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Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797 www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc Minimum cost design of a welded orthogonally stiffened cylindricaljan.snyman@eng.up.ac.za (J.A. Snyman). 0045-7949/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2006.01.002 computer therefore requires, not only refined and realistic mathematical models of the structure, but also sufficiently accurate, reliable and economic numerical methods and procedures to drive the structural design to an acceptable optimum configuration. The particular problem of interest here is the minimum cost design of a welded stiffened steel shell. Cylindrical shells are used in many engineering load-carrying struc- tures, for example, as columns, towers for wind turbines or water tanks, and in offshore and submarine structures. They are also used in belt-conveyor bridges, and in pres- sure vessels. The main structural characteristics of stiffened cylindrical shells are that they are subjected to axial com- pression loads, bending, and external or internal pressures. The shells therefore require orthogonal stiffening via ring or stringer stiffeners. Typically the stiffener shapes are flat, rolled T- or L-profiles, cold-formed L-profiles, welded T- or box profiles, or trapezoidal. " id="pdf-obj-0-4" src="pdf-obj-0-4.jpg">

Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797 www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc Minimum cost design of a welded orthogonally stiffened cylindricaljan.snyman@eng.up.ac.za (J.A. Snyman). 0045-7949/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2006.01.002 computer therefore requires, not only refined and realistic mathematical models of the structure, but also sufficiently accurate, reliable and economic numerical methods and procedures to drive the structural design to an acceptable optimum configuration. The particular problem of interest here is the minimum cost design of a welded stiffened steel shell. Cylindrical shells are used in many engineering load-carrying struc- tures, for example, as columns, towers for wind turbines or water tanks, and in offshore and submarine structures. They are also used in belt-conveyor bridges, and in pres- sure vessels. The main structural characteristics of stiffened cylindrical shells are that they are subjected to axial com- pression loads, bending, and external or internal pressures. The shells therefore require orthogonal stiffening via ring or stringer stiffeners. Typically the stiffener shapes are flat, rolled T- or L-profiles, cold-formed L-profiles, welded T- or box profiles, or trapezoidal. " id="pdf-obj-0-8" src="pdf-obj-0-8.jpg">

www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc

Minimum cost design of a welded orthogonally stiffened cylindrical shell

K. Ja´ rmai a , J.A. Snyman b, * , J. Farkas a

a Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Miskolc, H-3515 Miskolc, Hungary b Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Received 23 March 2005; accepted 18 January 2006

Abstract

In this study the optimal design of a cylindrical orthogonally stiffened shell member of an offshore fixed platform truss, loaded by axial compression and external pressure, is investigated. Ring stiffeners of welded box section and stringers of halved rolled I-section are used. The design variables considered in the optimization are the shell thickness as well as the dimensions and numbers of stiffeners. The design constraints relate to the shell, panel ring and panel stringer buckling, as well as manufacturing limitations. The cost function includes the cost of material, forming of plate elements into cylindrical shape, welding and painting. In the optimization a number of relatively new mathematical optimization methods (leap-frog – LFOPC, Dynamic-Q, ETOPC, and particle swarm – PSO) are used, in order to ensure confidence that the finally computed optimum design is accurately determined, and indeed corresponds to a global minimum. The con- tinuous optimization procedures are adapted to allow for discrete values of the design variables to be used in the final manufacturing of the truss member. A comparison of the computed optimum costs of the stiffened and un-stiffened assemblies, shows that significant cost savings can be achieved by orthogonal stiffening, since the latter allows for considerable reduction of the shell thickness, which results in large material and manufacturing cost savings. 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Welded stiffened shells; Stiffened cylindrical shell buckling; Manufacturing cost calculation; Structural optimization; Mathematical optimiz- ation methods

1. Introduction

Structural optimization is the search for designs that ful- fill certain prescribed requirements in an optimal manner. The main requirements for modern engineering structures are that they should be safe with regard to load-carrying capacity, fit for production, whilst at the same time being economic. In an optimum design procedure, structural assemblies are sought which fulfill the prescribed design and manufacturing constraints, and at the same time min- imize an associated cost function. The cost function and the functions specifying the constraints may depend on many variables, and the behaviour of the functions may be highly non-linear. The solution of such problems by

* Corresponding author. E-mail address: jan.snyman@eng.up.ac.za (J.A. Snyman).

0045-7949/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2006.01.002

computer therefore requires, not only refined and realistic mathematical models of the structure, but also sufficiently accurate, reliable and economic numerical methods and procedures to drive the structural design to an acceptable optimum configuration. The particular problem of interest here is the minimum cost design of a welded stiffened steel shell. Cylindrical shells are used in many engineering load-carrying struc- tures, for example, as columns, towers for wind turbines or water tanks, and in offshore and submarine structures. They are also used in belt-conveyor bridges, and in pres- sure vessels. The main structural characteristics of stiffened cylindrical shells are that they are subjected to axial com- pression loads, bending, and external or internal pressures. The shells therefore require orthogonal stiffening via ring or stringer stiffeners. Typically the stiffener shapes are flat, rolled T- or L-profiles, cold-formed L-profiles, welded T- or box profiles, or trapezoidal.

  • 788 K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

In recent years a number of new optimization algo- rithms have been developed, such as the leap-frog algo- rithm [1–3], the successive approximation Dynamic-Q method [4,5], the ETOPC gradient-only method [6], and the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) approach [7]. In the present study these methods are all applied to the min- imum cost design of the above mentioned welded stiffened cylindrical steel shell assembly. Since the authors have been intimately involved in the development of all of these algo- rithms, the associated optimization computer programs were readily available and could all be implemented with ease and little additional effort. The successful application of all these methods, including the particle swarm global method, ensured confidence in the accuracy of the com- puted minima, and indicated with a very high probability that the global optimum was indeed found. It also allows for a comparison of the relative accuracy and economy of the different methods for structural problems. The con- tinuous optimization procedures are adapted, to allow for the discrete nature of the design variables to be used in the actual final manufacturing of the truss member. The outline of the remainder of this paper is as follows. In the next section more detailed information is given regard- ing the particular cylindrical shell truss member design problem to be addressed in this study. In Section 3, for the orthogonally stiffened cylindrical-shell member, the buck- ling and manufacturing constraints imposed on the design are presented. In Section 4, the construction of the associ- ated cost function, which includes material, manufacturing and painting costs, is dealt with. Section 5 discusses the cor- responding constraints and cost function for the un-stiffened shell, subjected to the same loads as the orthogonally stiff- ened one. In Section 6, on formal mathematical optimiza- tion, a re-formulation of the optimization problem in general mathematical notation is given, which allows for a brief introduction to the new optimization algorithms to be used in computing the optimum designs. In Section 7, detailed presentation and discussion of the numerical opti- mization results is given, and in Section 8, some final conclu- sions, drawn from the study, are presented.

