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VARIATIONAL POSITING AND SOLUTION OF COUPLED THERMOMECHANICAL PROBLEMS IN A REFERENCE CONFIGURATION
(2015)

Variational formulation of a coupled thermomechanical problem of anisotropic solids for the case of non-isothermal finite deformations in a reference configuration is shown. The formulation of the problem includes: a condition of equilibrium flow of a deformation process in the reference configuration; an equation of a coupled heat conductivity in a variational form, in which an influence of deformation characteristics of a process on the temperature field is taken into account; tensor-linear constitutive relations for a hypoelastic material; kinematic and evolutional relations; initial and boundary conditions. Based on this formulation several axisymmetric isothermal and coupled problems of finite deformations of isotropic and anisotropic bodies are solved. The solution of coupled thermomechanical problems for a hollow cylinder in case of finite deformation showed an essential influence of coupling on distribution of temperature, stresses and strains. The obtained solutions show the development of stressstrain state and temperature changing in axisymmetric bodies in the case of finite deformations.

Portugal is one of the European countries with higher spatial and population freeway network coverage. The sharp growth of this network in the last years instigates the use of methods of analysis and the evaluation of their quality of service in terms of the traffic performance, typically performed through internationally accepted methodologies, namely that presented in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). Lately, the use of microscopic traffic simulation models has been increasingly widespread. These models simulate the individual movement of the vehicles, allowing to perform traffic analysis. The main target of this study was to verify the possibility of using microsimulation as an auxiliary tool in the adaptation of the methodology by HCM 2000 to Portugal. For this purpose, were used the microscopic simulators AIMSUN and VISSIM for the simulation of the traffic circulation in the A5 Portuguese freeway. The results allowed the analysis of the influence of the main geometric and traffic factors involved in the methodology by HCM 2000. In conclusion, the study presents the main advantages and limitations of the microsimulators AIMSUN and VISSIM in modelling the traffic circulation in Portuguese freeways. The main limitation is that these microsimulators are not able to simulate explicitly some of the factors considered in the HCM 2000 methodology, which invalidates their direct use as a tool in the quantification of those effects and, consequently, makes the direct adaptation of this methodology to Portugal impracticable.

A central issue for the autonomous navigation of mobile robots is to map unknown environments while simultaneously estimating its position within this map. This chicken-eggproblem is known as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM). Asctec’s quadrotor Pelican is a powerful and flexible research UAS (unmanned aircraft system) which enables the development of new real-time on-board algorithms for SLAM as well as autonomous navigation. The relative UAS pose estimation for SLAM, usually based on low-cost sensors like inertial measurement units (IMU) and barometers, is known to be affected by high drift rates. In order to significantly reduce these effects, we incorporate additional independent pose estimation techniques using exteroceptive sensors. In this article we present first pose estimation results using a stereo camera setup as well as a laser range finder, individually. Even though these methods fail in few certain configurations we demonstrate their effectiveness and value for the reduction of IMU drift rates and give an outlook for further works towards SLAM.

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.

It is well-known that the solution of the fundamental equations of linear elasticity for a homogeneous isotropic material in plane stress and strain state cases can be equivalently reduced to the solution of a biharmonic equation. The discrete version of the Theorem of Goursat is used to describe the solution of the discrete biharmonic equation by the help of two discrete holomorphic functions. In order to obtain a Taylor expansion of discrete holomorphic functions we introduce a basis of discrete polynomials which fulfill the so-called Appell property with respect to the discrete adjoint Cauchy-Riemann operator. All these steps are very important in the field of fracture mechanics, where stress and displacement fields in the neighborhood of singularities caused by cracks and notches have to be calculated with high accuracy. Using the sum representation of holomorphic functions it seems possible to reproduce the order of singularity and to determine important mechanical characteristics.

