The Application of Topology Optimisation to the
Design of Steel I-Section Beam Web Openings
By: J.J. Kingman1, K.D. Tsavdaridis1 and V.V. Toropov1,2
1School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
2School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

kingman-2013 Paper


The research, described in this paper, focuses on the application of structural
topology optimisation to the design of steel I-section beam web openings. A
topology optimisation study is performed on the web of a steel I-section beam. A
beam web design is then proposed based on the results of the topology optimisation
study. A nonlinear finite element analysis technique is employed to determine the
load carrying performance of the optimised beam in comparison with the
conventional, widely used, cellular type beam. It is found that the optimised beam
performs better in terms of load carrying capacities and stress intensities. Barriers to
the implementation of the topology optimisation technique to the routine design of
beam web are discussed.
A parametric topology optimisation study is conducted in order to determine the
optimum opening topology for the wide range of beam cross sections that are found
in practice. Thereafter, a generalised optimum web opening configuration is
suggested based on the results of the parametric study. It is suggested that a shape
optimisation study should be a next step towards maximising the efficiency of
beams with this optimum web opening configuration.
Keywords: castellated beam, cellular beam, web opening, finite element analysis,
topology optimisation.


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