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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 71, Number 3, August10 2019, pages 283-290
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/sem.2019.71.3.283
 


Optimization of structural elements of transport vehicles in order to reduce weight and fuel consumption
György Kovács

 
Abstract
    In global competition manufacturing companies have to produce modern, new constructions from advanced materials in order to increase competitiveness. The aim of my research was to develop a new composite cellular plate structure, which can be primarily used for structural elements of road, rail, water and air transport vehicles (e.g. vehicle bodies, ship floors). The new structure is novel and innovative, because all materials of the components of the newly developed structure are composites (laminated Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) deck plates with pultruded Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) stiffeners), furthermore combines the characteristics of sandwich and cellular plate structures. The material of the structure is much more advantageous than traditional steel materials, due mainly to its low density, resulting in weight savings, causing lower fuel consumption and less environmental damage. In the study the optimal construction of a given geometry of a structural element of a road truck trailer body was defined by single- and multi-objective optimization (minimal cost and weight). During the single-objective optimization the Flexible Tolerance Optimization method, while during the multi-objective optimization the Particle Swarm Optimization method were used. Seven design constraints were considered: maximum deflection of the structure, buckling of the composite plates, buckling of the stiffeners, stress in the composite plates, stress in the stiffeners, eigenfrequency of the structure, size constraint for design variables. It was confirmed that the developed structure can be used principally as structural elements of transport vehicles and unit load devices (containers) and can be applied also in building construction.
 
Key Words
    optimal design; composite cellular plate; minimal weight; minimal cost; multi-objective optimization
 
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