Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite Plates
Umut Topal and Ümit Uzman Journal of Composite Materials 2008 42: 1731 DOI: 10.1177/0021998308093368
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¨
UMUT TOPAL* AND U MIT UZMAN
Karadeniz Technical University, Department of Civil Engineering 29000, Gu¨ mu¨ s hane, Turkey
ABSTRACT: A procedure to select the optimum fiber orientations and determine the maximum loadbearing capacity of the simply supported symmetrically laminated plates combined the bidirectional tension loads and bending moments is described. The fiber orientation is considered a design variable. The optimization problem consists of two stages. The objective of the first stage is to maximize the strength of the laminated plates by determining the fiber orientations optimally while the objective of the second stage is to maximize each of the bidirectional tension loads and bending moments subject to the Tsai–Wu failure criterion for the optimum fiber orientations obtained from the first stage. The modified feasible direction method (MFD) is used as an optimization procedure. Therefore, a FORTRAN program is used for the finite element analysis and optimization routine. Also, the optimum fiber orientations are obtained using the golden section (GS) method to compare the results. Finally, the effect of the different plate aspect ratio, widthto thickness ratio, the uncertainties in the material properties and the uncertainties in the fiber orientations on the optimum results is investigated and the results are compared.
KEY WORDS: laminated composite plates, modified feasible direction method, Tsai–Wu failure criterion, strength optimization.
INTRODUCTION
L AMINATED COMPOSITE PLATES are extensively used in the construction of aerospace, civil, marine, automotive, and other high performance structures due to their high
specific stiffness and strength, excellent fatigue resistance, long durability, and many other superior properties compared to the conventional metallic materials. In general, the prediction of the maximum load that the composite structures can withstand is very crucial. Due to the anisotropy of the composite laminates and nonuniform distribution of the stresses in the laminae under several types of static/dynamic loading, the failure process of the laminates is very complex.
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: umut@ktu.edu.tr
Journal of COMPOSITE MATERIALS, Vol. 42, No. 17/2008
00219983/08/17 1731–16 $10.00/0
DOI: 10.1177/0021998308093368
1731
SAGE Publications 2008 Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore
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U. TOPAL _{A}_{N}_{D} U
. UZMAN
In the past, various researchers have investigated the strength of the laminated plates. Strizhalo and Zemtsov [1] described a method for estimating the strength and rigidity of the carbonfiber reinforced anisotropic laminated plates in tension and compression loads. The strength of the multilayered plates with various schemes of the fibers was estimated on the basis of known mechanical characteristics. Parhi et al. [2] studied the first ply failure analysis of the laminated composite plates with arbitrarily located multiple delaminations subjected to the transverse static load as well as impact. The Tsai–Wu failure criterion was used to check the failure of the laminate for all load cases. Srivastava [3] presented a modified point stress criterion for predicting the notched strength of the glass and carbon fiber laminated composites containing centrally located throughthethickness circular or elliptical holes as well as a center crack. Jeong and Shenoi [4] performed a probabilistic strength analysis of the simply supported rectangular antisymmetric crossply and angle ply fiber reinforced plastic laminated plates by applying the Monte Carlo simulation method. Xu et al. [5] investigated the laminated composite plates with multiple elliptical holes based on the classical laminated plate theory. The laminate strength was predicted using the concept of a characteristic curve and the Yamada–Sun failure criterion. Chen and Sun [6] presented a study of the residual compressive strength in the delaminated laminates. A finite element (FE) analysis of the residual compressive strength was conducted on the basis of the Von Karman’s nonlinearity assumption and the firstorder shear deformation plate theory was combined with a stiffness degradation scheme. Yan et al. [7] performed an experimental study to assess the effects of clampup on the net tension failure of the laminated composite plates with boltfilled holes. The tensile strength and failure response of the specimens with an open hole and a boltfilled hole were evaluated. Kam and Lai [8] presented the experimental and