Interlocking joint shape optimization for structurally informed design of block assemblages

Elham Mousavian*, Katalin Bagi, Claudia Casapulla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper presents a computer aided design tool that analyses the structural feasibility of interlocking assemblages with orthotropic sliding resistance and automatically adjusts the assemblage shape to remove the infeasibility. First, the static problem of limit analysis is extended to the corrugated interfaces. To model different bond patterns and openings, an assemblage is abstracted to different types of joints representing the dry joints between the blocks, joints inside the blocks, and the excluded joints where the openings are located. This problem is then reformulated to measure the structural infeasibility due to the sliding constraint violation. The so-called sliding infeasibility measure shows how far an infeasible model is to become feasible. This problem is used as the objective function of a shape optimization algorithm that minimizes the sliding infeasibility measure through automated change of the interlocking joints, by which the model becomes structurally feasible. The optimization is validated using the discrete element analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1297
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Computational Design and Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • automated shape optimization
  • discrete element analysis
  • interlocking masonry blocks
  • limit analysis extension
  • orthotropic sliding resistance


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