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Exact strip analysis and optimum design of aerospace structures

  • D. Kennedy (a1) and C. A. Featherston (a2)

Abstract

Minimisation of airframe mass reduces the costs of materials and manufacturing, as well as fuel consumption and atmospheric emissions. Fast, reliable analysis tools are required during preliminary design, when many alternative configurations and load cases are considered. The modelling and computational costs of finite element analysis are avoided by employing exact strip solutions of the governing differential equations, using the Wittrick-Williams algorithm to solve the resulting transcendental eigenproblems of buckling and vibration. This paper reviews recent enhancements to the exact strip method for analysis and optimum design of aerospace structures, using the specialist software VICONOPT. Lighter composite panels can be designed by obtaining reliable estimates of the reduced postbuckling stiffnesses when loaded in compression and shear. Further advances include discrete optimisation of layer thicknesses to allow for practical composite manufacturing constraints, vibration constraints, and a newly extended multi-level interface combining finite element analysis of a whole wing with exact strip postbuckling design of individual panels.

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Exact strip analysis and optimum design of aerospace structures

  • D. Kennedy (a1) and C. A. Featherston (a2)

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