theoretical methods to study the firstply failure strength of the laminated composite plates under different load conditions. A FE analysis was constructed on the basis of the layerwise linear displacement theory and the Tsai–Wu failure criterion was used to predict the firstply failure strength of the plates. Strength optimization of the laminated plates are found in some articles. Liu et al. [9] presented a newly developed fixed grid evolutionary structural optimization method to explore the shape optimization of multiple cutouts in the composite structures based on the Tsai–Hill failure criterion. Different design cases with varying number of cutouts, ply orientations, and layup configurations were taken into account. Callahan and Weeks [10] used a genetic algorithm (GA) to maximize the strength and stiffness of the laminates under inplane and flexural loads. Kam et al. [11] studied the optimum design of the laminated composite sandwich plates with both continuous and discrete design variables subject to a strength constraint via a twolevel optimization technique. The strength of the sandwich plate was determined in a failure analysis using the Tsai–Wu failure criterion and the FE method was formulated on the basis of the layerwise linear displacement theory. Adali et al. [12] used a shear deformable laminated theory to study the optimal design of the laminated rectangular plates under biaxial compressive loads. The fiber orientations were used as design variable. Kolpakov and Kalamkarov [13] presented a new approach to the problem of the discrete design of the laminated composite plates taking account of strength. The solution of the design problem for a laminated plate possessing the required set of stiffness and strength was developed. Adali et al. [14] presented an approach for the optimization of the symmetrically laminated cylindrical pressure vessels. The optimization was carried out with respect to the fiber orientations and thickness distributions subject to the Tsai–Wu failure criterion. Fukunaga and Vanderplaats [15] investigated the strength
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Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite
1733
optimization problem of the laminated composites under inplane loading based upon the mathematical programming method. Design variables were the layer orientation angles as well as the layer thicknesses. On the other hand, the MFD method has not been applied to the strength optimization of the laminated composite plates by the authors until now. Also, the researches men tioned above did not discuss the effect of the uncertainties in the material properties and fiber orientations on the strength optimization. Therefore, the present study is investigated the effect of the uncertainties in the material properties and fiber orientations on the strength optimization for the laminates to fill this gap. Also, this article shows the appli cability of the MFD method to the strength optimization of the laminated composite plates. A procedure to select the optimal fiber orientations and determine the maximum loadbearing capacity of the simply supported symmetrically laminated plates combined the bidirectional tension loads and bending moments is described. The fiber orientation is considered a design variable. The optimization problem consists of two stages. The objective of the first stage is to maximize the strength of the laminated plates by deter mining the fiber orientations optimally while the objective of the second stage is to maxi mize each of the bidirectional tension loads and bending moments subject to the Tsai–Wu failure criterion for the optimum fiber orientations obtained from the first stage. The modified feasible direction method (MFD) is used as an optimization procedure. Therefore, a FORTRAN program is used for the FE analysis and optimization routine. Also the optimum fiber orientations are obtained using the golden section (GS) method to compare the results. Finally, the effect of the different plate aspect ratio, width tothickness ratio, the uncertainties in the material properties and the uncertainties in the fiber orientations on the optimum results is investigated and the results are compared.
BASIC EQUATIONS
Consider a laminated composite plate of uniform thickness h, having a rectangular plan a b as shown in Figure 1. The individual layers are assumed to be homogeneous
a Figure 1. Geometry and loading of a laminated plate.
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1734
¨
U. TOPAL AND U
. UZMAN
and orthotropic. Perfect bonding is assumed between the layers of the laminated
composite plates.
The displacement field based on the firstorder shear deformation theory [16] takes
the form:
uðx, y, zÞ 
¼ 
u _{o} ðx, 
yÞ 
þ 
z 
_{x} ðx, yÞ 