2. Cylindrical shell truss member design problem

This study follows on previous work by two of the authors on welded steel shells. A method for calculating radial displacements due to shrinkage of circumferential welds has been developed [8]. Also, a cost calculation method, mainly for welded structures, has been proposed [9]. Using this method it is possible to evaluate the econ- omy of structural assemblies, which allows for significant cost savings in the design stage. In particular, minimum cost designs have been computed for a ring-stiffened shell subject to external pressure [10], a ring-stiffened shell (belt-conveyor bridge) subject to bending [11], and a strin- ger stiffened shell (column) loaded by axial compression and bending, with a displacement constraint at the top of the column [12].

A further important problem is to evaluate the economy of stiffening, i.e. how to achieve cost savings by using thin- ner stiffened plates or shells instead of thicker un-stiffened ones. A stiffened structure is economic, if the thickness can be decreased in such a manner that, the cost saving caused by this decrease is higher than the additional cost of the stiffening material and the extra welding. Since in cylindrical shells the cost of the forming of the plate ele- ments into cylindrical shapes, and that of the welding of the shell elements, increases with increase in shell thickness, the decrease of thickness of the shells can result in signifi- cant cost savings. In previous studies it was found that the ring-stiffeners are indeed economic to use for external pressure, since a cylindrical shell is very sensitive to the buckling by external pressure. On the other hand their buckling strength against axial compression or bending is high, so the use of stringers in these cases is uneconomic, unless a lateral displacement constraint of the whole shell is active and the halved rolled I-section stringers are welded outside the shell. In the present study the combined load of axial com- pression and external pressure is considered, as it acts on parts of the columns of a truss tower of a fixed offshore platform (see Fig. 1). The cylindrical-shell member that is orthogonally stiffened by using ring stiffeners of box cross-section and stringers of halved rolled I-section (see

788 K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797 In recent years

Fig. 1. A part of a fixed offshore structure, the main columns are stiffened cylindrical shells.

K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

p t R c h r t r R y G N F N F G
p
t
R c
h r
t r
R
y G
N F
N F
G
y E
hr
yf
t r
E
t
L r
Lr
L
e
p

x

789

Fig. 2. Stringer and ring stiffened cylindrical shell with compression and external pressure.

Le

3.1. Shell (curved panel) buckling

The equivalent stress r e must, according to the Det Norske Veritas rules [13] already referred
The equivalent stress r e must, according to the Det
Norske Veritas rules [13] already referred to in the previous
section, satisfy the constraint
G
q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
f y1
r e ¼
r 2 a r a r p þ r 6 q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ;
2
ð1Þ
p
1 þ k 4
s
b
f y
where f y1 ¼ 1:1 , and the stress due to axial compression is
given by
s1=min. 300
N F
2Rp
r a ¼
; where t e ¼ t þ A s s and s ¼
.
ð2Þ
2Rpt e
n s
h1/2
s1
t f
t
tw
zG

Fig. 3. Cross-section of the stiffened shell.

Fig. 2), is to be optimized with respect to a cost function, which includes material, manufacturing and painting costs. In order to demonstrate the economy of the stiffening, both stiffened and un-stiffened assemblies are optimized and their costs are compared to each other (Section 7, Tables 1a, 1b, 2–7). The design rules used here are formu- lated according to the design rules of Det Norske Veritas [13]. The cost function is formulated in correspondence to the manufacturing sequence. The specified constraints relate to shell buckling, panel stringer and panel ring buck- ling, as well as to manufacturing limitations. In the case of the orthogonally stiffened assemblies, the particular design variable to be considered are the shell thickness (t), the number of longitudinal stiffeners (string- ers) (n s ), the number of ring-stiffeners (n r ), the box height (h r ) and the stringer stiffener height (h = h 1 + 2t f ) (see Figs. 2 and 3).

3. Constraints for the orthogonally stiffened cylindrical shell member

Some of the quantities that appear in the definitions of the constraints are given below, are also indicated in Fig. 2.

Here f y is the yield stress, N F is the factored compression force, R is the shell radius, t is the shell thickness, A s is the cross-sectional area of a stringer, n s is the number of longitudinal stiffeners (stringers). Also appearing in the above constraint definition is the stress due to external pressure

r p ¼

p R

F

t ð1 þ aÞ ; a ¼

A R

L e0 t ;

p ffiffiffiffiffi L e0 ¼ minðL r ; L er ¼ 1:56 Rt Þ and L r ¼

  • L ð3Þ

n r

1 .

Here p F is the factored external pressure intensity, A r is the cross-sectional area of a ring-stiffener, L is the shell length, n r is the number of ring-stiffeners, L r is the distance between rings. Also used in the definition above is k 2 defined by

s

k 2 ¼

s

f y1

r e

r Eas ¼ C as

r a

þ r p ; where

r Eps

r Eas

p 2 E

t

2

;

12ð1 m 2 Þ s

ð4Þ

E and m are the Young modulus and the Poisson ratio, respectively

  • 790 K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

C as ¼ w as

s ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

1 þ

q as n as

w as

2

n as ¼ 0:702Z as ;

R

0:5

; w as ¼ 4; Z as ¼

p 2 E t

s 2

Rt

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

1 m 2 ;

2

q as ¼ 0:5 1 þ

150t

;

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

r Eps ¼ C ps

10:92 s

;

C ps ¼ w ps

v

u

u

t

! 2

1 þ q ps n ps ;

w ps

q ps ¼ 0:6;

and

n ps ¼ 1:04 s

L

r

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

Z ps

"

; Z ps ¼ Z as and w ps ¼ 1 þ

ð5Þ

ð6Þ

ð7Þ

s

L

r

2

# 2

.

