Construction sequence and evolutionary processes
Structures are generally built stage by stage. This is clear for large structures (e.g., buildings are erected floor by floor), but also at the structural component level (e.g., welding of plates in steel structures). Typical structural analysis neglects the influence of the sequence of construction and other evolutionary processes on the final response. This simplifying assumption is admissible in many cases. However, when the complexity of the structure increases (e.g. long span bridges, high rise buildings, dams, complex steel structures,…), it can lead to significant discrepancies with the actual response. Moreover, in some cases temporary states during the construction can represent a more unfavourable case than those after the construction finalizes.
A more realistic simulation of the actual response accounting for the construction sequence and other evolutionary processes can be obtained by using advanced analysis tools. Due to the complexity of these phenomenon, sound engineering judgement is also needed to identify the most relevant aspects on which to focus. Establishing correlation with experimental and site measurements may be necessary in some cases.
ESTEYCO has demonstrated experience in the analysis of complex structures considering the construction sequence and evolutionary processes. Some examples are the ITER Tokamak Complex (reinforced concrete, nuclear building with a total mass of nearly 400.000 tonnes, where shrinkage and creep effects are relevant), reinforced concrete dams and underground structures. ESTEYCO has also experience in detailed simulation of the welding process for applications in the nuclear sector. This proves that ESTEYCO’s capabilities can provide great value to construction companies, other engineering firms or infrastructure owners, both for assessment of existing structures and design of new ones.