Topology optimization of structural components taking into account their fire safety and manufacturability



As the global cement industry is responsible for a large amount of the CO2 emissions worldwide, sustainable solutions for the reduction of cement content in concrete structures are sought. One of the potential approaches is to reduce the required volume of concrete by means of structural optimization. In this research project, topology optimization is used to design efficient structural concrete components with respect to fire safety and manufacturability (e.g. printability). This mathematical framework can be summarized as follows: for a certain design domain and objective(s), the material is positioned exactly where it is needed, given a set of boundary conditions, constraints and loads.

An important extension to previous research is the inclusion of fire conditions in the optimization problem. Some of the challenges are the non-linear and temperature-dependent material behaviour of concrete, the lay-out optimization for reinforcement, the transient behaviour of a fire, the design-dependent loading and boundary conditions, etc.

Research objectives:

  • Develop a design procedure for the structural optimization of concrete components with respect to fire safety
  • Evaluate the manufacturability of optimized concrete components (e.g. by means of 3D concrete printing)
  • Determine the fire resistance of structural components with an optimized topology.

This research will eventually lead to more efficient and sustainable concrete structures from a design perspective.