Analysis, Design & Performance
Full Session with Abstracts
338904-1 - Creating 3D printer-ready robust structural connections for extreme loads due to fire using topology optimization
Saturday, April 21
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines 3D printing technology or additive manufacturing as “a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies, such as traditional machining.” 3D printing technology has started to revolutionize the way to create small-scale customized products. In recent years, the capabilities of 3D printers evolved to form large elements made of structural materials such as steel. This development has led leaders of the construction industry prepare for a fully computerized building process. 3D printers form metal components by melting and fusing metal powder with lasers in a layer-by-layer approach. Currently, 3D printing of metals is used in the aerospace industry due to its benefits in reducing fuel consumption by creating lightweight and aerodynamic body parts. In near future, the price of 3D printing of metals may significantly drop and manufacturing complex structural components for the construction industry will be economical.
Unlike gravity, earthquake or wind loading, fire in a structural system creates complex combinations of large multi-directional forces and moments due to continuous interaction of members, which deflect, elongate and contract with temperature. In current practice, structural steel connections are not explicitly designed for fire induced loading. Rapidly developing 3D printing technology enables to manufacture complex geometries created in CAD software utilizing optimization techniques. The objective of this paper is to use the state-of-the-art optimization techniques to create reliable, lightweight and robust connections against fire induced loading conditions using the finite element method. As a case study, a beam-to-column moment connection in a compartment subjected to an office design fire is optimized. The local stress concentration, strain energy and weight of the connection is compared to several traditional moment connections. This study, which is intended for the researchers as well as for the design professionals, will provide a better understanding of the resilience of steel connections under fire loading.