Discrete topology optimization of ply orientation for a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) laminate vehicle door

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Journal Article
Materials and Design, 2017, 128 pp. 9 - 19
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd This study addresses the design of ply orientation for a CFRP vehicle door by implementing a Discrete Material Optimization (DMO) method in a general-purpose commercial finite element code (ABAQUS) and mathematical analysis tool (MATLAB). To accommodate multiple loading conditions, the weighted mean compliance of the CFRP vehicle door was taken as the objective function, subject to the constraints on the local displacements, primary natural frequency and manufacturability. The sensitivities of objective and constraints were calculated by using the strain vectors, which is a more general method than using element stiffness matrices and allows extracting local displacements from the commercial finite element code. A gradient-based algorithm was employed in the DMO approach to tackle the large-scale problem. In the discrete topology optimization, four material penalization schemes were attempted in this study. The proposed DMO approach was compared with the empirical design and the existing method in commercial software. The results demonstrated that the proposed method is able to produce a more competent solution than the empirical design and other optimization methods efficiently.
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