ð8Þ

3.2. Panel stiffener (stringer) buckling

In this case the equivalent stress r e , again according to

Furthermore

r Epp ¼ C pp

p 2 E

t

L

10:92

r

2

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

v

u

! 2

; C pp ¼ w pp 1 þ q pp n pp

u

t

w

pp

;

ð17Þ

n pp ¼ 1:04

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

Z pp

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

; Z pp ¼ Z ap ; q pp ¼ 0:6; and w pp ¼ 2ð1 þ 1 þ c s Þ.

ð18Þ

3.3. Panel ring buckling

The ring-stiffeners are welded square box sections (see

Fig. 2), constructed from three plate elements of width b r

and thickness t r . The relationship that must be satisfied

between the width and thickness, is prescribed by the Euro-

code 3 [14] rule for compression plates against buckling,

and is given by

q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

t r P d r h r ; 1=d r ¼ 42e; e ¼ 235=f y ;

f y ¼ 355; d r ¼ 1=34.

ð19Þ

the Det Norske Veritas rules [13], must satisfy the Assuming the buckling constraint, given by expression
the Det Norske Veritas rules [13], must satisfy the
Assuming the buckling constraint, given by expression
constraint
(19), to be active, it becomes an equality constraint and
the cross-sectional area of a ring-stiffener is then given by
f y1
r e 6
q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ;
ð9Þ
1 þ k 4
2
A R ¼ 3h r t r ¼ 3d r h .
ð20Þ
P
r
where
The required cross-sectional area of ring-stiffener, exclud-
2
ing the effective shell width, is
r a
p 2 E
t
2
f y1
k
þ r p
; r Eap ¼ C ap
;
P ¼
r e
10:92
L
2
r Eap
r Epp
r
2
L
r
v
ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
2 þ 0:06 L r t ; where Z ¼
Rt 0:9539.
ð21Þ
A Rreq ¼
u
! 2
Z
u
t
1 þ q ap n ap ;
ð10Þ
C ap ¼ w ap
Thus the constraint is
w
ap
ð22Þ
2
A Rreq 6 A R .
L
r
q ap ¼ 0:5; n ap ¼ 0:702Z ap ; Z ap ¼ Rt 0:9539;
ð11Þ
The effective flange width is given by L e ¼
p ffiffiffiffiffi
s ffiffiffiffi
minðL r ; 2 1:56 Rt Þ.
1 þ c s
E
The distance of the centroid of ring (point E in Fig. 2),
¼
; c s ¼ 10:92 I Sef and s E ¼ 1:9t
. ð12Þ
w ap
1 þ
A
s e t
s
st 3
f y
including the effective shell flange width is given by
3
With respect to further quantities to be computed below,
L e t ðh r þ t =2Þ þ d r h
r
.
ð23Þ
y E ¼
the following rule is applied:
2
3d r h þ L e t
r
if s E 6 s; s e ¼ s E ; and if s E P s; s e ¼ s.
ð13Þ
The moment of inertia of the ring about x-axis is
I Sef is the moment of inertia of stiffener including effective
2
d r h 4
h r
shell plating s e . In the case of a stiffener of halved UB sec-
r
2
2
I R ¼
þ 2d r h 2 y E
þ d r h y 2
r
r
E
6
tion (flange width b, flange thickness t f , web height h 1 /2,
2
and web thickness t w as shown in Fig. 3), the distance of
t
þ L e t h r þ 2 y E .
ð24Þ
the centre of gravity is
t
h þtþt
The required moment of inertia of a ring is given by
h 1
h 1
þ þ bt f
1
f
t w
2
4
2
2
z G ¼
ð14Þ
s e t þ bt f þ h 1 t w =2
I Rreq ¼ I a þ I p ;
ð25Þ
and I Sef is given by
where I a is the required moment of inertia for axial com-
3
2
2
pression, and I p that for external pressure, respectively
h 1
t
h 1
t
h 1 þ t þ t f
w
I Sef ¼ s e tz 2
þ 2 z G
þ bt f
z G
G þ
given by
2
12 þ h 1 t w 4
2
2
ð15Þ
r a t 1 þ A s R 4
st
0
I a ¼
; R 0 ¼ R ðh r y E Þ
ð26Þ
and A s ¼ bt f þ h 1 t w =2.
ð16Þ
500EL R

K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

791

and

 

I

p F RR 2

0

L

r

2

4

2 þ 3Ey E d 0

R 2

0

f y

2

r

 

3

 

p ¼

3E

p

5 with d 0 ¼ 0:005R. ð27Þ

The constraint is

 

I

Rreq 6 I R .

 

ð28Þ

3.4. Manufacturing limitations

In order to ensure that the welding of the webs of the

halved rolled I-section stringers into the shell is possible,

the minimum distance between the stringer flanges should

satisfy the following condition:

2ðR h r =2Þp

n s

b P 300 mm

or

n s 6 2ðR h r =2Þp

b þ 300

.

ð29Þ

ð30Þ

Another limitation is related to the minimum value of fillet

welds connecting the stringer webs to the shell, and that for

connecting the plate elements of ring-stiffeners. They are

respectively given by a ws = 0.4t w , a ws.min = 3 mm, and

a wr = 0.4t r , a wr.min = 3 mm.

