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Content archived on 2024-06-10

Innovative Simulation Tools for the Durability-Design and Maintenance-Management of Reinforced Concrete Traffic Infrastructure


Reliability, safety and maintainability are three major objectives in the design of engineering structures. Taking into account the negative effects of maintenance and repair on traffic infrastructure - restrictions to the flow of traffic and therewith substantial financial losses for the national economies - it becomes apparent how important it is to design safe reliable and durable traffic structures. The economic goal of minimizing the sum of investment maintenance and repair costs requires to provide the design engineer with powerful nonlinear simulation tools. This Design for Durability will lead to products of higher quality with reduced total costs. The evaluation of different designs under aspects of reliability and safety asks for appropriate tools to simulate and then classify the damage evolution in structures. The generally applicable non-linear Finite Element Method allows to address all these aspects with acceptable efficiency on high performance computers currently available. The research sector II.4 Industrial technologies (industrial and materials technologies) defines the tasks as: "...develop support tools including sensor systems for improved product performance reliability and maintainability. To advance the capability and applicability of mathematical modelling supporting design including the integration of modelling techniques with defect and failure mode analysis needed for reliability and predictive maintenance.
This research proposal hits in an absolutely precise manner the center of this subject. In particular the work program proposed is directed towards a solution of problems of highest practical importance in the maintainability of traffic infrastructures in whole Central Europe.
The main goal of this project is to develop a computer environment for the durability-design and maintenance management of reinforced and prestressed concrete traffic infrastructures. The whole research project is divided into six major research tasks :

1. Development and implementation of reliable and theoretically based damage evolution
models for reinforced concrete.
2. Development of models for different deterioration processes such as creeping aging or
corrosion for reinforced concrete taking into account chemical reactions such as carbonation.
3. Development of robust error estimators and remeshing techniques for h-, p- and d-adaptivity
with special attention to moving loads.
4. Development of reliable explicit and implicit algorithms for the solution of large non-linear
problems on parallel and distributed computer architectures.
5. Development of a methodology for experimental determination of process parameters for the
numerical models and verification of numerical simulation tools by experimental studies.
6. Improvement of the mutual data exchange between CAD and structural analysis tools.

The presented objective of the project is to be achieved of an integrated balanced approach involving 7 partners 2 from Western Europe and 5 from Czech Republic Slovakia and Hungary. In particular an attempt has been made to ensure that the computational work is not only being developed but also applied to the solution of practical engineering problems. To this end the research group includes not only computational mechanics personnel via the inclusion of numerical modelling experts but also experimental specialists with close relation to an industrial enterprise with a long tradition and experience. Furthermore the inclusion of a successful software company indicates a real interest to make the developed software applicable in an everyday engineering design process.

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Ruhr-Universität Bochum
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150,Universitätsstrasse 150
44780 Bochum

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Participants (6)