vðx, y, zÞ 
¼ 
v _{o} ðx, 
yÞ 
þ 
z 
_{y} ðx, 
yÞ 

wðx, y, zÞ ¼ wðx, yÞ 
ð1Þ 
where u _{0} and _{0} are the displacements of u and v on the midplane. Because the vertical
line to the midplane of the laminates is not necessarily perpendicular to the deformed
midplane, the terms C _{x} and C _{y} are independent of @w/@x and @w/@y.
The displacement–strain relations, taking Equation (1) into account are:
8 < " x : " y xy 9 = ; ¼
@u _{o} @x @v _{o} @y @u _{o} _{þ} @v _{o} @y @x
z
@
@y

@ x @x @ y @y x þ ^{@} ^{y} @x

,


0 x 1 
0 Q 11

Q 12 
Q 16 




B @ y xy 
C 
A ðkÞ ¼ B @ Q 12
Q 16 
Q 22

Q 26

Q 26 
Q 66 


^{5}^{5} ! ðkÞ
Q 45
Q 

yz xz 
ðkÞ ¼ Q 44
Q 45 


< N x = : N y N xy ; 8 9 ¼ h=2 Z h=2 
< x = : y xy ; 8 9 dz, 
< M x = : M y M xy ; 8 9 

N n 
N n 

u o ^{e} ^{¼} X i¼1 
u ^{e} N ^{e} , i i v o ^{e} ^{¼} X i¼1 v ^{e} N ^{e} , i i 

N n 
N n 

x ^{¼} X e 
e xi ^{N} i ^{e} , y ^{¼} X e e yi ^{N} i ^{e} 

i¼1 
i¼1 

@w 



yz xz 
¼

@y @w 


@x 

1 C A ðkÞ 
0 " x @ " y " xy B 1 C _{A} 

yz xz : 

