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Bouwen met Staal performs in collaboration with ABT the research SMARTconnection.

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In the research SMARTconnection methods are developed to analyse steel connections in a smart automatic process. The goal is to increase feasibility and build ability of the design of steel structures by performing these analyses. Bouwen met Staal performs this research in collaboration with ABT.


The following goals form the main motivations of performing the research. By developing an integral analyses process a higher effecicency can be achieved within the design process. A higher efficiency, causes less time to be needed. The surplus in time can be used to further improve and optimise the product. Lastly, developing knowledge about integral analyses model is one of the step needed to create a “File to factory” process of steel structures.

In engineering practice, structures weight is often optimised. This has an influence on the production costs of connections. Optmising weight can cause, steel connection to have unnecessary high costs. Which can influence the total costs, feasibility and build ability of the steel structure. 

Integrally analysing steel structures, by including joint design, may cause better design consideration to be made in the selection of beam members. Total costs could be reduced by achieving the best balance between cost of the joints and costs of the beams.

Key aspects of development

SMARTconnection focusses on the following three key aspect of development needed to execute an integral analysis of a steel structure:


Planning of research

The coming time, the research will focus on the following aspects:

  • Increasing complexity of integral analyses models
    • Inclusion of bolted connections   - more info
    • Analysis of 3D structures            - more info
  • Integral projects

    • Working on integral projects with parties involved in research. 
  • Open-source publication of code 

    • Scripts and files wil be shared via Github for enthousiasts.




SMARTconnection is looking for engineering firms and steel contractors who want to contribute to the development of the research. One of the possiblities is to collaborate in steel structure projects, with these project these new methodologies / innovations can be put to practice. 

For more information

please contact: Rayaan Ajouz