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From the design experiences of arch dams in the past, it has significant practical value to carry out the shape optimization of arch dams, which can fully make use of material characteristics and reduce the cost of constructions. Suitable variables need to be chosen to formulate the objective function, e.g. to minimize the total volume of the arch dam. Additionally a series of constraints are derived and a reasonable and convenient penalty function has been formed, which can easily enforce the characteristics of constraints and optimal design. For the optimization method, a Genetic Algorithm is adopted to perform a global search. Simultaneously, ANSYS is used to do the mechanical analysis under the coupling of thermal and hydraulic loads. One of the constraints of the newly designed dam is to fulfill requirements on the structural safety. Therefore, a reliability analysis is applied to offer a good decision supporting for matters concerning predictions of both safety and service life of the arch dam. By this, the key factors which would influence the stability and safety of arch dam significantly can be acquired, and supply a good way to take preventive measures to prolong ate the service life of an arch dam and enhances the safety of structure.

This study contributes to the identification of coupled THM constitutive model parameters via back analysis against information-rich experiments. A sampling based back analysis approach is proposed comprising both the model parameter identification and the assessment of the reliability of identified model parameters. The results obtained in the context of buffer elements indicate that sensitive parameter estimates generally obey the normal distribution. According to the sensitivity of the parameters and the probability distribution of the samples we can provide confidence intervals for the estimated parameters and thus allow a qualitative estimation on the identified parameters which are in future work used as inputs for prognosis computations of buffer elements. These elements play e.g. an important role in the design of nuclear waste repositories.

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.

In construction engineering, a schedule’s input data, which is usually not exactly known in the planning phase, is considered deterministic when generating the schedule. As a result, construction schedules become unreliable and deadlines are often not met. While the optimization of construction schedules with respect to costs and makespan has been a matter of research in the past decades, the optimization of the robustness of construction schedules has received little attention. In this paper, the effects of uncertainties inherent to the input data of construction schedules are discussed. Possibilities are investigated to improve the reliability of construction schedules by considering alternative processes for certain tasks and by identifying the combination of processes generating the most robust schedule with respect to the makespan of a construction project.

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.

In order to minimize the probability of foundation failure resulting from cyclic action on structures, researchers have developed various constitutive models to simulate the foundation response and soil interaction as a result of these complex cyclic loads. The efficiency and effectiveness of these model is majorly influenced by the cyclic constitutive parameters. Although a lot of research is being carried out on these relatively new models, little or no details exist in literature about the model based identification of the cyclic constitutive parameters. This could be attributed to the difficulties and complexities of the inverse modeling of such complex phenomena. A variety of optimization strategies are available for the solution of the sum of least-squares problems as usually done in the field of model calibration. However for the back analysis (calibration) of the soil response to oscillatory load functions, this paper gives insight into the model calibration challenges and also puts forward a method for the inverse modeling of cyclic loaded foundation response such that high quality solutions are obtained with minimum computational effort. Therefore model responses are produced which adequately describes what would otherwise be experienced in the laboratory or field.