- Research question and aim of the study

Traffic sign supporting systems, traditionally constructed in steel, are nowadays constructed more and more from aluminium alloys. Various types of design are applied that often deviate from the traditional steel ones. Questions are: What is the effect of the loads acting on the structures? What is the resistance of the system, including the behavior of joints and members? And finally, can the design be improved, given the boundary conditions associated with the application and the production?

- Approach

The aluminium traffic sign supporting systems produced by Hydro Extrusion are taken as the starting point. First task is to analyse the systems with respect to the global response. This includes evaluation of the applied forces and determination of the force distribution. It also involves the wind induced dynamic response. Second task is to evaluate the structural resistance of the members and the connections. These connections are composed of bolted and welded joints. Both the static and the fatigue response must be considered. These analyses form the insight that is required to develop an improved design.

Where possible, hand calculations are applied to determine the response, using verification rules in the Eurocode system. Finite element calculations can be required for the response of some joints. Some of the calculation models may need to be checked by performing tests in the laboratory of Eindhoven University of Technology.

- Desired result

The ultimate output is a strength calculation model based on the findings and the Eurocode system with which this type of structure can be evaluated.

The study will be carried out in close collaboration with Hydro Extrusion Drunen.