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The latest earthquakes have proven that several existing buildings, particularly in developing countries, are not secured from damages of earthquake. A variety of statistical and machine-learning approaches have been proposed to identify vulnerable buildings for the prioritization of retrofitting. The present work aims to investigate earthquake susceptibility through the combination of six building performance variables that can be used to obtain an optimal prediction of the damage state of reinforced concrete buildings using artificial neural network (ANN). In this regard, a multi-layer perceptron network is trained and optimized using a database of 484 damaged buildings from the Düzce earthquake in Turkey. The results demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the selected ANN approach to classify concrete structural damage that can be used as a preliminary assessment technique to identify vulnerable buildings in disaster risk-management programs.

Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) is a procedure that estimates structural scores for buildings and prioritizes their retrofit and upgrade requirements. Despite the speed and simplicity of RVS, many of the collected parameters are non-commensurable and include subjectivity due to visual observations. This might cause uncertainties in the evaluation, which emphasizes the use of a fuzzy-based method. This study aims to propose a novel RVS methodology based on the interval type-2 fuzzy logic system (IT2FLS) to set the priority of vulnerable building to undergo detailed assessment while covering uncertainties and minimizing their effects during evaluation. The proposed method estimates the vulnerability of a building, in terms of Damage Index, considering the number of stories, age of building, plan irregularity, vertical irregularity, building quality, and peak ground velocity, as inputs with a single output variable. Applicability of the proposed method has been investigated using a post-earthquake damage database of reinforced concrete buildings from the Bingöl and Düzce earthquakes in Turkey.

The world society faces a huge challenge to implement the human right of “access to sanitation”. More and more it is accepted that the conventional approach towards providing sanitation services is not suitable to solve this problem. This dissertation examines the possibility to enhance “access to sanitation” for people who are living in areas with underdeveloped water and wastewater infrastructure systems. The idea hereby is to follow an integrated approach for sanitation, which allows for a mutual completion of existing infrastructure with resource-based sanitation systems.
The notion “integrated sanitation system (iSaS)” is defined in this work and guiding principles for iSaS are formulated. Further on the implementation of iSaS is assessed at the example of a case study in the city of Darkhan in Mongolia. More than half of Mongolia’s population live in settlements where yurts (tents of Nomadic people) are predominant. In these settlements (or “ger areas”) sanitation systems are not existent and the hygienic situation is precarious.
An iSaS has been developed for the ger areas in Darkhan and tested over more than two years. Further on a software-based model has been developed with the goal to describe and assess different variations of the iSaS. The results of the assessment of material-flows, monetary-flows and communication-flows within the iSaS are presented in this dissertation. The iSaS model is adaptable and transferable to the socio-economic conditions in other regions and climate zones.

This thesis presents two new methods in finite elements and isogeometric analysis for structural analysis. The first method proposes an alternative alpha finite element method using triangular elements. In this method, the piecewise constant strain field of linear triangular finite element method models is enhanced by additional strain terms with an adjustable parameter a, which results in an effectively softer stiffness formulation compared to a linear triangular element. In order to avoid the transverse shear locking of Reissner-Mindlin plates analysis the alpha finite element method is coupled with a discrete shear gap technique for triangular elements to significantly improve the accuracy of the standard triangular finite elements.
The basic idea behind this element formulation is to approximate displacements and rotations as in the standard finite element method, but to construct the bending, geometrical and shear strains using node-based smoothing domains. Several numerical examples are presented and show that the alpha FEM gives a good agreement compared to several other methods in the literature.
Second method, isogeometric analysis based on rational splines over hierarchical T-meshes (RHT-splines) is proposed. The RHT-splines are a generalization of Non-Uniform Rational B-splines (NURBS) over hierarchical T-meshes, which is a piecewise bicubic polynomial over a hierarchical
T-mesh. The RHT-splines basis functions not only inherit all the properties of NURBS such as non-negativity, local support and partition of unity but also more importantly as the capability of joining geometric objects without gaps, preserving higher order continuity everywhere and allow local refinement and adaptivity. In order to drive the adaptive refinement, an efficient recovery-based error estimator is employed. For this problem an imaginary surface is defined. The imaginary surface is basically constructed by RHT-splines basis functions which is used for approximation and interpolation functions as well as the construction of the recovered stress components. Numerical investigations prove that the proposed method is capable to obtain results with higher accuracy and convergence rate than NURBS results.

Damping in Bolted Joints
(2013)

With the help of modern CAE-based simulation processes, it is possible to predict the dynamic behavior of fatigue strength problems in order to improve products of many industries, e.g. the building, the machine construction or the automotive industry. Amongst others, it can be used to improve the acoustic design of automobiles in an early development stage.
Nowadays, the acoustics of automobiles plays a crucial role in the process of vehicle development. Because of the advanced demand of comfort and due to statutory rules the manufacturers are faced with the challenge of optimizing their car’s sound emissions. The optimization includes not only the reduction of noises. Lately with the trend to hybrid and electric cars, it has been shown that vehicles can become too quiet. Thus, the prediction of structural and acoustic properties based on FE-simulations is becoming increasingly important before any experimental prototype is examined. With the state of the art, qualitative comparisons between different implementations are possible. However, an accurate and reliable quantitative prediction is still a challenge.
One aspect in the context of increasing the prediction quality of acoustic (or general oscillating) problems - especially in power-trains of automobiles - is the more accurate implementation of damping in joint structures. While material damping occurs globally and homogenous in a structural system, the damping due to joints is a very local problem, since energy is especially dissipated in the vicinity of joints.
This paper focusses on experimental and numerical studies performed on a single (extracted) screw connection. Starting with experimental studies that are used to identify the underlying physical model of the energy loss, the locally influencing parameters (e.g. the damping factor) should be identified. In contrast to similar research projects, the approach tends to a more local consideration within the joint interface. Tangential stiffness and energy loss within the interface are spatially distributed and interactions between the influencing parameters are regarded. As a result, the damping matrix is no longer proportional to mass or stiffness matrix, since it is composed of the global material damping and the local joint damping. With this new approach, the prediction quality can be increased, since the local distribution of the physical parameters within the joint interface corresponds much closer to the reality.