y
x
ð2Þ
The constitutive relations for a laminated plate can be written as:
ð3Þ
ð4Þ
The stress resultants {N}, stress couples {M} and transverse shear stress resultants {Q} are:
¼
h=2
Z
h=2
< x =
:
y
xy
;
8
9
zdz:
ð5Þ
The C 8continuity element with fives degrees of u _{0} , _{0} , w _{0} , _{x} , and _{y} is used for the finite
element analysis of the laminated plates. Interpolation functions can be assumed as:
N n
w o ^{e} ^{¼} X
i¼1
w ^{e} N ^{e}
i
i
ð6Þ
where N _{i} represents the element interpolation functions and N _{n} is the number of nodes per
element. In this study, fournode Lagrangian FE approach is used for the analysis of the
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Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite
1735
laminated plates. When the FE analysis based on the Reissner–Mindlin plate theory is
applied to the thin plates, shear locking may occur. Reduced/selective integration
technique is adopted for the element matrices in order to avoid possible shear locking.
MODIFIED FEASIBLE DIRECTION METHOD
The modified feasible direction method (MFD) takes into account not only the gra
dients of the objective function and constraints, but also the search direction in the former
iteration. Let x _{0} be an initial x vector. The design is updated according to the equation:
x _{q} ¼ x _{q} _{} _{1} þ S _{q}
ð7Þ
where S _{q} is the search direction. l is a scalar whose value is determined through a
onedimensional search. Different optimization methods are characterized by different
methods to determine the search direction. For this method, the search direction is deter
mined using the Fletcher–Reeves conjugate direction method when there is no active
or violated constraint:
S _{q} ¼ r FðX _{q} _{} _{1} Þ þ S _{q} _{} _{1}
where:
¼
r
FðXÞ _{q} _{} _{1}
2
r
FðXÞ _{q} _{} _{2}
_{2} :
ð8Þ
ð9Þ
Figure 2 shows the iterative process within each optimization process [17–20].
Where X ^{q} and X ^{q} ^{þ} ^{1} are the design variable vectors in two consecutive cycles of the
iteration. The procedure starts with an initial design vector, X ^{0} , i.e., q ¼ 0. For q ¼ q þ 1,
the objective function, F(X _{i} ), and the constraints, g _{j} (Xq), are evaluated. A set of critical or
active constraints, J, are identified and the gradients of the objective function, r F(X _{i} ), and
the gradients of the constraints, r g _{k} (X _{i} ), are calculated. A search direction, S ^{q} , is deter
mined and a onedimensional search is made to find . The above procedure is repeated
with the new design vectors, until the design satisfies the optimality conditions or some
other termination criterion.
The objective function F(X _{i} ) is accurately modeled as a quadratic polynomial
approximation around the current iterate X _{i} as in Equation (10):
N d
N d
FðX _{i} Þ ¼ a _{o} þ ^{X} a _{i} X _{i} þ ^{X} b _{i} X ^{2}
i
i¼1
i¼1
ð10Þ
where N _{d} and X _{i} are the number of design variables and ith design variable, respectively.
a _{i} and b _{i} are the coefficients of the polynomial function determined by the least squares
regression. After the objective function is approximated, their gradients with respect to the
design variables are calculated using the finite difference method. The solving process
is iterated until the convergence is achieved.
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U. TOPAL AND U
. UZMAN
1. q=0, X ^{q} = X ^{m}
2. q=q+1
MFD
3. Evaluate the objective function F(X _{i} ) and behavior constraints g _{j} (X _{j} ) ≤ 0 where j=1, 2, …, N _{c}
4. Identify the critical and potentially critical constraints, N _{c}
5. Calculate gradient of the objective function ∇F(X _{i} ) and behavior constraints ∇ g _{k} (X _{i} )
where k=1, 2, …, N _{c}
6. Find the usablefeasible direction S _{q}
7. Perform a onedimensional search X ^{q} = X ^{q}^{−}^{1} + α S _{q}
8. Check the convergence. If satisfied, go to 9. Otherwise go to 2
_{9}_{.} _{X} m+1 _{=} _{X} q
Figure 2. The modified feasible direction method.
Convergence or termination checks are performed at the end of each optimization loop.
The optimization process continues until either convergence or termination occurs.
The process may be terminated before the convergence in two cases:
. The number of design sets so far exceeds the maximum number of optimization loops.
