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WORKSHOP 4

Minimizing the Weight of a Composite Wing

Composites Technology Day, February 2012


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Workshop Objective
Become familiar with the steps to set up a composite optimization analysis

Software Version
Patran 2011
MD Nastran 2011.1

Required File:
composite_wing_opt.db

Problem Description:
Preliminary stress analysis from workshop 1 showed the margins of safety are
high for the 8-ply carbon/epoxy quasi-isotropic layup
Determine optimal ply thicknesses to minimize weight while maintaining a
positive strength margin of safety

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Step 1. Open an existing Patran Database


a

Start Patran and open a database


containing a wing model:
a. Click File Open in the Defaults
group.
b. Select
composite_wing_opt.db as
the File name.
c. Click OK.

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Step 2. Create Design Variables


h
f
Create design variables for the
thicknesses of the carbon-epoxy plies:
a.Pull down Tools > Design Study >
Pre-Process.
b.Select Design Variable for Object.
c.Select Material for Type.
d.Select Composite, Thickness, and
Local Ply for Category.
e.Click the Select Material Set(s) icon.
f.Click and hold down on bs1 and drag
down to select all 17 properties.
g.Click the Select Material Property
icon.
h.Click and hold down on 1 and drag
down to select all 4 plies.
i.Enter 0.005 for Lower bound and 0.25
for Upper bound.
j.Click Apply.

b
c

d
e

This step creates 68 ply thickness


variables.

g
0.0054

i
j
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Step 3. Create the Design Objective


Create a Design Objective to minimize
the overall weight.

a.Select Objective for Object.


b.Select Global for Solution.
c.Select Weight for Response.
d.Enter mass for Objective Name.
e.Select minimize for MinMax.
f.Click Apply.

b
c

d
e
f

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Step 4. Create Constraints on Composite Failure


a

Create constraints on composite


failure index:
a.Select Constraint for Object.
b.Select Linear Static for Solution.
c.Select Composite Failure for
Response .
d.Enter FI_Ply1 for Constraint Name.
e.Select PSET.
f.Click the Select Property Set(s)
icon.
g.Click Select All.
h.Click Apply.
i.Select Ply for Index.
j.Enter 1 for Ply Number.
k.Enter 1.0 for Upper Bound.
l.Click Apply.

b
c

d
e

Repeat steps d, j, k, l for Constraint


Names FI_Ply2 thru FI_Ply8. Enter
2 thru 8 for Ply Number, respectively.

k
l
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Step 5. Create Design Study


Create a design study consisting of all the design
variables, responses, and constraints.
a.Select Design Study for Object.
b.Enter wing_ply_thickness for Design Study
Name.
c.Click Select Design Variables.
d.Review the design variables and click Cancel.
e.Click Select Objectives.
f.Select mass.
g.Click Select Constraints.
h.Click Select All.
i.Click Apply.
j.Click Apply.
k.Click Close.

c
e

g g

h
d
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Step 6. Set up Optimization Analysis

Set up the optimization analysis:


a.Click the Analysis tab.
b.Set Action to Optimize.
c.Enter comp_wing_thickness_opt
for Job Name.
d.Click Design Study Select.
e.Select wing_ply_thickness.
f.Click Global Obj./Constr. Select.
g.Select mass.
h.Click OK

g
e

d
f

h
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Step 6. Set up Optimization Analysis (Cont.)


Set up the optimization analysis (cont.):
a.Click Optimization Parameters.
b.Enter 20 for Standard Cycles
(DESMAX).
c.Click OK.

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Step 6. Set up Optimization Analysis (Cont.)


Set up the optimization analysis (cont.):
a.Click Subcases
b.Select wing up bending.
c.Click Constraints/Objective...
d.Select all 8 constraints.
e.Click OK.
f.Click Apply.
g.Click Yes to the prompt to create a
new subcase.
h.Click Cancel.

c
f

g
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Step 6. Set up Optimization Analysis (Cont.)


Set up the optimization analysis (cont.):
a.Click Subcase Select
b.Select wing up bending.
c.Click OK.
d.Click Apply to run the analysis.

Youve just submitted the Nastran


optimization analysis. It will take about
a minute to run the analysis.

a
d

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Step 7. Access Results


a
b

Access analysis results:


a.Select Access Results for Action.
b.Select Read Output2 for Object.
c.Click Select Results File.
d.Select
comp_wing_thickness_opt.op2
e.Click OK.
f.Click Apply.

f
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Step 8. Plot Displacements and Failure Index


a

Create a deformed shape and


failure indices plot of the initial
design:
a. Click the Results tab.
b. Select the first result case to
view the results of the initial
design.
c. Under Select Fringe Result,
select Failure Indices,
Maximum Indices.
d. Under Select Deformation
Result, select Displacements,
Translational.
e. Click Apply.

e
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Step 8. Plot Displacements and Failure Index

Plot failure indices for the final


design:
a. Select the last result case to
view the results of the final
design.
b. Click Apply.

b
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Step 9. View Optimization History Plots


a

View Design Variable History to


review the ply thickness
optimizaton history:
a. Click Post in XY Plots group.
b. Select Design Variable History
under Post/Unpost XY
Windows.
c. Click Apply.

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c
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Step 9. View Optimization History Plots (cont.)

View Maximum Constraint History


to review the failure index
constraint optimization history:
a. Select
MaximumConstraintHistory
under Post/Unpost XY
Windows.
b. Click Apply.

b
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Step 9. View Optimization History Plots

View Objective Function History to


review the wing total weight
optimization history:
a. Select
ObjectiveFunctionHistory
under Post/Unpost XY
Windows.
b. Click Apply.

b
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Analysis Summary
The total weight of the wing has been reduced substantially.
Possible next steps:
Add ply orientation angle variables to optimize the fiber orientations.
A balanced layup is often desirable. Use DLINK entries to link the +45
and -45 ply thickness variables to enforce equal thickness.
Create discrete values for ply thicknesses using the DDVAL entry to
make the final optimized thickness results possible to manufacture.
Account for local panel buckling by adding buckling constraints

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End of Workshop 4
File/Quit to exit Patran.

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