Topology optimization and Strut-and-Tie modelling for designing reinforced concrete structures

Max A.N. Hendriks (PhD candidate), Yi Xia (PhD candidate) and Matthijs Langelaar (supervisor)

The Strut-and-Tie modelling approach is widely used for designing concrete structures. By combining it with dedicated topology optimization techniques, this project aims to develop an integrated design method to systematically design safe and economical concrete structures.


To develop an effective and efficient method for designing concrete structures. To that end we will use topology optimization and the strut-and-tie method.


Illustration of the developed optimization-based procedure to generate Strut-and-Tie models for reinforced concrete design in 2D (a,b) and 3D (c,d). Through an automated procedure, a Strut-and-Tie model is generated consisting of connected straight members, representing the principal load path in the structure. Members under compression represent concrete, those in loaded tension can be interpreted as steel reinforcement. The procedure involves Topology optimization, Feature recognition (members, nodes), shape optimization to obtain a stable truss and include technological constraints, and dimensioning. The obtained structures have exceptional strength-to-steel ratios.

Figure 1. Comparison between strut-and-tie models and those obtained by topology optimization.
(a) Topology optimization (2D)(b) STM model (2D)
(c) Topology optimization (3D)(d) STM model (3D)



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