. If the initial design is infeasible and the allowed number of consecutive infeasible
designs has been exceeded.
The optimization problem is considered converged if all of the following conditions are
satisfied:
. The current design is feasible,
. Changes in the objective function F :
(a) The difference between the current value and the best design so far is less than the tolerance _{F} :
j
F current F best
j _{F} :
(b) The difference between the current value and the previous design is less than the tolerance:
j
F current F current 1
j _{F} :
. Changes in the design variables X ^{i} :
(a) The difference between the current value of each design variable and the best design so far is less than the respective tolerance ^{i} :
current ^{} ^{X} best ^{i}
^{i}
X
^{} ^{i} :
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Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite
1737
(b) The difference between the current value of each design variable and the previous
design is less than the respective tolerance:
current ^{} ^{X} current ^{i} 1
^{i}
X
The optimization process was solved to obtain a global minimum from different initial
points to check if the other solutions were possible. The convergence tolerance ratio was
considered 0.01 for the objective function.
OPTIMIZATION PROBLEM
The objective of the design problem is first to design for the maximum strength of the
laminated plates by selecting the fiber orientations optimally. The strength of the lami
nated plate is reflected by the value of a failure index (FI), viz. the lower the failure index,
the stronger the laminated plate for a given load scenario. The first part of the optimi
zation problem is formally expressed as:
where:
FI _{m}_{i}_{n} ¼ min ½
FI
max
ð Þ
0 ^{} _{k} 90 ^{}
FI _{m}_{a}_{x} ð Þ ¼ max FIðx, yÞ:
x, y
ð11Þ
ð12Þ
The most commonly used model taking account of failure mode interaction is the Tsai–Wu
failure criterion. Because of its general nature, this theory contains almost all other
polynomial theories as special cases. This criterion can be written as:
FIð Þ ¼ F _{1}_{1} ^{ð}^{k}^{Þ}
1
_{} ðkÞ
1
ðkÞ
þ F _{2}_{2}
2
ðkÞ
þ F _{6}_{6} ^{ð}^{k}^{Þ}
12
_{} ðkÞ
12
þ 2F _{1}_{2} ^{ð}^{k}^{Þ}
1
ðkÞ
2
þ F _{1} ^{ð}^{k}^{Þ}
1
ðkÞ
þ F _{2}
2
1
ð13Þ
where F _{1}_{1} , F _{2}_{2} , F _{6}_{6} , F _{1} , F _{2} , and F _{1}_{2} are the strength parameters which can be calculated as:
F 11 ¼
1
ðX _{t} =X _{c} Þ ^{,}
F _{2} ¼
1
1
Y t
Y c
,
^{F} ^{2}^{2}
^{¼}
1
ðY _{t} =Y _{c} Þ ^{,}
^{F} ^{6}^{6} ^{¼}
1
_{G} _{2} ,
F _{1}_{2} ¼
1
2
p ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ
F 11 F 22
F _{1} ¼
1
1
ð14Þ
where X _{t} , X _{c} , Y _{t} , and Y _{c} are the tensile and compressive strengths in the fiber and
transverse directions, respectively and G is the inplane shear strength.
The second part of the optimization problem is to maximize the loadbearing capacity of
the laminated plates at _{o}_{p}_{t} subject to the constraint of Equation (13). This step may be
described explicitly as:
min
N _{x} , N _{y} , M _{x} , M _{y}
FIð _{o}_{p}_{t} Þ 1 ^{}
ð15Þ
in order to maximize each of the bidirectional tensile loads and bending moments
(viz. FI(N _{x} ) ¼ 1, FI(N _{y} ) ¼ 1, FI(M _{x} ) ¼ 1 and FI(M _{y} ) ¼ 1, respectively).
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U. TOPAL AND U
. UZMAN
The failure index FI is determined from the FE solution of the laminated plates.
The first optimization procedure involves the stages of determining the maximum failure
index FI _{m}_{a}_{x} for a given and improving the fiber orientation to minimize FI _{m}_{a}_{x} .
The second optimization stage involves evaluating FI ( _{o}_{p}_{t} ) for a given N _{x} , N _{y} , M _{x} , and M _{y}
and maximizing each of the bidirectional tension loads and bending moments subject
to the Tsai–Wu failure criterion.
NUMERICAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In this study, four layered, symmetric, angle ply ( / / / ), simply supported
laminated plates subjected to the bidirectional tensile loads and bending moments are
investigated. The laminated plate is constructed of four equal thickness. Numerical results
are given for a graphite/epoxy T300/5208 composite with the properties:
E _{1} ¼ 181 GPa, E _{2} ¼ 10:3 GPa, G _{1}_{2} ¼ 7:17 GPa, 
_{1}_{2} ¼ 0:28, 

