Design and Optimization of a Composite Canard Control Surface of an Advanced Fighter Aircraft under Static Loading
The minimization of weight and maximization of payload is an ever challenging design procedure for air vehicles. The present study has been carried out with an objective to redesign control surface of an advanced all-metallic fighter aircraft. In this study, the structure made up of high strength aluminum, titanium and ferrous alloys has been attempted to replace by carbon fiber composite (CFC) skin, ribs and stiffeners. This study presents an approach towards development of a methodology for optimization of first-ply failure index (FI) in unidirectional fibrous laminates using Genetic-Algorithms (GA) under quasi-static loading. The GAs, by the application of its operators like reproduction, cross-over, mutation and elitist strategy, optimize the ply-orientations in laminates so as to have minimum FI of Tsai-Wu first-ply failure criterion. The GA optimization procedure has been implemented in MATLAB and interfaced with commercial software ABAQUS using python scripting. FI calculations have been carried out in ABAQUS with user material subroutine (UMAT). The GA's application gave reasonably well-optimized ply-orientations combination at a faster convergence rate. However, the final optimized sequence of ply-orientations is obtained by tweaking the sequences given by GA's based on industrial practices and experience, whenever needed. The present study of conversion of an all metallic structure to partial CFC structure has led to 12% of weight reduction. Therefore, the approach proposed here motivates designer to use CFC with a confidence.
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