Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-3200

Application of Topology Optimization Techniques in Aircraft Design 2009-01-3200

Topology Optimization is a method of determining optimal distribution of material for the given design space with boundary conditions, loads, and functionality [1]. From a block of material, structural shape can be arrived for required stiffness at minimum weight for a given loading condition. Several different objective functions need to be considered for different load conditions and constraints at the same time to produce an optimum shape. Therefore, topology optimization can be used to optimize shape for the purposes of weight reduction, minimizing material requirements or selecting cost effective materials [2]. Topology optimization can be used to determine design concepts. This highly efficient process leads to analyze the initial product design concept in a lesser time and resulting in a higher quality product with lower overall development cost.
In this paper typical “Pylon Design” is taken as a case study to illustrate the advantages of involving Topology Optimization in the design cycle. Initially a block of material is taken as a design space, and the various loading requirements are imposed in the model with appropriate boundary conditions. Then topological optimization is done using Finite Element (FE) based software. As a result, an optimized structural concept design is arrived at and it is converted to a refined design using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. Finally design validation is done for the refined design, using FE Analysis for the required load cases which were considered for the Topological Optimization study. This design is highly efficient and cost effective. Similar methodology can be adopted for various other designs for material and cost saving and to determine optimum shape.


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