A novel explicit design method for complex thin-walled structures based on embedded solid moving morphable components

by   Wendong Huo, et al.

In this article, a novel explicit approach for designing complex thin-walled structures based on the Moving Morphable Component (MMC) method is proposed, which provides a unified framework to systematically address various design issues, including topology optimization, reinforced-rib layout optimization, and sandwich structure design problems. The complexity of thin-walled structures mainly comes from flexible geometries and the variation of thickness. On the one hand, the geometric complexity of thin-walled structures leads to the difficulty in automatically describing material distribution (e.g., reinforced ribs). On the other hand, thin-walled structures with different thicknesses require various hypotheses (e.g., Kirchhoff-Love shell theory and Reissner-Mindlin shell theory) to ensure the precision of structural responses. Whereas for cases that do not fit the shell hypothesis, the precision loss of response solutions is nonnegligible in the optimization process since the accumulation of errors will cause entirely different designs. Hence, the current article proposes a novel embedded solid component to tackle these challenges. The geometric constraints that make the components fit to the curved thin-walled structure are whereby satisfied. Compared with traditional strategies, the proposed method is free from the limit of shell assumptions of structural analysis and can achieve optimized designs with clear load transmission paths at the cost of few design variables and degrees of freedom for finite element analysis (FEA). Finally, we apply the proposed method to several representative examples to demonstrate its effectiveness, efficiency, versatility, and potential to handle complex industrial structures.


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