Material optimization of reinforced concrete structures in multiple limit states

Jeff Larsen*, Peter Noe Poulsen, John Forbes Olesen, Linh Cao Hoang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A common limitation in current material optimization methods for reinforced concrete structures is that they often concentrate solely on either the serviceability limit state (SLS) or the ultimate limit state (ULS). In response, this paper introduces a novel approach to optimize the material layout in planar reinforced concrete structures in plane stress, accounting for both limit states simultaneously. The proposed method employs an iterative strategy, integrating criteria for serviceability and ultimate limit states while approximating the elastoplastic behavior of cracked reinforced concrete. Here, the criteria for the limit states are incorporated as limits on the strains. The methodology initiates with a finite element limit analysis for the preliminary layout. The minimum potential energy principle is utilized to determine the strains for the nonlinear material response, and subsequently, an iterative linearized method is applied for material optimization. The research showcases the successful application of this approach to simple examples and presents improved and optimized solutions that adhere to the limit criteria for more complex structural scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural Concrete
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


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