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Mass Optimisation of Variable Angle Tow, Variable Thickness Panels with Static Failure and Buckling Constraints

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication56th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference
Publisher or commissioning bodyAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
ISBN (Print)9781624103421
DatePublished - 2015
Event56th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference 2015 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: 5 Jan 20159 Jan 2015


Conference56th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference 2015
CountryUnited States


By taking advantage of curved fiber paths, Variable Angle Tow (VAT) laminates increase the design space for tailoring the structural behavior of thin-walled aerospace structures. In recent years, advancements in Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) and Continuous Tow Shearing (CTS) have facilitated the manufacture of these laminates. The CTS technique holds the advantage of reducing many of the manufacturing defects characteristic of the AFP process such as fiber wrinkling, tow gaps and tow overlaps, while also allowing for tighter steering radii. On the other hand, the CTS process features added complexity due to the coupling of fiber steering angle with tow thickness. In this study, a minimum- mass design of a typical aircraft wing panel under end-compression subject to pre-defined manufacturing, static failure and buckling load constraints is sought. The geometric effects of the asymmetric thickness distribution of the CTS panel on the critical buckling loads, postbuckling paths and static failure behavior are captured for the first time. A hybrid optimization scheme that couples a genetic algorithm with a pattern-search algorithm is used to define a VAT laminate that reduces the mass of both square and rectangular aircraft panels by 31% compared to a baseline straight fiber design. The optimization of the fiber paths is driven by two distinct requirements, namely local and global stiffness tailoring that inuence the buckling performance and static strength, respectively. Finally, the initial postbuckling behavior of the optimized designs is investigated using Koiter's perturbation approach, which reveals that postbuckling stability should be considered when optimizing VAT panels manufactured by the CTS technique.


56th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference 2015

Duration5 Jan 20159 Jan 2015
CountryUnited States
SponsorsAirbus Group (External organisation), Boeing Corporation (External organisation), DUNMORE (External organisation), Lockheed Martin (External organisation)

Event: Conference

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