Postbuckling optimisation of variable angle tow composite plates

Zhangming Wu, Paul M. Weaver*, Gangadharan Raju

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The potential for enhanced postbuckling performance of flat plates using variable angle tow (VAT), in comparison with conventional laminated composites, has been shown previously. This paper presents an optimisation strategy for the design of postbuckling behaviour of VAT composite laminates under axial compression. The postbuckling performance of composite laminated plates for a given compression loading is assessed by studying both the maximum transverse displacement and the end-shortening strain. For the postbuckling analysis of VAT composite plates, an efficient tool based on the variational principle and the Rayleigh-Ritz method is developed. In the optimisation study, a mathematical definition based on Lagrangian polynomials, which requires few design parameters, is used to define a general fiber angle distribution of the VAT plate. A genetic algorithm is subsequently used to determine the optimal VAT configuration for maximum postbuckling performance. The optimisation of square VAT laminates under compression loading for different in-plane boundary conditions is studied and compared with straight fiber designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • Composite laminates
  • Optimisation
  • Postbuckling
  • Variable angle tow plates
  • Variable stiffness


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