probability is obtained with respect to the different reference data.
Stochastic finite element modeling is implemented to predict the fracture toughness of polymer/particle nanocomposites. For this purpose, 2D finite element model containing an epoxy matrix and rigid nanoparticles surrounded by an interphase zone is generated. The crack propagation is simulated by the cohesive segments method and phantom nodes. Considering the uncertainties in the input parameters, a polynomial chaos expansion (PCE) surrogate model is construed followed by a sensitivity analysis.