A novel analytical strength design approach has been developed for textile reinforced concrete (TRC) shells, such as the flooring system being developed in this PhD project. Compared to existing methods, the proposed model significantly reduces physical testing requirements and thus allows faster exploration and optimisation of shell thickness and reinforcement. The model was verified through physical tests and the results written into a journal paper currently under review. For the specimens tested, the proposed method increases the predicted strength by up to a factor of 3.7 compared to existing methods, whilst remaining conservative, and hence its use could lead to significant material savings and new applications for TRC shells.
A detailed analysis of the physical tests undertaken on prototype shell floors has also been undertaken. This included the creation of a detailed finite element model, where the nodes and element thicknesses were modified individually to match the measured geometry of the specimen, allowing an assessment of the structural effects of manufacturing errors. This work has been written into a paper to be presented at the 2018 IASS Symposium in Boston, USA.
The results verify the analysis method and provide further evidence of the high structural efficiency of the proposed flooring system. Considerable savings in embodied materials for building structures can now be demonstrated with confidence as the project progresses towards detailed case-studies and practical implementation at full-scale.