4. Cost function for the orthogonally stiffened cylindrical

shell member

The cost function (K) includes material (K M ) and man-

ufacturing costs (K F i ), as well as the cost of painting (K P )

the final assembly, i.e. the total cost is given by

K ¼ K M þ X K Fi þ K P .

i

ð31Þ

The manufacturing sequence, determining the associ-

ated total manufacturing cost, is as follows:

(1) Form plate elements of L s = 3 m length, into cylindri-

cal shapes (K F0 ).

(2) Weld shell segments of L s = 3 m length, from 2

curved plate elements, with 2 butt welds using

GMAW-C (Gas Metal Arc Welding with CO 2 ) (K F1 ).

(3) Weld whole un-stiffened shell of L = 15 m length,

from 5 shell segments with 4 circumferential butt

welds, using GMAW-C (K F2 ).

(4) Weld n r ring-stiffeners from 3 plate elements with 2

fillet welds, each using SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc

Welding) (K F3 ).

(5) Weld n r ring-stiffeners into the whole shell with 2 n r

circumferential fillet welds, using SMAW (K F4 ).

(6) Weld n s stringers into the shell with 2 n s fillet welds,

using SMAW (K F5 ).

The volume of a shell segment is

V 1 ¼ 2RptL s

ð32Þ

and the volume of a ring-stiffener is given by

V R ¼ 2pd r h ðR h r Þ þ 4pd r h ðR h r =2Þ.

r

r

2

2

ð33Þ

The material cost is expressed as

K M ¼ k M1 5qV 1 þ k M1 qn r V R þ k M2 qn s A s L;

ð34Þ

where k M1 and k M2 are the respective cost factors for plates

and rolled I-sections and q denotes the specific density of

steel.

The manufacturing cost components are as follows:

K F0 ¼ 5k F He l ;

l

¼ 6:8582513 4:527217t 0:5 þ 0:009541996ð2RÞ 0:5 ;

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

K F1 ¼ 5k F ðH jqV 1 þ 1:3 0:1520 10 3 t 1:9358

2L s Þ;

H ¼ 2;

j ¼ 2;

K F2

¼

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

k F ðH 25qV 1 þ 1:3 0:1520 10 3 t 1:9358 4 2RpÞ;

K F3

¼

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

n r k F ½3 3qV R

þ 1:3 0:3394 10 3 a wr 4pðR h r Þ ;

2

K F4

¼

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

k F ½3 ðn r þ 1Þqð5V 1 þ n r V R Þ

þ 1:3 0:3394 10 3 a wr n r 4Rp ;

2

and

ð35Þ

ð36Þ

ð37Þ

ð38Þ

ð39Þ

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

K F5 ¼ k F ½3 ðn r þ n s þ 1Þqð5V 1 þ n r V R þ n s A s LÞ

þ 1:3 0:3394 10 3 a ws n s 2L .

2

ð40Þ

Finally, the cost of painting is given by

K P ¼ k P ½2RpL þ 2RpðL n r h r Þ þ 2n r ph r ðR h r Þ

þ 4pn r h r R þ n s Lðh 1 þ 2bÞ .

h r

2

ð41Þ

5. Constraint and cost function for the un-stiffened shell

5.1. Constraint on shell buckling

The equivalent stress r e must satisfy the constraint

f y1

r e ¼ r a 2 r a r p þ r 6 p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

p

1 þ k 4

q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

2

f y

f y1

r a

 

;

   

¼

r e

r Ea

where f y1 ¼

1:1 ; k 2

þ r p ; r a ¼

r Ep

r Ea ¼ C a

p 2 E

t

2

; C a ¼ w a 1 þ

q a n a

12ð1 m 2 Þ L

w a

2

Z a ¼

L

Rt

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

1 m 2 ; n a ¼ 0702Z a ; q a ¼ 0:5 1 þ

p 2 E t

2

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

v

u

u

! 2

r Ep ¼ C p

10:92 L

t

w p

 

s ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

N F

p F R

2Rpt ; r p ¼ t ;

2

; w a ¼ 1;

 

R

0:5

150t

;

; C p ¼ w p 1 þ q p n p ; q p ¼ 0:6;

ð42Þ

ð43Þ

ð44Þ

ð45Þ

ð46Þ

and n p ¼ 1:04Z p ; Z p ¼ Z a ; w p ¼ 4.

ð47Þ

The reader should note that expression (42) for the un-stiff-

ened case is different from Eq. (1) for the stiffened shell,

  • 792 K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

since the definitions of k used in (42) and k s used in (1)

differ. These differences and others such as t e in (2) but t

in (43), are carried over in the defining expressions that fol-

low on (1) and (42), respectively.

5.2.

ing and painting

 

i

V 1 ¼ 2RptL s .

K M ¼

k M1 5qV 1 .

K F0 ¼ 5k F He l ;

 

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

H ¼ 2;

j ¼ 2;

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

6.1.

Cost function for the un-stiffened shell

The cost function includes cost of material, manufactur-

ð48Þ

K ¼ K M þ X K Fi þ K P .

The manufacturing sequence in this case is as follows:

(1) Form plate elements of L s = 3 m length, into cylindri-

cal shapes (K F0 ).

(2) Weld shell segments of L s = 3 m length from 2 curved

plate elements, with 2 butt welds, using GMAW-C

(Gas Metal Arc Welding with CO 2 ) (K F1 ).

(3) Weld whole un-stiffened shell of L = 15 m length,

from 5 shell segments with 4 circumferential butt

welds, using GMAW-C (K F2 ).

The volume of a shell segment is

ð49Þ

ð50Þ

The material cost is expressed as

where k M1 is the cost factor for plates.

The manufacturing cost components for the un-stiffened

shell are the same as those given for the stiffened shell in

(35) and (37). For the sake of completeness they are

ð51Þ

ð52Þ

ð53Þ

restated here for the un-stiffened case

l ¼ 6:8582513 4:527217t 0:5 þ 0:009541996ð2RÞ 0:5 ;

2L s Þ;

K F1 ¼ 5k F ðH jqV 1 þ 1:3 0:1520 10 3 t 1:9358

K F2 ¼ k F ðH 25qV 1 þ 1:3 0:1520 10 3 t 1:9358 4 2RpÞ;

k F = 1.0 $/min, k M1 = 1.0 $/kg.