The stress state of a piecewise-homogeneous elastic body, which has a semi-infinite crack along the interface, under in-plane and antiplane loads is considered. One of the crack edges is reinforced by a rigid patch plate on a finite interval adjacent to the crack tip. The crack edges are loaded with specified stresses. The body is stretched at infinity by specified stresses. External forces with a given principal vector and moment act on the patch plate. The problem reduces to a Riemann-Hilbert boundary-value matrix problem with a piecewise-constant coefficient for two complex potentials in the plane case and for one in the antiplane case. The complex potentials are found explicitly using a Gaussian hypergeometric function. The stress state of the body close to the ends of the patch plate, one of which is also simultaneously the crack tip, is investigated. Stress intensity factors near the singular points are determined.

This article presents the Rigid Finite Element Method in the calculation of reinforced concrete beam deflection with cracks. Initially, this method was used in the shipbuilding industry. Later, it was adapted in the homogeneous calculations of the bar structures. In this method, rigid mass discs serve as an element model. In the flat layout, three generalized coordinates (two translational and one rotational) correspond to each disc. These discs are connected by elastic ties. The genuine idea is to take into account a discrete crack in the Rigid Finite Element Method. It consists in the suitable reduction of the rigidity in rotational ties located in the spots, where cracks occurred. The susceptibility of this tie results from the flexural deformability of the element and the occurrence of the crack. As part of the numerical analyses, the influence of cracks on the total deflection of beams was determined. Furthermore, the results of the calculations were compared to the results of the experiment. Overestimations of the calculated deflections against the measured deflections were found. The article specifies the size of the overestimation and describes its causes.

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.

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.

What is nowadays called (classic) Clifford analysis consists in the establishment of a function theory for functions belonging to the kernel of the Dirac operator. While such functions can very well describe problems of a particle with internal SU(2)-symmetries, higher order symmetries are beyond this theory. Although many modifications (such as Yang-Mills theory) were suggested over the years they could not address the principal problem, the need of a n-fold factorization of the d’Alembert operator. In this paper we present the basic tools of a fractional function theory in higher dimensions, for the transport operator (alpha = 1/2 ), by means of a fractional correspondence to the Weyl relations via fractional Riemann-Liouville derivatives. A Fischer decomposition, fractional Euler and Gamma operators, monogenic projection, and basic fractional homogeneous powers are constructed.

SELECTION AND SCALING OF GROUND MOTION RECORDS FOR SEISMIC ANALYSIS USING AN OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM
(2015)

The nonlinear time history analysis and seismic performance based methods require a set of scaled ground motions. The conventional procedure of ground motion selection is based on matching the motion properties, e.g. magnitude, amplitude, fault distance, and fault mechanism. The seismic target spectrum is only used in the scaling process following the random selection process. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to present a procedure to select a sets of ground motions from a built database of ground motions. The selection procedure is based on running an optimization problem using Dijkstra’s algorithm to match the selected set of ground motions to a target response spectrum. The selection and scaling procedure of optimized sets of ground motions is presented by examining the analyses of nonlinear single degree of freedom systems.

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.

The paper introduces a systematic construction management approach, supporting expansion of a specified construction process, both automatically and semi-automatically. Throughout the whole design process, many requirements must be taken into account in order to fulfil demands defined by clients. In implementing those demands into a design concept up to the execution plan, constraints such as site conditions, building code, and legal framework are to be considered. However, complete information, which is needed to make a sound decision, is not yet acquired in the early phase. Decisions are traditionally taken based on experience and assumptions. Due to a vast number of appropriate available solutions, particularly in building projects, it is necessary to make those decisions traceable. This is important in order to be able to reconstruct considerations and assumptions taken, should there be any changes in the future project’s objectives. The research will be carried out by means of building information modelling, where rules deriving from standard logics of construction management knowledge will be applied. The knowledge comprises a comprehensive interaction amongst bidding process, cost-estimation, construction site preparation as well as specific project logistics – which are usually still separately considered. By means of these rules, favourable decision taking regarding prefabrication and in-situ implementation can be justified. Modifications depending on the available information within current design stage will consistently be traceable.

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.