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New research to optimise offshore concrete foundation structures

Cowi is collaborating with the Technical University of Denmark to fund new research into the strength of arch-shaped concrete structures, which are used in foundations for wind turbines.

According to Cowi, there are lots of norms and standards on how to design wind turbine foundations, caissons and tunnels but these do not provide insight into the performance of arch-shaped concrete structure.

“Literature is full of tests involving straight construction members, but there is close to no data on arch-shaped construction members that are subjected to stress to determine their breaking point. We need that information in order to optimise the end result and the consultancy we offer to our customers,” said Jens-Christian Kragh-Poulsen, who will undertake the three-year PhD study funded by Cowi.

Through theoretical and experimental testing, the research will vary parameters such as strength, aggregate size, arch radius and degree of reinforcement and thereby explore the shear strength of arch-shaped concrete members.

Tests will involve subjecting custom-made concrete beams to provoke a controlled break, thereby creating a basis for the theoretical modelling.

The purpose is to optimise the tools that the civil engineering industry uses to design and extend the life of concrete structures, by providing better assessments of their load-bearing ability.

“This new knowledge will allow us to optimise concrete structures, and thereby minimise resource consumption and maximise the life of new and existing structures,” said Kragh-Poulsen.


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