The cost of painting is given by K P = 4RpLk P ,

k P = 14.4 · 10 6 $/mm 2 .

6. Mathematical optimization

General formulation of design optimization problem

In the case of the orthogonally stiffened cylindrical-shell

member the design variables are t, n s , n r , h r , and h s , and

the cost function K, also called the objective function,

clearly depends on these variables. In more general optimi-

zation notation, the design vector is denoted by x =

[x 1 , x 2 ,

...

, x n ] T = [t, n s , n r , h r , h] T , and the objective function

by f(x) = K(x). The constraints, here (1), (9), (22), (28),

(30), may be written in the standard inequality form as

g j (x) 6 0, j = 1,

...

, m, where in general m denotes the num-

ber, here 5, of inequality constraints. Side constraints, i.e.

upper and lower limits on the design variables, may also

be specified. The general optimization problem to be con-

sidered here is therefore

minimize f ðxÞ; x ¼ ½x 1 ; x 2 ;

w.r.t. x

...

x n T 2 R n ; ð54Þ

subject to the inequality and equality constraints:

g j ðxÞ

6

0;

j

¼

1; 2;

; m;

ð55Þ

h j ðxÞ ¼

0;

j ¼ 1; 2;

; r ;

and side constraints:

  • x l i 6 x i 6 x u ; i ¼ 1; 2;

i

; n;

where f(x), g j (x) and h j (x) are scalar functions of the real

column vector x. For generality equality constraints,

h j (x) = 0, j = 1, 2,

...

, r are also specified, although they

are not explicitly imposed in this study. The optimum solu-

tion is denoted by x * with associate optimum function

value f(x * ). Of course, the optimization of the un-stiffened

shell can also be stated in the general form (54).

The formulation of the optimization problem in the

form (54), facilitates the discussion of the optimization

methods used in this study. In practice such problems are

usually solved by means of numerical optimization algo-

rithms. Four different algorithms are applied to the prob-

lem at hand. As stated in the Introduction, this is done in

order to have confidence in the finally computed optimum

design. It also allows for a comparison between the meth-

ods with regard to accuracy and economy.

The four algorithms used here are all relatively new.

They are the gradient-based methods LFOPC, Dynamic-

Q, ETOPC and the evolutionary Particle Swarm Optimiza-

tion (PSO) algorithm. In solving the constrained problem

(55), each of these methods performs the unconstrained

minimization of a so-called penalty function, which

actually embodies the constraints. For example, if we only

consider inequality constraints in problem (55), the appro-

priate penalty function is

m

F ðxÞ ¼ f ðxÞ þ X b j g ðxÞ;

2

j

j¼1

ð56Þ

where b j = 0 if g j (x) 6 0, and b j = l if g j (x) > 0 where l is a

very large number.

6.2. Optimization algorithms

The optimization algorithms used in this study are pre-

sented here. Since the relatively new gradient-based local

optimization methods have all been well documented, only

brief discussions of them are given here. A little more is

said about the global PSO algorithm. Although the latter

method has been widely used over the past ten years, it is

surprising how poorly the essentials of the method are pre-

sented in the general literature. It is therefore decided to

K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

793

include here, a short but more rigorously detailed presenta-

tion of the basic PSO algorithm. This may be of interest to

the uninitiated, since it attempts to convey the essentials of

the method in a simple but precise pseudo-code, which can

easily be implemented on a computer.

6.2.1. The gradient-based algorithms

(i) The LFOPC leap-frog optimization algorithm for

constrained optimization [3], uses a dynamic trajec-

tory technique for the unconstrained minimization

[1,2] of the penalty function F(x) (see definition

(56)), in order to obtain the solution of the associated

constrained optimization problem. The trajectory

seeks the optimum by simulating the motion of a par-

ticle in n-dimensional space, where F(x) represents the

potential energy of the particle. The generated tra-

jectory is monitored and an intermittent damping

procedure is applied to the particle to ensure its con-

vergence to a local minimum. An outstanding charac-

teristic of the basic method is that it uses only

function gradient information, so that no explicit

function line searches are performed. It has been pro-

ven to be extremely reliable and robust in solving

many practical engineering design problems [4,15,16].

(ii) The Dynamic-Q optimization method [5] solves con-

strained optimization problems by applying the

LFOPC trajectory method to a sequence of very sim-

ple spherically quadratic sub-problems. The functions

used in the sub-problems are two-point approxima-

tions of the original objective and constraint func-

tions. In constructing the approximations, use is

made of the value of the function and its gradient vec-

tor at the current point, and its function value at the

previous point. Because this method has been found

to converge quickly after relatively few sub-problems

[17], it is very economic when applied to problems

where the functions are extremely expensive to com-

pute, i.e. where costly computer simulations are

required in order to evaluate the functions.

(iii) The ETOPC algorithm [6] is a new implementation of

the conjugate gradient method (both the Fletcher–

Reeves and Polak–Ribiere versions) for solving

constrained problem. The essential novelty in this

implementation is the use of gradient-only line

searches, originally proposed by one of the authors

[18] in 1985. This conjugate gradient algorithm that

uses gradient-only line searches, has been proven to

be highly accurate and more reliable than standard

implementations, when applied to the solution of con-

strained problems via the sequential unconstrained

minimization technique (SUMT). Although not of

particular importance in the current application, where

the functions can be computed very accurately, it has

been shown that this algorithm, when using finite dif-

ference gradients in the line searches, easily overcomes

the problem of severe numerical noise in the functions.

6.2.2. The Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm

Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) techniques belong

to a relatively new class of evolutionary based search pro-

cedures that may be used to find the optimum solution x

*

of the general optimization problem. The original PSO

algorithm, proposed by Kennedy and Eberhardt in 1995

[7], was inspired by the modelling of the social behaviour

patterns of organisms that live and interact within large

groups. In particular, PSO incorporates swarming behav-

iours observed in flocks of birds, schools of fish, or swarms

of bees. A PSO algorithm is easy to implement in most pro-

gramming languages, since the core of the program can be

written in a few lines of code. It has been proven to be both

fast and effective, when applied to a diverse set of optimi-

zation problems. PSO algorithms are especially useful for

parameter optimization in continuous, multi-dimensional

search spaces.

