3D Concrete Printing (3DCP) is rapidly growing both as a research field and as a substitute for traditional casting of concrete. In this technique, cement paste is pumped into a hose and extruded through a nozzle to construct the structure in a layer-by-layer manner. The advantages of 3DCP are largely due to the unmatched levels of control on material, hierarchical structure, and topology that it offers. Different materials with different properties (e.g. high-performance concrete, light-weight concrete, etc.) can be used at different locations in the structure. Moreover, the material system can be further pre-designed by adding hierarchical architecture (e.g. incorporation of oriented filaments of concrete) to tailor its performance. Finally, at the structural level, 3DCP allows for the generation of complex optimized topologies, which are not attainable using cast concrete.
One of the many promising hierarchic architectural features that can improve structural performance is a bio-inspired structural system called a Bouligand structure. Bouligand structures are formed of layers, each composed of aligned filaments. Each layer is printed with filaments in a given direction which varies from its neighboring layers by a given angle, called the pitch angle. Although behavior traits of Bouligand structures have been widely studied experimentally, a macroscopic material model that incorporates different aspects of their microstructure is still lacking, particularly for those made by 3DCP. In addition, due to their complex microstructure, numerical models and topology optimization schemes required for optimizing structures made by these, and other architectured material systems, are not fully developed yet.
The focus of this project is to use 3DCP to optimize structural members made of materials with hierarchical architectures (e.g. Bouligand structures). Particularly, we will focus on the analysis and design of membrane structures, beams, plates, and shells. Optimizing such structures consists of the following 3 phases:
The development of a micromechanics-based continuum model makes it possible to (i) incorporate the directional (anisotropic) behavior of different layers into the macroscopic response of the material system and (ii) capture the effects of interfaces between filaments and between layers. Experiments on the behavior of layers of filaments with various directions will be performed to calibrate the microstructural model. Furthermore, experimental measurements of the performance of optimized structures, done in 3DCP lab in the Department of Built Environment at TU/e, will be used to validate the results of the two-scale modeling approach and the topology optimization procedure.
At the Chair of Applied Mechanics in the Department of the Built Environment
Within the department of the Built Environment, the chair of Applied Mechanics is responsible for education and research in the field mechanics, working on multi-scale, multi-physics and optimization problems related to the built environment. The chair provides the mechanics courses in the Department of the Built Environment, and is a member of the Graduate School on Engineering Mechanics, Netherlands. This graduate school offers the PhD students an advanced training program in the field of Engineering Mechanics, of which the core is formed by a joint series of advanced graduate courses that are closely connected to state-of-the-art research themes.
The PhD project at the Chair of Applied Mechanics of the Department of the Built Environment will focus on optimizing structural members made by 3DCP of architectured material systems. In the first step, a micromechanics-based continuum model will be developed which incorporates the printed configuration, the interfaces, and the layer-by-layer production procedure into the macroscopic material behavior. This model will then be used to (i) design the microstructure for tailored material response and (ii) optimizing structural topology. For the latter, we will implement the material model into FEM to enable the analysis of structural members made by 3DCP of architectured materials while taking into account their microstructural features. Finally, topology optimization, equipped with the derived material model, will be used to derive optimal topologies, uniquely attainable via 3DCP, for various structural members (including membrane structures, beams, plates, and shells).
A MSc-degree in Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on the mechanics of solids and structures;
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr. Payam Poorsolhjouy (Assistant Professor in the Chair of Applied Mechanics) via p.poorsolhjouy[at]tue.nl, or prof.dr. Akke Suiker (Professor in the Chair of Applied Mechanics) via a.s.j.suiker[at]tue.nl
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