Most engineering products contain more than one component or structural element, a consideration that needs to be appreciated during the design process and beyond, to manufacturing, transportation, storage and maintenance. The allocation and design of component interconnections (such as bolts, rivets, or springs, spot‐welds, adhesives, others) usually play a crucial role in the design of the entire multi‐component system. This paper extends the evolutionary structural optimization method to the generic design problems of connection topology. The proposed approach consists of a simple cycle of a finite element analysis followed by a rule‐driven element removal process. To make the interconnection elements carry as close to uniform a load as possible, a “fully stressed” design criterion is adopted. To determine the presence and absence of the interconnection elements, the usage efficiencies of fastener elements are estimated in terms of their relative stress levels. This avoids the use of gradient‐based optimization algorithms and allows designers to readily seek an optimization of connection topology, which can be implemented in their familiar CAD/CAE design platforms. To demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed procedure, a number of design examples are presented in this paper.
Li, Q., Steven, G. and Xie, Y. (2001), "Evolutionary structural optimization for connection topology design of multi‐component systems", Engineering Computations, Vol. 18 No. 3/4, pp. 460-479. https://doi.org/10.1108/02644400110387127Download as .RIS
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