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Buildings can be divided into various types and described by a huge number of parameters. Within the life cycle of a building, especially during the design and construction phases, a lot of engineers with different points of view, proprietary applications and data formats are involved. The collaboration of all participating engineers is characterised by a high amount of communication. Due to these aspects, a homogeneous building model for all engineers is not feasible. The status quo of civil engineering is the segmentation of the complete model into partial models. Currently, the interdependencies of these partial models are not in the focus of available engineering solutions. This paper addresses the problem of coupling partial models in civil engineering. According to the state-of-the-art, applications and partial models are formulated by the object-oriented method. Although this method solves basic communication problems like subclass coupling directly it was found that many relevant coupling problems remain to be solved. Therefore, it is necessary to analyse and classify the relevant coupling types in building modelling. Coupling in computer science refers to the relationship between modules and their mutual interaction and can be divided into different coupling types. The coupling types differ on the degree by which the coupled modules rely upon each other. This is exemplified by a general reference example from civil engineering. A uniform formulation of coupling patterns is described analogously to design patterns, which are a common methodology in software engineering. Design patterns are templates for describing a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem. A template is independent of the programming language and the operating system. These coupling patterns are selected according to the specific problems of building modelling. A specific meta-model for coupling problems in civil engineering is introduced. In our meta-model the coupling patterns are a semantic description of a specific coupling design.

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.

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.

With the advances of the computer technology, structural optimization has become a prominent field in structural engineering. In this study an unconventional approach of structural optimization is presented which utilize the Energy method with Integral Material behaviour (EIM), based on the Lagrange’s principle of minimum potential energy. The equilibrium condition with the EIM, as an alternative method for nonlinear analysis, is secured through minimization of the potential energy as an optimization problem. Imposing this problem as an additional constraint on a higher cost function of a structural property, a bilevel programming problem is formulated. The nested strategy of solution of the bilevel problem is used, treating the energy and the upper objective function as separate optimization problems. Utilizing the convexity of the potential energy, gradient based algorithms are employed for its minimization and the upper cost function is minimized using the gradient free algorithms, due to its unknown properties. Two practical examples are considered in order to prove the efficiency of the method. The first one presents a sizing problem of I steel section within encased composite cross section, utilizing the material nonlinearity. The second one is a discrete shape optimization of a steel truss bridge, which is compared to a previous study based on the Finite Element Method.

A topology optimization method has been developed for structures subjected to multiple load cases (Example of a bridge pier subjected to wind loads, traffic, superstructure...). We formulate the problem as a multi-criterial optimization problem, where the compliance is computed for each load case. Then, the Epsilon constraint method (method proposed by Chankong and Haimes, 1971) is adapted. The strategy of this method is based on the concept of minimizing the maximum compliance resulting from the critical load case while the other remaining compliances are considered in the constraints. In each iteration, the compliances of all load cases are computed and only the maximum one is minimized. The topology optimization process is switching from one load to another according to the variation of the resulting compliance. In this work we will motivate and explain the proposed methodology and provide some numerical examples.

Polymer modification of mortar and concrete is a widely used technique in order to improve their durability properties. Hitherto, the main application fields of such materials are repair and restoration of buildings. However, due to the constant increment of service life requirements and the cost efficiency, polymer modified concrete (PCC) is also used for construction purposes. Therefore, there is a demand for studying the mechanical properties of PCC and entitative differences compared to conventional concrete (CC). It is significant to investigate whether all the assumed hypotheses and existing analytical formulations about CC are also valid for PCC. In the present study, analytical models available in the literature are evaluated. These models are used for estimating mechanical properties of concrete. The investigated property in this study is the modulus of elasticity, which is estimated with respect to the value of compressive strength. One existing database was extended and adapted for polymer-modified concrete mixtures along with their experimentally measured mechanical properties. Based on the indexed data a comparison between model predictions and experiments was conducted by calculation of forecast errors.

