Methodological framework for enabling re-use of steel structures after extreme loading


This research project proposes a methodological framework for enabling reuse of steel structures under mechanical loading. Current limitations are associated with our inability to reliably predict the material properties of partially damaged members as well as methods that allow for their limit state design against a broad range of complex damaging physical phenomena due to inelastic straining. Particularly, the project aims at developing novel mechanics-based models for reliably predicting the effects of natural ageing and work hardening on physical mechanisms causing loss of the load carrying capacity of steel structures over their service life. The above models will then be used in continuum finite element simulations of steel members to facilitate the development of physics-informed graph neural network algorithms for surrogate modelling for prognosticating the suitability of steel members for reuse in the aftermath of extreme events. The above methodological developments will provide the basis for the development of a reliability-based framework for limit state design of reclaimed steel members to meet risk-targeted performance criteria. This will enable increased value in a circular economy where end-of-life steel buildings could be de-constructable, and their reclaimed members could be blended into new builds with a high confidence. The project will also provide a set of practical recommendations for enabling reuse of steel buildings.

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