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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.

We present an extended finite element formulation for dynamic fracture of piezo-electric materials. The method is developed in the context of linear elastic fracture mechanics. It is applied to mode I and mixed mode-fracture for quasi-steady cracks. An implicit time integration scheme is exploited. The results are compared to results obtained with the boundary element method and show excellent agreement.

In this paper we present an inverse method which is capable of identifying system components in a hydro-mechanically coupled system, i.e. for fluid flow in porous media. As an example we regard water dams that were constructed more than hundred years ago but which are still in use. Over the time ageing processes have changed the condition of these dams. Within the dams fissures might have grown. The proposed method is designed to locate these fissures out of combined mechanical and hydraulic measurements. In a numerical example the fissures or damaged zones are described by a smeared crack model. The task is now to identify simultaneously the spatial distribution of Young’s modulus and the hydraulic permeability due to the fact, that in regions where damages are present, the mechanical stiffness of the system is reduced and the permeability increased. The inversion is shown to be an ill-posed problem. As a consequence regularizing methods have to be applied, where the nonlinear Landweber method (a gradient type method combined with a discrepancy principle) has proven to be an efficient choice.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Safety operation of important civil structures such as bridges can be estimated by using fracture analysis. Since the analytical methods are not capable of solving many complicated engineering problems, numerical methods have been increasingly adopted. In this paper, a part of isotropic material which contains a crack is considered as a partial model and the proposed model quality is evaluated. EXtended IsoGeometric Analysis (XIGA) is a new developed numerical approach [1, 2] which benefits from advantages of its origins: eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) and IsoGeometric Analysis (IGA). It is capable of simulating crack propagation problems with no remeshing necessity and capturing singular field at the crack tip by using the crack tip enrichment functions. Also, exact representation of geometry is possible using only few elements. XIGA has also been successfully applied for fracture analysis of cracked orthotropic bodies [3] and for simulation of curved cracks [4]. XIGA applies NURBS functions for both geometry description and solution field approximation. The drawback of NURBS functions is that local refinement cannot be defined regarding that it is based on tensorproduct constructs unless multiple patches are used which has also some limitations. In this contribution, the XIGA is further developed to make the local refinement feasible by using Tspline basis functions. Adopting a recovery based error estimator in the proposed approach for evaluation of the model quality and performing the adaptive processes is in progress. Finally, some numerical examples with available analytical solutions are investigated by the developed scheme.

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.

Many structures in different engineering applications suffer from cracking. In order to make reliable prognosis about the serviceability of those structures it is of utmost importance to identify cracks as precisely as possible by non-destructive testing. A novel approach (XIGA), which combines the Isogeometric Analysis (IGA) and the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) is used for the forward problem, namely the analysis of a cracked material, see [1]. Applying the NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) based approach from IGA together with the XFEM allows to describe effectively arbitrarily shaped cracks and avoids the necessity of remeshing during the crack identification problem. We want to exploit these advantages for the inverse problem of detecting existing cracks by non-destructive testing, see e.g. [2]. The quality of the reconstructed cracks however depends on two major issues, namely the quality of the measured data (measurement error) and the discretization of the crack model. The first one will be taken into account by applying regularizing methods with a posteriori stopping criteria. The second one is critical in the sense that too few degrees of freedom, i.e. the number of control points of the NURBS, do not allow for a precise description of the crack. An increased number of control points, however, increases the number of unknowns in the inverse analysis and intensifies the ill-posedness. The trade-off between accuracy and stability is aimed to be found by applying an inverse multilevel algorithm [3, 4] where the identification is started with short knot vectors which successively will be enlarged during the identification process.