Synthesis of minimum energy adaptive structures

This paper presents the formulation of a new methodology to design adaptive structures. This design method synthesises structural configurations that are optimum hybrids between a passive and an active structure. An optimisation scheme searches for an optimal material distribution and actuation layout to minimise the structure whole-life energy which consists of an embodied part in the material and an operational part for structural adaptation. Instead of using more material to cope with the effect of loads, here, strategically located active elements redirect the internal load path to homogenise the stresses and change the shape of the structure to keep deflections within required limits. To ensure the embodied energy saved this way is not used up to by actuation, the adaptive solution is designed to cope with ordinary loading events using only passive load-bearing capacity whilst relying on active control to deal with larger events that have a smaller probability of occurrence. The design methodology has been implemented for statically determinate and indeterminate reticular structures. However, the formulation is general and could be implemented to other structural types. Numerical simulations on a truss system case study confirm that substantial savings up to 50% of the whole-life energy can be achieved by the adaptive solution compared to a passive solution designed using state of the art optimisation methods.

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Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 60, 3, 849-877
Mar 28 2019
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 Record created 2019-04-08, last modified 2019-12-05

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