In performing a search in the multi-dimensional space

associated with the optimization problem of the form

(54), the PSO technique assigns direction vectors and veloc-

ities to each member (particle) of the swarm at their current

positions. Each particle then ‘‘moves’’ or ‘‘flies’’ through

the search space according to the particle’s assigned veloc-

ity vector, which may be influenced by the directions and

velocities of other particles in its neighbourhood. These

localized interactions with neighbouring particles, propa-

gate through the entire ‘‘swarm’’ of particles and results

in the swarm as a whole moving to regions of the space clo-

ser to the solution of problem (54). The extent to which a

particular particle influences other particles is determined

by its so-called ‘‘fitness’’ along its trajectory of candidate

solution points. The ‘‘fitness’’ is a measure assigned to each

potential solution, and it indicates how good a particular

candidate solution is relative to all other solution points.

Hence, an evolutionary idea of ‘‘survival of the fittest’’

(in the sense of Darwinian evolution) comes into play,

as well as a social behaviour component through a ‘‘follow

the local leader’’ effect and emergent pattern formation [9].

A more precise and detailed description of the particular

PSO algorithm used in this study now follows.

Basic PSO Algorithm

(1) Given M, k max , N max . Set (time) instant k = 0,

F b ¼ F g ¼ F

i

g ¼ 1. Initialise a random popula-

before

tion (swarm) of M particles (swarm members), by

assigning an initial random position x 0 (candidate

i

solution), as well as a random initial velocity v 0 , to

i

each particle i, i = 1, 2,

...

, M. Then compute simulta-

neous trajectories, one for each particle, by perform-

ing the following steps.

(2) At instant k, compute the fitness of each individual

particle i at discrete point x k , by evaluating F ðx k Þ.

i

i

With reference to the minimization (54), the lower

the value of F ðx k Þ, the greater the particle’s fitness.

i

(3) For i = 1, 2,

...

, M:

if F ðx k Þ 6 F b then set F b ¼ F ðx k Þ

i

i

i

i

point on trajectory i},

and p b ¼ x k {best

i

i

  • 794 K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

(4)

(5)

if F ðx k Þ 6 F g then set

i

global point}.

F g ¼ F ðx k Þ and g b ¼

i

x k {best

i

If

If

F g < F g

then set

N = 1, else set N =N + 1.

N > N max or k > k max then STOP and set x * = g b ;

before

else continue.

(6) Compute new velocities and positions for instant

k + 1, using the rule:

for i = 1, 2,

...

, M:

v

k þ1

i

:¼ v k þ c 1 r 1 ðp b x k Þ þ c 2 r 2 ðg b x k Þ

i

i

i

i

x

k þ1

i

:¼ x k

i

þ v k þ1

i

ð57Þ

ð58Þ

where r 1 and r 2 are independently generated random

numbers in the interval [0, 1], and c 1 , c 2 are parame-

ters with appropriately chosen values.

g

(7) Set k = k + 1 and F before

¼ F g ; go to step 2.

All four continuous optimization methods presented in

this section were used in an adaptive manner in order to

accommodate the discrete nature of the design variables

to be used in the final manufacturing of the truss member.

In particular, for the particle swarm method, the discreti-

zation procedure was as follows. Starting from the opti-

mum continuous values, the secondary search chooses

the nearest discrete sizes for each continuous variable from

the series of discrete values. The number of chosen discrete

sizes for one continuous variable can be two, three or

more. The possible variations can be obtained using

binary, ternary or larger systems. In the example consid-

ered here we use the binary system, two discrete sizes,

upper and lower, associated with each continuous vari-

able. In the binary system the digit 0 is taken to indicate

the upper discrete size, and the digit 1 indicates the lower

value. The first 2n numbers in binary system give all the

possible variations. Each possibility is tested for whether

the explicit and implicit constraints are satisfied, and the

optimal values minimizing the merit function are thus

determined.

Details of the discretization procedures for the other

algorithms are given together with the presentation of the

optimization results in Section 7.2.1.

7. Numerical optimization results

7.1. Numerical data

The actual numerical values used in this study of the

quantities defined in Sections 4 and 5 are as follows:

The specific density of steel is

taken as q = 7.85 · 10 6

kg/mm 3 . The loading is specified by N F = 5.4 · 10 7 N and

p F = 1.5 MPa. The values of the remaining data used are:

L = 15 m, R = 1850 mm, f y = 355 MPa, E = 2.1 · 10 5

MPa, m = 0.3. The cost factor values are k M1 = k M2 = 1.0

$/kg, k F = 1.0 $/min and k P = 14.4 · 10 6 $/mm 2 .

As already stated in the previous section, the design

variables are x = [x 1 , x 2 ,

...

, x n ] T = [t, n s , n r , h r , h] T (rolled

I-section). In order to do the computations with continu-

ous values, the geometric characteristics of an UB section,

namely (t w , b, t f , h) are approximated by curve-fitting func-

tions (Table Curve 2D [19]) giving

t f ¼

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

33:20534 þ 6:701288 10 4 h 2 ;

b ¼

q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

5851:785 þ 1:671844 10 2 h lnðhÞ ;

t w ¼

q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

15:62577 þ 4:358947 10 5 h 2 lnðhÞ ;

h 1 ¼ h 2t f .

ð59Þ

ð60Þ

ð61Þ

ð62Þ

Practical considerations restrict the final values that of the

design variables may assume. The thicknesses t may as-

sume any integer mm value. The height of the ring stiffeners

h r is restricted to steps of 10 mm. For the UB sections,

according to the ARBED catalogue, the only acceptable

values for h are 152, 203, 254, 305, 356, 406, 457, 533,

610, 686, 762, 838, 914 mm [20].