X _{t} ¼ X _{c} ¼ 1500 MPa, Y _{c} ¼ 246 MPa 
and 
S ¼ 68 MPa: 
To show
the optimization problem, Nx ¼ N _{y} ¼ 1 10 ^{5} N and M _{x} ¼ M _{y} ¼ 1 10 ^{2} Nm are
considered. The dimensionless bidirectional tensile loads (N _{b}_{x} , N _{b}_{y} ) and bending moments
(M _{b}_{x} , M _{b}_{y} ) are defined as:
N b ¼
N
N o
,
M _{b} ¼
M ð16Þ
M
o
where N _{0} and M _{0} are taken as 1 10 ^{6} N and 1 10 ^{4} Nm, respectively.
EFFECT OF PLATE ASPECT RATIO AND WIDTHTOTHICKNESS RATIO
In Table 1, the effect of the plate aspect ratio (a/b (a ¼ constant)) and widthtothickness
ratio (a/h) on the optimum fiber orientations is illustrated using the MFD and GS methods
for fourlayered plates under the bidirectional tensile loads and bending moments.
As seen from Table 1, as a/b ratio increases, the optimum fiber orientation increases.
The agreement between the two different optimization methods is excellent.
Table 1. Effects of a/b and a/h ratios on the optimum fiber orientations using the MFD and GS methods.
MFD (GS)
1
1.5
2
2.5
a/b
h _{o}_{p}_{t} (8)
20
25
50
75
100
45.0 (45.0) 45.0)
45.0 (45.0) (45.0)
45.0 (45.0) (45.0)
45.0 (45.0) (45.0)
45.0 (45.0) (45.0)
47.7 (48.6) (48.6)
47.9 (48.6) (48.6)
48.0 (48.6) (48.6)
48.0 (48.6) (48.6)
48.1 (48.6) (48.6)
50.1 (50.4) (50.4)
50.2 (50.4) (50.4)
50.4 (50.4) (50.4)
50.5 (50.4) (50.4)
50.6 (50.4) (50.4)
51.7 (51.5) (51.5) 51.8 (51.5) (51.5) 52.1 (51.5) (51.5) 52.3 (51.5) (51.5) 52.4 (51.5) (51.5)
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Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite
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In Figures 3 and 4, the maximized bidirectional tensile loads and bending moments are
illustrated for a/b and a/h ratios.
As seen from Figures 3 and 4, as a/b ratio increases, the maximum loadbearing capacity
of the laminated plates increases because of decrease in the failure index (or increase in the
rigidity of the plates). However, as a/h ratio increases, the maximum loadbearing capacity
of the laminated plates decreases because of increase in the failure index. The maximum
increase in the loads is obtained for a/b ¼ 2.5 vs. a/h ¼ 20, whereas the minimum increase is
Figure 3. Effects of a/b and a/h ratios on the maximized bidirectional tensile loads.
(a)
^{M}
bx
(b)
^{M}
by
a/h
Figure 4. Effects of a/b and a/h ratios on the maximized bidirectional bending moments.
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U. TOPAL AND U
. UZMAN
obtained for a/b ¼ 1 vs. a/h ¼ 100. The maximized loads are almost the same for all a/b
ratios for larger a/h ratios.
EFFECT OF UNCERTAINTIES IN MATERIAL PROPERTIES
Because the uncertainties are always encountered in the composite materials, they need
to be taken into account in design of the laminated composite structures. Such uncer
tainties may be due to many factors, such as the misalignment of the fibers or imperfect
bonding between the fibers and the matrix, and their influence upon the strength of the
laminate. In this study, the convex modeling is used to consider the bounded uncertainty
of the material properties.
The vector of the uncertain elastic moduli E of the laminate can be expressed as a sum
of deterministic and uncertain parts such that:
E
¼
E ^{o} þ E ~
E _{1} ¼ E ^{o} þ E ~ _{1} ,
1
E _{2} ¼ E ^{o} 2 ^{þ}
E ~ _{2} ,
G _{1}_{2} ¼ G ^{o}
12 ^{þ}
G ~ _{1}_{2} ,
þ ~ _{1}_{2}
ð17Þ
ð18Þ
where the superscripts ‘8’ and ‘ ’ refer to the deterministic and uncertain components,
respectively. It is assumed that the elastic moduli vary slightly around their average values
inside an ellipsoidal set C with semiaxes e ¼ (e _{1} , e _{2} , e _{3} , e _{4} ) so that:
C ¼
(
4
E ~ : ^{X}
i¼1
E ~ ^{2}
i
e ^{2}
i
) :
ð19Þ
According to Equation (13), the failure index FI, is a function of E. Assuming that the
semiaxes of the uncertainty ellipsoid Equation (19) is small enough, the failure index
FI(E) of a laminate with scatter in the material properties can be linearized with respect to
the uncertain quantities E as:
FIðE Þ ¼ FIðE ^{o} Þ þ ðr FIðE ^{o} Þ, E ~ Þ:
ð20Þ
The problem for the uncertainty analysis is formulated as follows: given an ellipsoid of the
uncertain parts of elastic moduli find the maximum failure index, viz:
