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FINITE ELEMENT STRUCTURAL SHAPE AND THICKNESS OPTIMIZATION OF AXISYMMETRIC SHELLS

E. HINTON (Department of Civil Engineering, University College of Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK)
N.V.R. RAO (Department of Civil Engineering, University College of Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK)
J. SIENZ (Department of Civil Engineering, University College of Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 1 May 1992

Abstract

This paper deals with structural shape and thickness optimization of axisymmetric shell structures loaded symmetrically. In the finite element stress analysis use is made of newly developed linear, quadratic, and cubic, variable thickness, C(0) elements based on axisymmetric Mindlin‐Reissner shell theory. An integrated approach is used to carry out the whole shape optimization process in a fully automatic manner. A robust, versatile and flexible mesh generator is incorporated with facilities for generating either uniform or graded meshes, with constant, linear, or cubic variation of thickness, pressure etc. The midsurface geometry and thickness variations of the axisymmetric shell structure are defined using cubic splines passing through certain key points. The design variables are chosen as the coordinates and/or the thickness at the key points. Variable linking procedures are also included. Sensitivity analysis is carried out using either a semi‐analytical method or a global finite difference method. The objective of the optimization is the weight minimization of the structure. Several examples are presented illustrating optimal shapes and thickness distributions for various shells. The changes in the bending, membrane and shear strain energies during the optimization process are also monitored.

Keywords

Citation

HINTON, E., RAO, N.V.R. and SIENZ, J. (1992), "FINITE ELEMENT STRUCTURAL SHAPE AND THICKNESS OPTIMIZATION OF AXISYMMETRIC SHELLS", Engineering Computations, Vol. 9 No. 5, pp. 499-527. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb023880

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited