Topographical design of stiffener layout for plates against blast loading using a modified ant colony optimization algorithm

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 2019, 59 (2), pp. 335 - 350
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© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The stiffened plates are of demonstrable advantages and potential in offering high resistance to such extreme loading scenarios as blast. Since the distribution of the stiffeners has considerable effect on their performance, its design signifies an important topic of research. However, existing research has mainly focused on empirical design, and the configurations were largely experience based, which limits structural explosion-proof capacity. In order to improve the performance of stiffened plates against blast loading, we introduced here two new structural configurations of stiffened plates. In this study, the modified ant colony optimization (MACO) algorithm which introduces the mass constraint factor to the pheromone update function and integrates the idea of crossover and mutation was used to design the subjected to given working conditions. Specifically, material distribution of stiffeners is taken to be the design variables, and minimization of the maximum deflection of the center point of the plate to be the design objective under predetermined mass constraints. Compared with the baseline structure, the optimal designs largely improved the explosion-proof performance through distributing stiffener topology on the plates. The results showed that the optimum designs all present the reinforcement stiffeners to link with the fixed boundaries against the deformation. Moreover, the optimum designs placed more reinforcement materials in the central regions instead of four angles, and with the increase of the mass fraction, the reinforcement placement gradually extends from the center to the edges. The proposed method and new topological configurations are expected to provide some insights into design for novel protective structures.
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