FI _{m}_{a}_{x} ðE ^{o} , eÞ ¼ max FIðE Þ:
E, ~ C
ð21Þ
Since the failure index given by Equation (20) is a linear function of the uncertain com
ponents E, ~ the maximum of failure index on the boundary of the set C, i.e., the following
condition should be satisfied:
4
X ~
i¼1
E ^{2}
i
e ^{2}
i
ð22Þ
and the uncertainty analysis problem Equation (21) can be stated as:
FI _{m}_{a}_{x} ðE ^{o} , eÞ ¼ max FIðEÞ:
E2@C ~
ð23Þ
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Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite
1741
Table 2. Optimum fiber orientations with uncertainties in the material properties.
d ^ Q5%
d ^ R5%
d ^ Q10%
d ^ R10%
a/b
h _{o}_{p}_{t} (8)
1
1.5
2
2.5
45.0
47.8
50.1
51.8
45.0
47.7
50.1
51.7
45.0
47.8
50.1
51.8
45.0
47.7
50.0
51.7
The method of Lagrange multipliers is employed to solve Equation (23) with Lagrangian
given by:
Lð EÞ ~ ¼ ðrF _{m}_{a}_{x} ðE ^{o} Þ, EÞ ~ þ
4
^{X}
j¼1
E ^{2}
i
e ^{2}
i
^{2} !
where l is the Lagrange multiplier.
Finally the optimization problem becomes:
FI _{m}_{i}_{n} ¼ min
2
4
FIðE ^{o} Þ þ
v ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 3
4
u
u X
t
i¼1
@FIðE ^{o} Þ
e i
@E _{i}
2
5 :
ð24Þ
ð25Þ
In this study, the uncertainties in the material properties _{i} are arbitrarily set at 5% and
10% of the nominal values for the laminated plates.
The optimum fiber orientations are given in Table 2 with the uncertainties in the
material properties for the symmetrically laminated plates for a/b ratios (N ¼ 4, b/h ¼ 20).
As seen from Table 2, the optimum stacking sequences are the same as those obtained
from the nominal values of the material properties.
The maximized bidirectional tensile loads and bending moments are illustrated in
Figures 5 and 6.
As seen from Figures 5 and 6, it is observed that there is a little difference between
the optimal solutions with and without the uncertainties in the material properties.
For example, the maximum and minimum changes in the maximized N _{x} loads are
1.14% and 0.03% for ¼ 10% and ¼ þ10% for a/b ¼ 1, respectively. On the other
hand, the maximum and minimum changes in the maximized M _{x} bending moments
are 2 and 0.11% for ¼ 10% and ¼ þ10% for a/b ¼ 1 and a/b ¼ 1.5, respectively.
It means that the effect of the uncertainties in the material properties on the optimal
results is small. But this situation may be considered for larger uncertainties in the
material properties.
EFFECT OF UNCERTAINTIES IN FIBER ORIENTATION
When engineering structures are manufactured, the design parameters may deviate from
their intended design values. These deviations are usually referred to as manufacturing
tolerances. Though the deviations can be relatively small, their impact on the overall
performance of the structure can be significant. Thus, determining the optimal design with
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a/b
Figure 6. Effect of the uncertainites in the material properties on the maximized bidirectional bending moments.
the manufacturing tolerances accounted for can help to predict accurately optimal
characteristics of the laminates. Assumed that the interval 08 908 is divided into i sub
intervals [0 A] _{1} , [A B] _{2} , [B C] _{3} , [Y Z] _{i} and that for each, a manufac
turing tolerance in the layup angle is incurred, and must be accounted for during
the design stage, if the optimal performance is required. For example for the interval
[0 A] _{1} , the desired fiber orientations may deviate form its intended design value by
þv1 or –v2 which are upper and lower tolerances, respectively (08 1, 2 908). In this
case, there are three trend lines and these represent the nominal failure index (viz. the FI at
), along with the upper and lower bounds (viz., the FI at the values þv1 and v2).
Finally, the intersection point of the upper and lower tolerance trend lines clearly indicates
the new value of the angle which must be chosen instead of the nominal value of the fiber
angle when the laminated plate is manufactured.
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Strength Optimization of Laminated Composite
1743
0 
15 
30 
45 
60 
75 
90 
0 
15 
30 
45 
60 
75 
90 

