1) Metal additive manufacturing for steel construction industry: Grant requests are underway.
LASTEICON aims to eliminate the use of excessive amount of stiffener plates and welding in steel joints, using laser cutting technology (LCT). The project will notably enhance the economy and sustainability of the fabrication as well as the aesthetic of any type of steel joints. Major focus is given to I-beam-to-CHS-column connections to promote hollow sections, since their excellent structural properties combined with their aesthetic appeal will lead decision makers (architects, building owners) to use more steel products in the building construction sector. Extendibility of the solution to other construction applications will be investigated with reference to steel truss girders.
Large scale demonstration of the steel-concrete composite structures with anti-seismic reparable devices will be made. The devices previously designed and characterized within RFCS Projects INERD, FUSEIS and MATCH by the proposal’s partners, will be optimized, improving their dissipation, reliability and reparability features. Shaking table and hybrid testing specimens will be built and subjected to strong earthquakes. Systematic post-earthquake repair and reassembly procedures for these buildings applied and provided as “instructions for use”. Ability of repaired systems to resist strong earthquakes will be examined. Economic and environmental benefits and improved resiliency properties of the proposed systems will be quantified.
Cold-formed steel is increasingly adopted in logistics warehouses, where heavy goods are handled automatically on a 7/24 basis. Fatigue related problems are causing large economic damages in this type of structures, due to their “dynamic” and “consistent” loading conditions. Despite this fact, in European standards, fatigue design concepts for cold formed steel is completely missing. Answering to an industrial need, FASTCOLD aims to develop fatigue design rules for cold formed steel structural details, and classify such details according to their fatigue strength (as for hot-rolled steel in EN1993-1-9). Some studied details are of general applications, in view of Eurocode implementation.
5) STEELWAR (Advanced Structural Solutions for Automated Steel Rack Supported Warehouses), funded by EU-RFCS with contract n. RFCS-RPJ 754102, 2017-2020
Automated Rack Supported Warehouses (ARSW) represents the future of storage technology, providing substantial savings in terms of cost, space and energy with respect to traditional warehouses. Currently, designers refer to building codes, without controlling their applicability to the specific typologies of such structures. This creates safety and efficiency problems being ARSWs’ structural characteristics considerably different from those of steel structures for normal buildings. Objective of the proposal is to analyse actual design practices, to investigate logistics’ imposed loading strategies, unconventional loading conditions, constructional phases and seismic design and to propose new approaches aiming at increasing ARSW safety, reliability and economy.
Concluded research projects:
A valorization action will be undertaken for 12 innovative steel based dissipative devices recently developed in Europe in the frame of RFCS, EU and national research projects, applicable to buildings in seismic areas. A series of design- and code-oriented information documents will be produced and disseminated to Architects, Engineers, construction companies, students and other partners of the construction sector. The applicability borders between EN 1998 and EN 15129 will be established. A procedure to reliably determine behavior factors will be drafted and case studies with application examples prepared. Workshops in and outside Europe will be organized for presenting the material.
7) MEAKADO (Design of Steel and Composite Structures with Limited Ductility Requirements for Optimized Performances in Moderate Earthquake Areas, funded by EU-RFCS with contract n. RFSR-CT-2013-00022, 2013-2026
The global aim of the proposed research is to develop specific design methodologies for steel and steelconcrete composite structures in regions characterised by a low to moderate seismic activity, with an appropriate reliability level. The objective is to find an optimal balance between safety and economical concerns. Two parallel ways are proposed. The first one is based on the exploitation of dissipative phenomena that are commonly not considered while the second one consists in investigating the possibilities of adequately adapting the requirements provided by existing seismic codes to moderate seismicity.
Objective of the proposal is the development of enhanced seismic protection systems and related design rules for process plants, process units and storage units, through innovative antiseismic techniques: seismic isolation systems and energy dissipation systems. The systems shall be suitable for both the retrofit of existing industrial structures and the design of new ones. Particular attention will be given to the self-centring capacities of the systems as it will constitute an innovative and efficient ability that will rise up the protection against the earthquake, avoid interruptions of production after the seismic event and make easier repairs of the structure.
The project focuses on the seismic design of static steel pallet racks used for storage of various types of goods and located in areas of retail warehouse stores and other facilities, possibly accessible to the public.
This research project aims at developing innovative types of seismic resistant composite steel frames with dissipative fuses. In case of strong seismic events, damage will concentrate only in these fuses, without observing any significant damage in the structural elements such as steel beams, columns and reinforced concrete slab of the structure. After the seismic event, the repair work will be limited only to replacing the fuses.