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Computational structural mechanics

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Simulation of the hygrothermic behaviour of hollow light concrete blocks

The main objective of this project, undertaken in collaboration with the University of Oviedo, was the development of new and innovative products for mass use in the construction industry based on light concrete, also the establishment of test procedures and numerical methods of analysis and the optimisation of the hygrothermic problem in porous hollow elements.

Building regulations specify minimum requirements of energetic efficiency in construction. Product manufacturers should certify that their products are able to comply with these regulations. The existing norms offer the possibility to use different methods to calculate the parameters of thermal design, in which are included real testing and simulation testing. The norm defines detailed procedures for the use of simulation models in the homologation of the structural components of the building.

Through simulation we can determine the thermal performance of different walls made up of different types of light concrete blocks, significantly reducing the cost of physical tests, where a minimum of 3 tests is required for each type of enclosure being homologated.

The work of AST consisted of:

  • Construction of different finite element models in two dimensions to select and optimise the geometry of the block
  • Construction of various models in three dimensions of walls made of light concrete blocks and different types of mortar and the evaluation of their energetic efficiency for homologation according to existing norms.
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