First tolerance 
θ 
Second tolerance 

(c) 
(FI) _{m}_{a}_{x} 
Figure 7. Effect of the manufacturing tolerances on the optimum design for square laminated plates.
In this study, three different tolerance scenarios are used for the purpose of illustrating
the optimization problem. In the first tolerance scenario, it was assumed that on the interval
[0 22] _{1} , the tolerance
is 7 þ 13, on the interval [22 35] _{2} , the tolerance is
12 þ 6, on the interval [35 70] _{3} , the tolerance is 17 þ 17, on the
interval [70 90] _{4} , the tolerance is 15 þ 5. In the second tolerance scenario,
on the interval [0 40] _{1} the tolerance is 7 þ 13, on the interval [40 90] _{2}
the tolerance is 8 þ 16.
In the third tolerance scenario, on the interval
[0 40] _{1} the tolerance is 3 þ 17, on the interval [40 90] _{2} the tolerance
is 10 þ 5. As an example, the maximum failure index is illustrated in Figure 7
for nominal, lower tolerance and upper values of the fiber angles for three different
tolerance scenarios for square laminated plates (b/h ¼ 20, N ¼ 4).
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1744
¨
U. TOPAL AND U
. UZMAN
Table 3. Effect of three different manufacturing tolerances on the optimum fiber orientations.
Nominal values First tolerance Second tolerance Third tolerance
a/b
h _{o}_{p}_{t} (8)
1 
45.0 
45.0 
41.0 
48.0 
1.5 
47.7 
48.9 
51.4 
55.4 
2 
50.1 
51.4 
53.6 
57.6 
2.5 
51.7 
53.3 
55.3 
59.3 
^{N} bx
(b)
a/b
Figure 8. Effect of the uncertainties in the fiber orientations on the maximized bidirectional tensile loads.
Table 3 shows the effect of three different manufacturing tolerances on the optimum
fiber orientations for a/b ratios (b/h ¼ 20). The differences can be seen between the actual
and nominal optimum fiber orientations and it can be said that the third tolerance scenario
has the most effect on the optimum results.
The effect of three different manufacturing tolerances on the maximized bidirectional
tensile loads and bending moments is given in Figures 8 and 9.
As seen from Figures 8 and 9, the uncertainties in the fiber orientations effect
the maximized loads significantly. There are always relatively large differences between the
maximized results with and without the uncertainties in the fiber orientations. The maxi
mized loads are the same for the first and second scenarios for a/b 1.5. The maximized
N _{x} and M _{x} loads are always larger than those obtained from neglecting the uncertainties,
whereas the reverse in the case with N _{y} and M _{y} loads. For example, the increases in the
maximized N _{x} loads are 67.68%, 54.04%, and 47.26% for the first, second, and third
scenarios, respectively. The decreases in the maximized N _{y} loads are 53.77, 44.39,
and 39.52% for the first, second, and third scenarios, respectively. Thus, it can be said
that the uncertainties in the fiber orientations must be considered when designing the
laminated plates.
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a/b
Figure 9. Effect of the uncertainties in the fiber orientations on the maximized bidirectional bending moments.
CONCLUSIONS
In this study, the applicability of the MFD method to the strength optimization of the
laminated plates under the bidirectional tensile loads and bending moments is investigated.
The fiber orientation is considered as a design variable. The optimization problem consists
of two stages. In the first stage, the optimum fiber orientations are obtained for
minimizing the maximum failure index. In the second stage, each of the bidirectional
tensile loads and bending moments are maximized subject to the Tsai–Wu failure criterion
for the optimum fiber orientations obtained from the first stage. It can be said that the
MFD is an efficient and reliable method that can be applied to the strength optimization
of the laminated plates. On the other hand, the small changes in the material properties
have minor effects, whereas the uncertainties in the fiber orientations have major effects on
the optimal designs. This work may be extended to investigate for larger bounds of the
uncertainties in the material properties, number of layers, and different load conditions.
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