Optimum design of grid structures of revolution using homogenised model.
The present study involves analysis and design optimisation of lattice composite structures using symbolic computation. The concept of a homogenised model is used to represent heterogeneous composite isogrid structure as a homogeneous structure with the stiffness equivalent to the original grid structure. A new homogenisation technique is developed and used in the present study. The configuration of a unit cell and the geometrical parameters of the ribs of a composite isogrid cylinder are optimised subject to a strength criterion in order to maximise externally applied loading to provide maximum strength and stiffness of the structure as a whole. The effects of tension and torsion on the optimum design are investigated. Special purpose computation routines are developed using the symbolic computation package Mathematica for the calculation of equivalent stiffness of a structure, failure analysis and calculation of optimum design parameters. The equivalent stiffness homogenisation approach, in conjunction with optimum search routines, is used to determine the optimal values of the design variables. The numerical approach employed in the present study was necessitated by the computational inefficiency and conventional difficulties of linking the optimiser and the FEM analysis package for calculating the stress resultants used in the optimisation process. These drawbacks were successfully overcome by developing special purpose symbolic computation routines to compute stress resultants directly in the program using a new homogenisation approach for the model with equivalent stiffness. In the design optimisation of cylindrical isogrids the computational efficiency of the optimisation algorithm is improved and good accuracy of the results has been achieved. The investigation on the basis of failure analysis shows that the difference in the value of the maximum load applied to the optimal and non-optimal isogrid structure can be quite substantial, emphasising the importance of optimisation for the composite isogrid structures. The computational efficiency of optimisation algorithms is critical and therefore special purpose symbolic computation routines are developed for its improvement. A number of optimal design problems for isogrid structures are solved for the case of maximum applied load design.