Topology Optimization Based Additive Construction for Sustainable Infrastructure

I.M. Mantawy, J. Migliorino, A.K. Mackin, A. Ahmed, Z. Hanoun
Rowan University,
United States

Keywords: topology optimization based additive construction for sustainable infrastructure


For decades, concrete structures have been constructed using cementitious based materials through conventional methods using formworks (either cast-in-place or precast). Concrete with sufficient slump is needed to fill up the formworks. This approach results in significant material wastage (where the material is placed at areas with low to very low stresses) and increases carbon foot-print of structures. Additive construction provides unique opportunities to build form-free structural elements with complex geometry which enable topology and structural optimization. Topology optimization is a shape optimization method that uses algorithmic models to optimize material layout within a user-defined space for a given set of loads, conditions, and constraints. Topology optimization maximizes the performance and efficiency of the design by removing redundant material from areas that do not need to carry significant loads to reduce weight or solve design challenges like reducing resonance or thermal stress. Topology optimization seeks to magnify the performance of the design while also minimizing the amount of material used. This presentation includes 1) development of 3D-printed versions of concrete with lower embodied carbon; 2) utilization of advanced modelling techniques for topology and structural optimization of structural elements; 3) utilization of strut-and-tie methods for topology and structural optimization, and 4) small scale and large scale additive construction for optimized structural beams. The presentation will conclude with detailed comparison between conventionally constructed beam and additively constructed beam in terms of materials saving and emission reduction.