Abstract

Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) materials have been increasingly used in many structural applications of space shuttles, airplanes and automobiles, and the structural optimization of FRP laminated composite shells has been studied for stiffer structural design by many researchers. This paper studies the maximization of fundamental frequencies of FRP laminated cylindrical shells under stiffness constraint by using Genetic Algorithm (GA). For this purpose, the frequency equation for simply-supported shells with symmetrically balanced stacking sequence is derived analytically based on Classical Lamination Theory. In optimization the fiber angles and the thickness ratio of each FRP ply, which have continuous real values, are taken as design variables, and fundamental frequency of the shell is maximized under in-plane stiffness constraints. In numerical experiments, extensive numerical calculations are carried out to determine better genetic operators that would be suitable for FRP laminates design, and genetic parameters are tuned for better reliabilities and lower computational costs in the present GA. Optimal design solutions for various laminated cylindrical shells are obtained and then the applicability of the GA to the maximization of frequencies of the shells is studied from numerical results obtained.

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