Optimization of Composite – Recent Advances and Application

Usage of fiber reinforced composite material entered an new era when leading aircraft OEMs took an unprecedented step to design and manufacture essentially full composite airframe for commercial airliners. Composite structures offer unmatched design potential as the laminate material properties can be tailored almost continuously throughout the structure. However, this increased design freedom also brings new challenges for the design process and software. In recent years the authors have developed a comprehensive framework for composite optimization, leading the design from concept to ply-book details [1-2].

The process consists of three optimization phases. Phase I focuses on generating ply layout concept through Free-Size optimization; Phase II further refines the number of plies for a given ply layup defined by Phase I; Then Phase III completes the final design details through Stacking sequence optimization satisfying all manufacturing and performance constraints. This software package has seen increasing adoption among aerospace OEMs, as demonstrated in the Bombardier application process described in this paper.

The Author

Martin Kemp
Altair Engineering
Northern Region Manager

Raphael Fleury
Altair Engineering
Software Development Manager

Ming Zhou,
Altair Engineering
Vice President, Software Development

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