7.2. Results for the orthogonally stiffened cylindrical shell

member

7.2.1. Results using the gradient-based algorithms

In addition to the specific inequality constraints (1), (9),

(22), (28), (29), the following side constraints were also

imposed: 4 6 t 6 40; 0 6 n s 6 40; 0 6 n r 6 40; 136 6 h r 6

510; 152 6 h 6 914. All three gradient-based local optimi-

zation algorithms, LFOPC, Dynamic-Q and ETOPC (see

Section 6.2.1), gave the identical continuous solution shown

in Table 1a. Indeed, throughout, the results for the three

methods are identical.

This solution satisfied all constraints. However, since n s

and n r can only assume integer values, the continuous val-

ues were rounded up to 27 and 9, respectively, and the min-

imization was repeated, but this time with variables n s = 27

and n r = 9 fixed, and the others having starting values as

listed in Table 1a. The results are given in Table 1b.

Again this solution satisfies all the constraints. However,

practical availability considerations further restrict the val-

ues that are acceptable. Thickness may assume any integer

mm value. Thus t is obviously rounded up to 14. The

height of the ring stiffeners is restricted to steps of

10 mm, and therefore h r is rounded up to 260. Since the

continuous solution, 207.7, is very close to 203, the height

h = 203 mm is selected. However, this solution slightly vio-

lates the normalized constraint (9) with 7.4 · 10 3 and

Table 1a Results for the continuous problem

t (mm)

n s

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

13.8

26. 9

8.4

260.3

223.9

54444.4

Table 1b Results for the discrete number of stiffeners

t (mm)

n s

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

13.9

27

9

254.5

207.7

54511.4

K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

795

Table 2 Discrete optimization results for (n s , n r ) = (27, 9) fixed

t (mm)

n s

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

14

27

9

270

203

55342.9

f * = K = 54808.6. If this design is rejected, the most reason-

able other choice is to increase h r to the next allowable

value of 270. This candidate design satisfies all the con-

straints and its details are listed in Table 2. Note that the

added cost due to discretization is 1.5% compared to the

cost of the continuous solution in Table 1b, and 0.5% for

the rejected discretized solution. Thus, if the latter is

accepted it would represent a saving of 534$ per unit.

Summarizing, the final discrete solution is obtained by

starting with the overall continuous solution in Table 1a,

and performing another continuous optimization but with

(n s , n r ) = (27, 9) fixed. The resultant continuous solution is

then rounded to the nearest allowable discrete values.

To investigate the existence of possible better solutions

in the neighbourhood of the current candidate optimum

point, further computational experiments were performed.

Integer changes in the numbers of longitudinal stiffeners

(stringers) n s and number of ring-stiffeners n r , will clearly

significantly affect the optimum solution if, with their val-

ues fixed, the optimization is carried out with respect to

the other variables. A sensible local search is therefore:

for each of the eight nearest integer neighbours to of the

point (n s , n r ) = (27, 9) in the plane, determine the optimum

continuous values of the remaining variables, and then

round each to its nearest allowable discrete value. The

results are summarized in Table 3. The last column lists

the maximum violation of the normalized constraints,

together with the corresponding constraint number in the

text.

The only new feasible solution found is listed in bold in

the first line of Table 3. This design gives an almost identi-

cal cost (0.03% lower) than for the first found candidate

solution. The optimization procedure was also repeated

for the choices (n s , n r ) = (27, 11) and (26, 11), near the point

(27, 10) that gave the best design to date, but as shown in

Table 4, no further improved feasible design was found.

The final discrete optimum solution is therefore taken

as: x * = [t = 14 mm, n s = 27, n r = 10, h r = 250 mm,

h = 203 mm] T with optimum K * = 55326.3 $.

Table 4 Further discrete optimization results

t

(mm)

n s

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

Max constraint

violation (no)

14

14

14

27

27

26

11

11

11

240

240

240

152

203

152

54403.7

55810.3

54061.4

0.07 (2)

0.08 (2)

In computing the optimum solution the greatest expense

is in solving the initial continuous problem (see Table 1). In

comparison to the continuous solution, the computational

expense for the secondary discrete optimizations is small.

Typically, starting at the point x = [20, 20, 20, 200, 200] T

the number of function and/or gradient vector evaluations,

for each of the methods are as follows:

LFOPC: Requires 3450 gradient evaluations of the

objective and constraint functions.

Dynamic-Q: Requires 27 function and 27 gradient eval-

uations of the objective and constraint functions; i.e. 27

simple spherically quadratic sub-problems are solved.

ETOPC: Requires 1845 gradient evaluations of the

objective and constraint functions.

7.2.2. Results using the PSO algorithm

In this study the basic PSO algorithm is implemented

using the code written by Wood and Groenwold [21].

The cognitive learning coefficient used is c 1 = 2. The social

learning coefficient is taken as c 2 = 1.4. To check the effi-

ciency of the particle swarm global search, different popu-

lation sizes from M = 1 to M = 500

were used, with

starting points randomly generated in an appropriately

large region. The no-improvement termination criterion

(iterations) used is N max = 10. The maximum allowable

number of function evaluations is k max , = 100 000. The ori-

ginal code was modified, by introducing a secondary dis-

crete optimization procedure, in order to automatically

find discrete solutions. Secondary discrete optimization is

described in [22].

The best continuous solution obtained, together with the

discrete solution are listed in Table 5. This discrete solution

corresponds exactly with the previous discretiszed solution

found (listed in Table 2), following on the continuous solu-

tion obtained in Section 7.2.1 using the gradient-based

local optimizers.

Table 3 Discrete optimization results for various fixed (n s , n r ) combinations

t (mm)

n s

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

Max. constraint violation (no) – 0.19 (28) 0.02 (1) 0.07 (28) 0.06 (28) 0.00 (30) 0.00 (30) 0.01 (30)

14

15

14

14

14

19

26

38

27

27

26

26

26

28

28

28

10

8

10

9

8

10

9

8

250

250

250

250

260

240

240

260

203

203

203

203

254

152

152

152

55326.3

56243.4

54930.9

53968.5

55027.3

64463.4

78866.1

104763.9

  • 796 K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797

Table 5 Results for the 5 variables: continuous and discrete solutions (M = 500)

t (mm)

n s

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

13.82

26.85

8.31

260.96

225.79

54444.62 (cont.)

