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Nonlinear analyses are characterised by approximations of the fundamental equations in different quality. Starting with a general description of nonlinear finite element formulation the fundamental equations are derived for plane truss elements. Special emphasis is placed on the determination of internal and external system energy as well as influence of different quality approaches for the displacement-strain relationship on solution quality. To simplify the solution procedure the nonlinear function describing the kinematics is expanded into a Taylor series and truncated after the n-th series term. The different kinematics influence speed of convergence as well as exactness of solution. On a simple truss structure this influence is shown. To assess the quality of different formulations concerning the nonlinear kinematic equation three approaches are discussed. First the overall internal and external energy is compared for different kinematical models. In a second step the energy content related to single terms describing displacement-strain relationship is investigated and used for quality control following two different paths. Based on single ε-terms an adaptive scheme is used to change the kinematical model depending on increasing nonlinearity of the structure. The solution quality has turned out satisfactory compared to the exact result. More detailed investigations are necessary to find criteria for the threshold values for the iterative process as well as for decision on number and step size of incremental load steps.

In this paper the influence of changes in the mean wind velocity, the wind profile power-law coefficient, the drag coefficient of the terrain and the structural stiffness are investigated on different complex structural models. This paper gives a short introduction to wind profile models and to the approach by Davenport A. G. to compute the structural reaction of wind induced vibrations. Firstly with help of a simple example (a skyscraper) this approach is shown. Using this simple example gives the reader the possibility to study the variance differences when changing one of the above mentioned parameters on this very easy example and see the influence of different complex structural models on the result. Furthermore an approach for estimation of the needed discretization level is given. With the help of this knowledge the structural model design methodology can be base on deeper understanding of the different behavior of the single models.

Long-span cable supported bridges are prone to aerodynamic instabilities caused by wind and this phenomenon is usually a major design criterion. 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. This paper aims at studying various combinations of models to predict the flutter phenomenon.
Since flutter is a coupling of aerodynamic forcing with a structural dynamics problem, different types and classes of 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 hybrid model. Models for aerodynamic forces employed are the analytical Theodorsen expressions for the motion-enduced aerodynamic forces of a flat plate and Scanlan derivatives as a Meta model. Further, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations using the Vortex Particle Method (VPM) were used to cover numerical models.
The structural representations were dimensionally reduced to two degree of freedom section models calibrated from global models as well as a fully three-dimensional Finite Element (FE) model. A two degree of freedom system was analysed analytically as well as numerically.
Generally, all models were able to predict the flutter phenomenon and relatively close agreement was found for the particular bridge. In conclusion, the model choice for a given practical analysis scenario will be discussed in the context of the analysis findings.

Civil engineers take advantage of models to design reliable structures. In order to fulfill the design goal with a certain amount of confidence, the utilized models should be able to predict the probable structural behavior under the expected loading schemes. Therefore, a major challenge is to find models which provide less uncertain and more robust responses. The problem gets even twofold when the model to be studied is a global model comprised of different interacting partial models. This study aims at model quality evaluation of global models with a focus on frame-wall systems as the case study. The paper, presents the results of the first step taken toward accomplishing this goal. To start the model quality evaluation of the global frame-wall system, the main element (i.e. the wall) was studied through nonlinear static and dynamic analysis using two different modeling approaches. The two selected models included the fiber section model and the Multiple-Vertical-Line-Element-Model (MVLEM). The influence of the wall aspect ratio (H=L) and the axial load on the response of the models was studied. The results from nonlinear static and dynamic analysis of both models are presented and compared. The models resulted in quite different responses in the range of low aspect ratio walls under large axial loads due to different contribution of the shear deformations to the top displacement. In the studied cases, the results implied that careful attention should be paid to the model quality evaluation of the wall models specifically when they are supposed to be coupled to other partial models such as a moment frame or a soil-footing substructure which their response is sensitive to shear deformations. In this case, even a high quality wall model would not result in a high quality coupled system since it fails to interact properly with the rest of the system.

The evident advances of the computational power of the digital computers enable the modeling of the total system of structures. Such modeling demands compatible representations of the couplings of different structural subsystems. Therefore, models of dynamic interaction between the vehicle and the bridge and models of a bridge bearing, a coupling element between the bridge's superstructure and substructure, are of interest and discussed within this paper. The vehicle-bridge interaction may be described as a function connecting two sets of behavior. In this case, the coupling is embodied by mutual parameters that affect both systems, such as the frequency content of the bridge and the vehicle. Whereas the bridge bearings are elements used specifically to couple, in such elements the deformation and the transferred loads are used in characterizing the coupling The nature of these couplings and their influence on the bridge response is different. However, the need to assess the amount of dynamic response transferred by or within these couplings is a common argument.

