Engineering with Computers

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 27–35 | Cite as

Form finding of shells by structural optimization

  • K. -U. Bletzinger
  • E. Ramm


Shell structures are known to be extremely parameter sensitive; even small changes of the initial design, e.g., to the shape of the shell, may drastically change the internal stress state. The ideal case for concrete shells is a pure membrane stress state in compression for all loading conditions. Since in many realistic situations the solution for an ‘optimal’ shape is not obvious, the need for form finding methods is evident. This paper presents computational methods of structural optimization as a general tool for the form finding of shells. The procedure as a synthesis of design modelling, structural analysis and mathematical optimization is discussed with special emphasis on the modelling stage. Several examples show the power of the approach and the similarities to experimental solutions.


Computer aided geometrical design Form finding Shells Structural optimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. -U. Bletzinger
    • 1
  • E. Ramm
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für BaustatikUniversity of StuttgartStuttgart 80Germany

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