The first months of the PhD have been dedicated to understanding the peridynamic theory and exploring the literature. Existing applications and limitations of peridynamic theory have been studied, and a number of simple peridynamic models have been developed in MATLAB for the analysis of specific problems. 2D and 3D problems have been simulated, including; 2D plates in tension and compression, and 3D blocks in tension and compression. Damage has been incorporated into the 2D analysis code and the cracking behaviour of a plate in tension and a cantilever in bending have been simulated (see attached figures).
Present work is investigating the inclusion of steel reinforcing bars within the analysis model. The models will be validated against test data available in the literature. Further work includes reviewing the literature and theory of topology optimisation. By combining topology optimisation methods with peridynamic theory, it might be possible to design optimised reinforced concrete structures that minimise material usage and increase utilisation factors. Peridynamic simulations are computationally expensive and parallel processing will be utilised to reduce cost.