Application of Structural Topology Optimization to Couple Thin-Walled Stiffened Box-Beams 2017-01-2059
Future generations of civil aircrafts and unconventional unmanned configurations demand for innovative structural concepts to improve the structural performance, and thus reduce the structural weight, but also to allow possible material couplings to be made. Static and dynamic aeroelastic stability can be altered by these couplings. It is therefore necessary to use an accurate and computationally efficient beam model during the preliminary design phase. A stiffened box, made of isotropic material, but with the stiffeners oriented so that they originate the expected bending/torsion coupling, is considered in the present work. The overall equivalent bending, torsional and coupled stiffness is derived by means of homogenization of the shell skin and of the stiffener plate stiffness. A new equivalent homogeneous orthotropic material is determined and introduced into the equivalent plate configuration. The accuracy of the simplified beam model is demonstrated by the application of structural topology optimization technique by means of Altair Optistruct. Good agreement has been found between the theoretical simplified beam model and numerical analysis.