Informed Finite Element Modelling for Wire and Arc Additively Manufactured Metallics—A Case Study on Modular Building Connections
2.1. Modular Buildings and Inter-Modular Connections
2.2. Metal 3D Printing and Limitations of WAAM
3. Finite Element (FE) Modelling of Modular Connections
3.2. FE Mesh
3.3. Material Model
3.4. Contact Interactions
3.5. Loading and Boundary Conditions
3.7. Validation of the Model
4. FE Modelling of WAAM Stainless Steel Behaviour
4.1. Model Development
5. Assessment of the 3D Printed Stainless Steel Modular Connection
5.2. Results and Discussion
5.2.1. 3D Printed Connection with Untreated WAAM Surfaces and Equivalent Thickness Approach
5.2.2. 3D Printed Connection with Treated WAAM Surfaces
5.3. Recommendations for FE Modelling and Design of 3DMBCs
- Components such as cover plates and stiffeners, which are relatively thicker and smaller in size, can be 3D printed without altering the performance of the modular connections. Alternatively, if not required, these components should not be 3D printed due to the increase in the total cost of the connection’s manufacture.
- Increasing the thickness of beams and columns of the fully 3D printed connection is recommended to achieve the same level of strength as the normal connection.
- Untreated or treated WAAM material properties corresponding to θ = 90° orientation can be used in the FE modelling of 3DMBCs to obtain conservative results.
6. Concluding Remarks
- The effect of a 3D printed connection on structural response is negligible compared to the conventional modular steel connection when replacing selected 3D printed structural components that are not highly responsible for the behaviour of modular connections.
- A significant reduction in the structural performance, such as load-bearing capacity and initial stiffness, was identified when the entire modular connection was 3D printed using the WAAM method.
- In an attempt to calculate the equivalent WAAM thickness that offers similar structural performance to that of the traditional steel modular connections, the untreated thickness of the columns and beams in the connection was increased from 8 mm to 12 mm (50% increment of the thickness).
- A 3D printed modular connection with θ = 45° print orientation showed identical structural behaviour compared to the reference modular connection, though the 3D printed modular connections with θ = 0° and θ = 90° print orientation resulted in relatively lower performance compared to the reference modular connection.
- However, due to the practical limitations of producing the connections with θ = 45° print orientation, it is suggested to consider the material properties of treated WAAM products obtained in θ = 90° print orientation to examine the structural performance through numerical modelling.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Dissanayake, M.; Suntharalingam, T.; Tsavdaridis, K.D.; Poologanathan, K.; Perampalam, G. Informed Finite Element Modelling for Wire and Arc Additively Manufactured Metallics—A Case Study on Modular Building Connections. Buildings 2022, 12, 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010005
Dissanayake M, Suntharalingam T, Tsavdaridis KD, Poologanathan K, Perampalam G. Informed Finite Element Modelling for Wire and Arc Additively Manufactured Metallics—A Case Study on Modular Building Connections. Buildings. 2022; 12(1):5. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010005Chicago/Turabian Style
Dissanayake, Madhushan, Thadshajini Suntharalingam, Konstantinos Daniel Tsavdaridis, Keerthan Poologanathan, and Gatheeshgar Perampalam. 2022. "Informed Finite Element Modelling for Wire and Arc Additively Manufactured Metallics—A Case Study on Modular Building Connections" Buildings 12, no. 1: 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12010005