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ABSTRACT Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) has recently been used widely in both reinforcing and strengthening concrete

structure. A number of code or design guideline have been published in different countries for the design of RC structures, reinforced or strengthened with FRP. However, the traditional practice in the design of Reinforced Concrete (RC) beams and it structural strengthening system involves performing preliminary elastic analysis based on an assumed cross section and checking the member for its adequacy against strength, serviceability and other requirements as imposed by the design codes. If the requirements are not satisfied, then the sectional dimensions are modified repeatedly until it satisfies the codal requirements. This iterative process is carried out without considering the relative costs of component materials of the structure. The increasing demand to minimize the structural construction cost to cope with the global competition has prompted structural engineers to find efficient methods of decision making, such as optimization technique, to design and construct structural systems both economically and efficiently. A guideline is therefore required to determine the minimum amount of materials to optimize total cost of the structure for maintain it functionality.

In this study, the optimization technique, coupled with computer aided advanced tools has been utilized to promote the creative process of conceptual and detailed design of structural system. The optimization process involves mathematically maximization or minimization of one or multiple objective function of a number of design variables, subjected to several equality and inequalities constraints. For the purpose of this study, the objective function is the total cost of the component materials subjected to technical performance criteria. The behavioural constraints are the requirements for flexural strength and serviceability, while the side constraints can be the upper

limits on beam or plate dimension arising from practical considerations. The optimization process is formulated to find the continuous, integer and discrete design variables leading to the minimum amount of strengthening materials more accurately. Comparative studies along with numerical example are also presented to study the effect of the different parameters in optimization process. The findings for the present study have demonstrated that the cost of the materials is also an important consideration in any structural design process. From one example of FRP strengthened RC beam design problem, the cost saving of the proposed optimization method has been estimated to be 8% compared to traditional method.

This study presents the development of an easy, efficient, and direct closed-form solution model for optimization of design of steel and FRP reinforced and FRP strengthened reinforced concrete beam using three mathematical methods like non linear programming, genetic algorithm and particle swarm optimizer. The application of the optimization based on the most economical design concept may lead to significant savings in the amount of the component materials to be used in construction compared to classical design solutions. Therefore, the optimization procedure can be an effective tool to make the design process more efficient and material of structural construction can be utilized properly.