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A Framework for Damage Tolerance and Optimization of Stiffened Panels

M. JRAD, S. B. MULANI, R. K. KAPANIA

Abstract


A damage tolerance framework, EBF3PanelOpt, has been developed to design and analyze curvilinearly stiffened panels. The framework is written with the scripting language Python and it interacts with the commercial software MSC. Patran (for geometry and mesh creation), MSC. Nastran (for finite element analysis), and MSC. Marc (for damage tolerance analysis). The crack location is set to the location of the maximum value of the major principal stress while its orientation is set normal to the major principal axis direction. The effective stress intensity factor is calculated using the Virtual Crack Closure Technique and compared to the fracture toughness of the material in order to decide whether the crack will grow or not. The ratio of these two quantities is used as a constraint, along with the buckling constraint, Kreisselmeier and Steinhauser criteria, and crippling constraint. The EBF3PanelOpt framework is integrated within a two-step Particle Swarm Optimization in order to minimize the weight of the panel while satisfying the aforementioned constraints and using all the shape and thickness parameters as design variables. The result of the PSO is used then as an initial guess for the Gradient Based Optimization using only the thickness parameters as design variables and employing VisualDOC. Stiffened panel with two curvilinear stiffeners is optimized and significant reduction has been made for the panel's weight.

doi: 10.12783/SHM2015/3


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