There are many different approaches to simulate the mechanical behavior of RC−Frames with masonry infills. In this paper, selected modeling techniques for masonry infills and reinforced concrete frame members will be discussed − stressing the attention on the damaging effects of the individual members and the entire system under quasi−static horizontal loading. The effect of the infill walls on the surrounding frame members is studied using equivalent strut elements. The implemented model consider in−plane failure modes for the infills, such as bed joint sliding and corner crushing. These frame member models differ with respect to their stress state. Finally, examples are provided and compared with experimental data from a real size test executed on a three story RC−Frame with and without infills. The quality of the model is evaluated on the basis of load−displacement relationships as well as damage progression.

The application of partly decoupled approach by means of continuum mechanics facilitates the calculation of structural responses due to welding. The numerical results demonstrate the ability of a qualitative prediction of welded connections. As it is intended to integrate the local effects of a joint in structural analysis of steel constructions, it is necessary to meet higher approaches towards quality. The wide array of material parameters are presented, which are affecting the thermal, metallurgical and mechanical behavior, and which have to be identified. For that purpose further investigations are necessary to analyze the sensitivity of the models towards different material properties. The experimental determination of every material parameter is not possible due to the extraordinary laborious efforts needed. Besides that, experimentally identified parameters can be applied only for the tested steel quality for measured temperature-time regimes. For that reason alternative approaches for identification of material parameters, such as optimization strategies, have to be applied. After a definition of material parameters a quantitative prediction of welded connections will also be possible. Numerical results show the effect of phase transformation, activated by welding process, on residual stress state. As these phenomena occur in local areas in the range of crystal and grain sizes, the description of microscopic phenomena and their propagation on a macroscopic level due to approaches of homogenization might be expedient. Nevertheless, one should bear in mind, the increasing number of material parameters as well as the complexity of their experimental determination. Thus the microscopic approach should always be investigated under the scope of ability and efficiency of a required prediction. Under certain circumstances a step backwards, adopting a phenomenological approach, also can be beneficial.

Building information modeling offers a huge potential for increasing the productivity and quality of construction planning processes. Despite its promising concept, this approach has not found widespread use. One of the reasons is the insufficient coupling of the structural models with the general building model. Instead, structural engineers usually set up a structural model that is independent from the building model and consists of mechanical models of reduced dimension. An automatic model generation, which would be valuable in case of model revisions is therefore not possible. This can be overcome by a volumetric formulation of the problem. A recent approach employed the p-version of the finite element method to this problem. This method, in conjunction with a volumetric formulation is suited to simulate the structural behaviour of both „thick“ solid bodies and thin-walled structures. However, there remains a notable discretization error in the numerical models. This paper therefore proposes a new approach for overcoming this situation. It sugggests the combination of the Isogeometric analysis together with the volumetric models in order to integrate the structural design into the digital, building model-centered planning process and reduce the discretization error. The concept of the isogeometric analysis consists, roughly, in the application of NURBS functions to represent the geometry and the shape functions of the elements. These functions possess some beneficial properties regarding numerical simulation. Their use, however, leads to some intricacies related to the setup of the stiffness matrix. This paper describes some of these properties.

Known as a sophisticated phenomenon in civil engineering problems, soil structure interaction has been under deep investigations in the field of Geotechnics. On the other hand, advent of powerful computers has led to development of numerous numerical methods to deal with this phenomenon, resulting in a wide variety of methods trying to simulate the behavior of the soil stratum. This survey studies two common approaches to model the soil’s behavior in a system consisting of a structure with two degrees of freedom, representing a two-storey frame structure made of steel, with the column resting on a pile embedded into sand in laboratory scale. The effect of soil simulation technique on the dynamic behavior of the structure is of major interest in the study. Utilized modeling approaches are the so-called Holistic method, and substitution of soil with respective impedance functions.

The process of analysis and design in structural engineering requires the consideration of different partial models, for example loading, structural materials, structural elements, and analysis types. The various partial models are combined by coupling several of their components. Due to the large number of available partial models describing similar phenomena, many different model combinations are possible to simulate the same aspects of a structure. The challenging task of an engineer is to select a model combination that ensures a sufficient, reliable prognosis. In order to achieve this reliable prognosis of the overall structural behavior, a high individual quality of the partial models and an adequate coupling of the partial models is required. Several methodologies have been proposed to evaluate the quality of partial models for their intended application, but a detailed study of the coupling quality is still lacking. This paper proposes a new approach to assess the coupling quality of partial models in a quantitative manner. The approach is based on the consistency of the coupled data and applies for uni- and bidirectional coupled partial models. Furthermore, the influence of the coupling quality on the output quantities of the partial models is considered. The functionality of the algorithm and the effect of the coupling quality are demonstrated using an example of coupled partial models in structural engineering.