D-regions are usually designed using strut-and-tie models (STM) . For complex structural geometries, however, generating suitable STM is challenging. The flow of forces must be known, taking into account the boundary conditions of adjacent structural areas. For this reason, FE stress computations serve as basis to derive statically consistent STM, which ensure equilibrium of forces. In the case of deep beams with openings, for example, this typically iterative procedure requires sufficient experience and engineering expertise. Developing STM thus often proves to be time-consuming and may be prone to errors.
A computational approach to automatically generate STM based on the method of topology optimization is presented. Starting from a ground structure consisting of struts and ties connected to each other to a predefined degree (
(i.e. the complexity of the resulting STM) can be controlled through intuitive parameters, such as the total number of permissible
struts and ties (
(deep beams, corbels, girders). Notes and recommendations
for practical application are given and the superiority of the automated,
optimization-aided generation of STM is demonstrated.