Topology Optimization for Layered Shell Structures using the Element Connectivity Parameterization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


This paper concerns itself with topological layout optimization of layered shell structures. Because shell structures have the capability to efficiently carry loads with a minimum amount of material, shells are widely used in major engineering structures such as aerospace structures, ship hulls, car bodies, etc. Given the importance of shell structures, many researchers have investigated the use of topology optimization techniques for this class of problems. The conventional approach is to use a density-based formulation. In various challenging topology optimization problems, the recently proposed element connectivity parameterization (ECP) method was found to have significant advantages over conventional density-based approaches. Examples are increased numerical robustness under large deflections, ease of including complex nonlinear materials, and improved accuracy in certain multi-physics settings. In order to exploit these benefits also in the important class of shell structure problems, the focus of this research is on the application of the ECP approach to topology optimization of shell structures. In our previous research, we developed an ECP-based formulation for the topology optimization of open shell structures, based on a decoupling of the bending and membrane modes of a given shell element. However, closed shell structures with local reinforcements are much more common in practice. In this contribution, we therefore extend the formulation to the reinforcement topology optimization of layered shell structures, considering both symmetric and asymmetric laminates, In addition to a detailed discussion of this new formulation, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by various numerical examples. Keywords: Topology optimization, Shell structure, ECP method
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationEngOpt 2008, International Conference on Engineering Optimization, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 1-5, 2008
Editors Herskovits, J., Canelas, A., Cortes, H., Aroztegui, M.
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978857650156-5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventEngOpt 2008, International Conference on Engineering Optimization - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 1 Jun 20085 Jun 2008

Publication series



ConferenceEngOpt 2008, International Conference on Engineering Optimization


  • conference contrib. refereed
  • Conf.proc. > 3 pag

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