WP2 - Structural performance prediction by a multifunctional beam and plate FE model

Stef Helderweirt

Main researcher: ir. Stef Helderweirt

Affiliation: Ghent University

Title PhD dissertation: Multi-layer Bayesian life-cycle assessment of existing concrete structures using beam and plate FE models

Supervisors: Prof. dr. ir. Robby Caspeele, dr. ir. Wouter Botte, prof. dr. ir.-arch. Els Verstrynge, 

Work package description

When designing new structures, common beam and plate finite element models are used to calculate the structure’s deformations and internal forces. For existing structures however, such models are mostly absent. Hence, in this part of the research, a new multifunctional beam and plate FE model is developed for the assessment of existing concrete structures. This model will start from an existing FE model (the Direct Stiffness Method), and will extend it to account for time-dependent damage and degradation effects. Like this, the structural performance of existing corroded structures can be predicted in time.
In order to make these predictions, incorporating information about the condition of the structure is crucial. Hence, the model will be able to use all types of information from inspections and monitoring to predict the current condition of the structure as accurately as possible. Bayesian techniques will be used to deal with this, including the spatial and temporal variation of this information. The framework will then be further extended towards a probabilistic calculation method, enabling reliability-based performance predictions.
Lastly, the developed model will be validated both numerically and experimentally.

main objectives

This workpackage aims for the following Deliverables (D) and Milestones (M):

  • D2.1 – Algorithm for matrix-based extension of the direct stiffness algorithm to account for the time-dependent and spatial character of cross-sectional properties
  • D2.2 – Algorithm for Bayesian updating of Direct Stiffness Method framework
  • D2.3 – Validation report of developed beam and plate FEM by numerical nonlinear FEM
  • D2.4 – Algorithm for structural reliability calculations on the basis of the developed Direct Stiffness Method