Thin-walled cylindrical composite shell structures are often applied in aerospace for lighter and cheaper launcher transport system. These structures exhibit sensitivity to geometrical imperfection and are prone to buckling under axial compression. Today the design is based on NASA guidelines from the 1960’s [1] using a conservative lower bound curve embodying many experimental results of that time. It is well known that the advantages and different characteristics of composites as well as the evolution of manufacturing standards are not considered apporopriately in this outdated approach. The DESICOS project was initiated to provide new design guidelines regarding all the advantages of composites and allow further weight reduction of space structures by guaranteeing a more precise and robust design.
Therefore it is necessary among other things to understand how a cutout with different dimensions affects the buckling load of a thin-walled cylindrical shell structure in combination with initial geometric imperfections. This work is intended to identify a ratio between the cutout characteristic dimension (in this case the cutout diameter) and the structure characteristic dimension (in this case the cylinder radius) that can be used to tell if the buckling structure is dominated by initial imperfections or is dominated by the cutout.

In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird das Tragverhalten und das Sicherheitsniveau axial belasteter Großbohrpfähle in den pleistozänen Kalkarenit der Küstenregion von Dubai untersucht. Zunächst wird auf der Grundlage von Ergebnissen umfangreicher Baugrundanalysen und Probebelastungen das Tragverhalten detailliert beschrieben. Anschließend wird ein auf der Finiten-Elemente-Methode basierendes Strukturmodell zur Simulation des Last-Setzungsverhaltens von Großbohrpfählen im Sinne eines numerischen Versuchsstandes entwickelt. Um herstellungsbedingte Veränderungen der Baugrundeigenschaften in der Kontaktzone Pfahl-Baugrund zu berücksichtigen, die mit boden- und felsmechanischen Elementversuchen gewöhnlich nicht erfassbar sind, werden die Größen der relevanten konstitutiven Parameterwerte iterativ mittels inverser Optimierungsstrategien bestimmt. Abschließend wird eine methodische Vorgehensweise aufgezeigt, wie das Sicherheitsniveau axial belasteter Großbohrpfählen unter Berücksichtigung der räumlichen Variabilität der Baugrundeigenschaften zuverlässig abgeschätzt werden kann.

The importance of modern simulation methods in the mechanical analysis of heterogeneous solids is presented in detail. Thereby the problem is noted that even for small bodies the required high-resolution analysis reaches the limits of today's computational power, in terms of memory demand as well as acceptable computational effort. A further problem is that frequently the accuracy of geometrical modelling of heterogeneous bodies is inadequate. The present work introduces a systematic combination and adaption of grid-based methods for achieving an essentially higher resolution in the numerical analysis of heterogeneous solids. Grid-based methods are as well primely suited for developing efficient and numerically stable algorithms for flexible geometrical modeling. A key aspect is the uniform data management for a grid, which can be utilized to reduce the effort and complexity of almost all concerned methods. A new finite element program, called Mulgrido, was just developed to realize this concept consistently and to test the proposed methods. Several disadvantages which generally result from grid discretizations are selectively corrected by modified methods. The present work is structured into a geometrical model, a mechanical model and a numerical model. The geometrical model includes digital image-based modeling and in particular several methods for the theory-based generation of inclusion-matrix models. Essential contributions refer to variable shape, size distribution, separation checks and placement procedures of inclusions. The mechanical model prepares the fundamentals of continuum mechanics, homogenization and damage modeling for the following numerical methods. The first topic of the numerical model introduces to a special version of B-spline finite elements. These finite elements are entirely variable in the order k of B-splines. For homogeneous bodies this means that the approximation quality can arbitrarily be scaled. In addition, the multiphase finite element concept in combination with transition zones along material interfaces yields a valuable solution for heterogeneous bodies. As the formulation is element-based, the storage of a global stiffness matrix is superseded such that the memory demand can essentially be reduced. This is possible in combination with iterative solver methods which represent the second topic of the numerical model. Here, the focus lies on multigrid methods where the number of required operations to solve a linear equation system only increases linearly with problem size. Moreover, for badly conditioned problems quite an essential improvement is achieved by preconditioning. The third part of the numerical model discusses certain aspects of damage simulation which are closely related to the proposed grid discretization. The strong efficiency of the linear analysis can be maintained for damage simulation. This is achieved by a damage-controlled sequentially linear iteration scheme. Finally a study on the effective material behavior of heterogeneous bodies is presented. Especially the influence of inclusion shapes is examined. By means of altogether more than one hundred thousand random geometrical arrangements, the effective material behavior is statistically analyzed and assessed.