Design and optimization of fabric formed beams and trusses: evolutionary algorithms and form finding

Veenendaal D., Coenders J.L., Vambersky J.N.J.A. and West M.
Structural Concrete - Journal of the fib
doi: 10.1002/suco.201100020

Fabric formwork entails the use of fabrics as the main contact material for a concrete mould. The fabric is either hung or prestressed in a supporting falsework frame. Beams or trusses cast in fabric formwork are inherently non-prismatic and have been shown to offer potential for structurally efficient shapes. The casting of beams or trusses in fabric formwork is a highly non-linear problem due to the interaction of the fluid concrete with the woven, prestressed fabric material. Numerical models need to be developed for the engineering of these elements. To this end, it is demonstrated that it is feasible to integrate manufacturing constraints in an automatic optimization process. This is achieved by creating an automated computational framework that includes fabric form-finding and finite element analysis, which operate within an optimization process that uses principles from biological evolution. The results show structurally efficient and manufacturable beams and demonstrate potential for optimization in general that explicitly includes fabrication considerations.


    author  = "Veenendaal, D. and Coenders, J.L. and Vambersky, J.N.J.A. and West, M.",
    title   = "Design and optimization of fabric formed beams and trusses: evolutionary algorithms and form finding",
    journal = "Structural Concrete - Journal of the fib",
    year    = "2011",
    volume  = "12",
    number  = "4",
    pages   = "241-254",
    month   = "",
    doi     = "10.1002/suco.201100020",
    note    = "",

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