  • 14 9

27

270

203

55342.9 (disc.)

Table 6 Solutions for 4 variables, with the number of stringer stiffeners respectively fixed at n s = 23, 24, 25, 26

t (mm)

n s (fixed)

n r

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

  • 14 260

26

9

254

56042.3

  • 15 270

25

8

254

57142.7

  • 15 260

24

9

203

55724.8

  • 15 280

23

8

254

56705.9

Table 7 Solutions for 4 variables, with the number of ring stiffeners respectively fixed at n r = 7, 8, 10, 11

t (mm)

n s

n r (fixed)

h r (mm)

h (mm)

K ($)

  • 14 280

26

7

305

56764.1

  • 14 8

26

270

254

55501.3

  • 14 10

27

250

203

55326.3 (disc.)

13.91

27.51

10.00

246.47

186.21

54701.7 (cont.)

14

27

11

240

203

55810.2

Further experiments were performed with respectively

n s , and n r kept fixed during the optimization. The discreti-

zation results are as reported in Tables 6 and 7.

The only marginally improved discrete solution

obtained is listed in bold in the third row of Table 7. This

solution is obtained from discretizing the continuous solu-

tion listed in the fourth row. This solution corresponds

exactly to the best solution obtained via the gradient-based

local optimizers in Section 7.2.1, and thus confirms that

*

the computed global discrete optimum solution is: x =

[t = 14 mm, n s = 27, n r = 10, h r = 250 mm, h = 203 mm] T

with optimum K * = 55326.3 $.

Typical computational cost in using the PSO algorithm

is as indicated in Table 8. Due to the random nature of the

starting positions of the particles, no run is identical to

another. The ranges given for the number of function eval-

uations required per optimization run, and for the corre-

Table 8 Representative range of number of function evaluations and range of optimum objective function value for continuous optimization found at different number of particles

Number of

Number of function

K ($)

particles M

evaluations

500

26 184–100 000

54444.4–56384.3

250

11 666–43 044

54444.8–56384.5

32

2778–9861

54450.0–57487.0

16

2231–8378

54615.1–58057.2

1

2031–2816

55384.8–77040.1

sponding value of the objective function, are as

experimentally found over a large number (some hundreds)

of different runs.

Table 8 shows that the efficiency and reliability of PSO

algorithm, increases gradually with population sizes. It is

remarkable that it could find a relatively good solution

when only one particle was used. In that case, however,

the result cannot be taken to be reliable, as is evident

from the range of objective function values obtained. Com-

paring the best continuous solution in Table 1 (cost

54444.4)$ with the best continuous PSO solution in Table

5 (cost 54444.6)$, shows that they are almost identical.

Comparing, however, the respective number of function

evaluations required, as is respectively indicated at the

end of Section 7.2.1 and in Table 8 above (LFOPC 3450

gradient evaluations, Dynamic-Q: 27 function and 27 gradi-

ent evaluations, ETOPC 1845 gradient evaluations, and

PSO 60 000 function evaluations), it is clear that the gra-

dient-based local algorithms are vastly superior with regard

to computational economy. Nevertheless, the results for

the PSO algorithm are important, because they confirm

that the accurate local optimizers have indeed converged

in a globally optimal region.

7.3. Results for the un-stiffened shell

Using the shell buckling constraint for the un-stiffened

shell as defined by expressions (42)–(47), it follows that

the constraint is satisfied if the shell thickness is

t = 50 mm. In this case the objective function, defined

by (48) is K = 112131.3 $. Thus, a cost saving of 51% can

be achieved by the orthogonal stiffening of the shell

member.

8. Conclusions

The study shows that a practically viable and economi-

cally advantageous design of a loaded shell member of a

platform truss may be obtained, by coupling a realistic

and accurate mathematical model of the member, to opti-

mization algorithms. In particular, a minimum cost design,

from a material and manufacturing point of view, may be

achieved, whilst ensuring safety and feasibility of assembly

through the inclusion of stability and manufacturing con-

straints in the optimization algorithms. The optimization

procedures allow for a choice to be made between a shell

member that is orthogonally stiffened by ring stiffeners

and stringers, and an un-stiffened shell member.

The results show that if the member is stiffened, a cost

saving of more than 50%, compared to that of the un-stiff-

ened shell, may be obtained. This is due to the fact that

stiffening allows the thickness of the shell to be reduced

to 14 mm, which represents a significant material saving,

compared to the un-stiffened shell that requires a minimum

thickness of 50 mm. This material saving overshadows the

increase in labour and welding costs associated with the

stiffening.

K. Ja´ rmai et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 787–797 797

This study emphasises the importance of using a multi-

ple-algorithm approach to solving practical optimization

problems. To ensure confidence that the computed contin-

uous optimal design is accurate, and indeed corresponds to

the global optimum, use was made of four conceptually dif-

ferent optimization algorithms readily available and famil-

iar to the authors. The first three algorithms are local

optimizers and gave identical and clearly very accurate

results. To ensure that the optimum obtained by these local

optimizers corresponds to the global optimum, many inde-

pendent applications of the relatively new PSO global opti-

mization algorithm was also performed and with increasing

number of particles. Through these experiments the PSO

algorithm indicated with a very high probability that the

other, locally more accurate algorithms, did indeed con-

verge to a globally optimal region.

Acknowledgements

The research work was supported by the Hungarian Sci-

entific Research Foundation grants OTKA T38058, T37941.

The project was also supported by the Hungarian-South

African Intergovernmental S&T co-operation program

DAK 7/2002. The Hungarian funding is from the Research

and Technological Innovation Fund, and the South African

partner is the National Research Foundation.

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