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Simulation of the structural behaviour of columns of rack-type metallic structures

AST collaborated with a well-known manufacturer of metallic structures and the University of Oviedo to develop a numerical model that allowed to properly analyze the behaviour of the connection between columns and foundation in metallic structures, which constitute any frame in shelving systems.

For structure optimization the value of the flexure stiffness of these joints had to be estimated. Before this project was carried out, this was only possible through experimental testing, which was very expensive due to the amount of different existing joints.

The objective of the project was therefore to obtain a FEA model which reproduced the lab tests with sufficient accuracy. Virtual and lab tests were accomplished for similar sample models. The results of both analyses were compared and the FEA model was adjusted. After the verification and validation of the model it was ready to use to re-design and optimize the structures without having to perform lab tests.

  • Finite element modelling of different joints (different beams, base plates and bolts).
  • Pre-buckling analysis to include geometric imperfections in the model
  • Nonlinear analysis (material, contact nonlinearities) of the updated joint geometry according to the loading conditions required by the standards for experimental tests.
  • Calculation of the joint flexure stiffness
  • Model calibration with experimental results.
  • Final FEA model validation.