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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 25, Number 1, September20 2017 , pages 105-116

Ant colony optimization for dynamic stability of laminated composite plates
Erfan Shafei and Akbar Shirzad

    This paper presents the dynamic stability study of laminated composite plates with different force combinations and aspect ratios. Optimum non-diverging stacking is obtained for certain loading combination and aspect ratio. In addition, the stability force is maximized for a definite operating frequency. A dynamic version of the principle of virtual work for laminated composites is used to obtain force-frequency relation. Since dynamic stiffness governs the divergence or flutter, an efficient optimization method is necessary for the response functional and the relevant constraints. In this way, a model based on the ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm is proposed to search for the proper stacking. The ACO algorithm is used since it treats with large number of dynamic stability parameters. Governing equations are formulated using classic laminate theory (CLT) and von-Karman plate technique. Load-frequency relations are explicitly obtained for fundamental and secondary flutter modes of simply supported composite plate with arbitrary aspect ratio, stacking and boundary load, which are used in optimization process. Obtained results are compared with the finite element method results for validity and accuracy convince. Results revealed that the optimum stacking with stable dynamic response and maximum critical load is in angle-ply mode with almost near-unidirectional fiber orientations for fundamental flutter mode. In addition, short plates behave better than long plates in combined axial-shear load case regarding stable oscillation. The interaction of uniaxial and shear forces intensifies the instability in long plates than short ones which needs low-angle layup orientations to provide required dynamic stiffness. However, a combination of angle-ply and cross-ply stacking with a near-square aspect ratio is appropriate for the composite plate regarding secondary flutter mode.
Key Words
    ant colony optimization; dynamic stability; flutter; combined force; laminated composite plate
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran.

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