1987-05-01

Optimization of Aircraft Structures using STARSTRUC 871049

The purpose of this paper is to present a structural optimization tool that can be applied to many aircraft components. In the aircraft industry, there has been strong interest in this area because of the need of constantly enhancing structural and flight performance. However, structural optimization is not yet fully utilized as it should be. This may be attributed to the unfamiliarity of this method to the average engineer, among other reasons.Structural optimization represents a new and fresh approach to engineering design. STARSTRUC is a new generation, large scale software system that provides for structural optimization during the design process. It is based on the finite element method of analysis. It can provide significant improvements in the structural weight. Structural design constraints include limitations on stresses, deflections, frequencies of vibration, and buckling load factors. These constraints can be applied simultaneously to produce a single design. The design variables in STARSTRUC are the element sizes (i.e. thicknesses, and areas).Typical aircraft components are presented that demonstrate the important features of the structural optimization system such as large size models, multiple constraints, large number of design variables, load combinations, and the effect of the initial design variables on the final solution.

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