The analysis of the response of complex structural systems requires the description of the material constitutive relations by means of an appropriate material model. The level of abstraction of such model may strongly affect the quality of the prognosis of the whole structure. In context to this fact, it is necessary to describe the material in a convenient sense as exact but as simple as possible. All material phenomena of crystalline materials e.g. steel, affecting the behavior of the structure, rely on physical effects which are interacting over spatial scales from subatomic to macroscopic range. Nevertheless, if the material is microscopically heterogenic, it might be appropriate to use phenomenological models for the purpose of civil engineering. Although constantly applied, these models are insufficient for steel materials with microscopic characteristics such as texture, typically occurring in hot rolled steel members or heat affected zones of welded joints. Hence, texture is manifested in crystalline materials as a regular crystallographic structure and crystallite orientation, influencing macroscopic material properties. The analysis of structural response of material with texture (e.g. rolled steel or heat affected zone of a welded joint) obliges the extension of the phenomenological material description of macroscopic scale by means of microscopic information. This paper introduces an enrichment approach for material models based on a hierarchical multiscale methodology. This has been done by describing the grain texture on a mesoscopic scale and coupling it with macroscopic constitutive relations by means of homogenization. Due to a variety of available homogenization methods, the question of an assessment of coupling quality arises. The applicability of the method and the effect of the coupling method on the reliability of the response are presented on an example.

The aim of this study is to show an application of model robustness measures for soilstructure interaction (henceforth written as SSI) models. Model robustness defines a measure for the ability of a model to provide useful model answers for input parameters which typically have a wide range in geotechnical engineering. The calculation of SSI is a major problem in geotechnical engineering. Several different models exist for the estimation of SSI. These can be separated into analytical, semi-analytical and numerical methods. This paper focuses on the numerical models of SSI specific macro-element type models and more advanced finite element method models using contact description as continuum or interface elements. A brief description of the models used is given in the paper. Following this description, the applied SSI problem is introduced. The observed event is a static loaded shallow foundation with an inclined load. The different partial models to consider the SSI effects are assessed using different robustness measures during numerical application. The paper shows the investigation of the capability to use these measures for the assessment of the model quality of SSI partial models. A variance based robustness and a mathematical robustness approaches are applied. These different robustness measures are used in a framework which allows also the investigation of computational time consuming models. Finally the result shows that the concept of using robustness approaches combined with other model–quality indicators (e.g. model sensitivity or model reliability) can lead to unique model–quality assessment for SSI models.

The topic of structural robustness is covered extensively in current literature in structural engineering. A few evaluation methods already exist. Since these methods are based on different evaluation approaches, the comparison is difficult. But all the approaches have one in common, they need a structural model which represents the structure to be evaluated. As the structural model is the basis of the robustness evaluation, there is the question if the quality of the chosen structural model is influencing the estimation of the structural robustness index. This paper shows what robustness in structural engineering means and gives an overview of existing assessment methods. One is the reliability based robustness index, which uses the reliability indices of a intact and a damaged structure. The second one is the risk based robustness index, which estimates the structural robustness by the usage of direct and indirect risk. The paper describes how these approaches for the evaluation of structural robustness works and which parameters will be used. Since both approaches needs a structural model for the estimation of the structural behavior and the probability of failure, it is necessary to think about the quality of the chosen structural model. Nevertheless, the chosen model has to represent the structure, the input factors and reflect the damages which occur. On the example of two different model qualities, it will be shown, that the model choice is really influencing the quality of the robustness index.

A numerical analysis of the mode of deformation of the main load-bearing components of a typical frame sloping shaft headgear was performed. The analysis was done by a design model consisting of plane and solid finite elements, which were modeled in the program «LIRA». Due to the numerical results, the regularities of local stress distribution under a guide pulley bearing were revealed and parameters of a plane stress under both emergency and normal working loads were determined. In the numerical simulation, the guidelines to improve the construction of the joints of guide pulleys resting on sub-pulley frame-type structures were established. Overall, the results obtained are the basis for improving the engineering procedures of designing steel structures of shaft sloping headgear.