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Optimal design of compression corrugated panels

Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu


*
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
Received 8 December 2003; accepted 28 July 2004
Abstract
Compression panels comprised of a corrugated core bonded to either one or two face sheets are
optimally designed for minimum weight. Results obtained from two optimization procedures are
compared: na ve optimization where simultaneous occurrence of failure modes is assumed, and
sequential quadratic programming (SQP) based optimization. A total of eight different panel
geometries are considered, including hat- and blade-stiffened panels, and square, triangular and
trapezoidal cores. From a weight standpoint, panels with hat-stiffeners are found to be the most
efcient for the given boundary conditions, about 40% lighter at some load levels than the least
efcient-sandwich panels with a square core.
q 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Sandwich panels; Corrugated panels; Optimal design; Failure criterion
1. Introduction
Corrugated ber boards are efcient low-cost and low weight material widely used for
the transportation, storage and distribution of goods. As shown in Fig. 1, a typical
corrugated board comprises a lightweight core sandwiched between two skins [13].
When made of metallic materials, the corrugated panels are also attractive for structural
applications (e.g. airplanes, ships and buildings) and can offer a wide range of design
0263-8231/$ - see front matter q 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.tws.2004.07.014
Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498
www.elsevier.com/locate/tws
* Corresponding author. Tel.: C44 1223 766316; fax: C44 1223 332662.
E-mail address: tjl21@cam.ac.uk (T.J. Lu).
solutions due to weight savings, re resistance, noise control, and improved thermal
performance [411].
A variety of core geometries are available for corrugated panels, including sinusoidal,
triangular, trapezoidal and rectangular shaped cores, bonded by either one or two face
Notations
A cross-sectional area of panel per unit width
b top web length of trapezoid core

b non-dimensional top web length of trapezoid core

b
c
non-dimensional top web length of trapezoid core corresponding to critical
load p
c
c
1
, c
2
, c
3
, c
4
, c
5
constants dependent of panels
c
0
1
, c
0
2
constants dependent of panels
c
00
1
, c
00
2
constants dependent of panels
E Youngs modulus
H thickness of panel

H non-dimensional thickness of panel

H
c
non-dimensional thickness of panel corresponding to critical load p
c
I moment of inertia of panel per unit width
k
c
local buckling coefcient of core
k
s
local buckling coefcient of skin.
L length of panel
p compressive end load per unit width of panel
p non-dimensional compressive end load per unit width of panel
p
c
non-dimensional critical compressive end load per unit width of panel
T thickness of core

t non-dimensional thickness of core


t
s
thickness of skin

t
s
non-dimensional thickness of skin
W weight of panel per unit width

W non-dimensional weight of panel per unit width


a constant associated with minimum weight of panel
b constant associated with optimal stress of panel
3
y
yielding strain
l wavelength of core

l non-dimensional wavelength of core

l
c
non-dimensional wavelength of core corresponding to critical load p
c
n Poisson ratio
r density
s stress on panel section
s
1
, s
2
, s
3
, s
4
, failure stresses of panel
s
y
yielding strength
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 478
sheets (Figs. 1 and 2). To save manufacturing cost in the case of packaging boards (with
additional environmental benets), or to save weight for structural panels, it is important to
design the panels against minimum weight. In this paper, the minimum weight of a
corrugated panel subjected to uniform axial compressive loadthe most common type of
load experienced by the panelwill be calculated by using an optimization procedure
based on the sequential quadratic programming (SQP) algorithm. This optimization
procedure has been used recently by Wicks and Hutchinson [12] to design truss-cored
sandwich plates subject to prescribed combinations of bending and transverse shear loads.
The minimum weight is dependent upon the core geometry and face sheet thickness,
subject to the provisos that anywhere in the panel there is no yielding, local buckling and
global buckling. The optimal core geometry corresponding to the lowest minimum panel
weight will be identied. The solutions obtained from the SQP method will also be
Fig. 1. (a) A squared-cored corrugated panel subjected to axial compression; (b) geometry and notations for
square core.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 479
compared to those from an approximate method proposed initially by Gerard [13] for a
hollow square tube but adapted here for corrugated panels.
2. Design concepts
With reference to Fig. 1, consider a thin-walled sandwich panel subjected to uniform
axial compressive force p (per unit width). For illustration, the optimization will initially
be placed on panels with a square corrugated core (Fig. 1b), but subsequently will be
extended to treat panels of other cross-sectional shapes (Fig. 2af). Let Hand L be the
height and length of the panel, t and l be the wall thickness and wavelength of the core,
Fig. 2. Panel geometries: (a) square core with one face sheet; (b) hat-stiffened panel; (c) triangular core with two
face sheets; (d) triangular core with one face sheet; (e) trapezoidal core with two face sheets; (f) trapezoidal core
with one face sheet; (g) nger-stiffened panel.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 480
and t
s
be the thickness of the skins. The skins and the core are made of the same material,
with weight density r, Youngs modulus E, Poisson ratio n, and yield strength s
y
. The
panel has a moment of inertia given by
I Z
tH
2
4
C
tH
3
6l
C
t
s
H
2
2
(1)
and a cross-sectional area per unit width by
A Zt C
2Ht
l
C2t
s
(2)
The total weight of the panel per unit width is
W ZLr t C
2Ht
l
C2t
s
_ _
(3)
Optimal designs of the panel with simply supported top and bottom ends subjected to the
compressive force p will be considered, wherein the panel weight is minimized under the
constraints on the maximum stress sZp/A that none of the four possible failure modes
listed below occurs.
2.1. Overall buckling
Overall buckling of the panel will not take place if
s%s
1
h
p
2
EI
AL
2
(4)
2.2. Local buckling of core
Local buckling in the core is avoided if
s%s
2
h
p
2
E
121 Kn
2

t
H
_ _
2
k
2
c
(5)
where the parameter k
c
depends on the end conditions of the core member. For the core
plate of length L and width H, simply supported ends are assumed on the top and bottom
ends. For the side plate in one-skin panels, the effect of corners is similar to stiffeners,
which also can be simplied as simply supported ends, so k
2
c
Z4 is used in the present
calculations [14]. The effect of end conditions used on the optimization results is usually
small [12].
2.3. Local buckling of skins
Local buckling in the skins is avoided if
s%s
3
h
p
2
E
121 Kn
2

2t
s
l
_ _
2
k
2
s
(6)
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 481
where the parameter k
s
depends on the end conditions of the skin member. For the skin
plate of length L and width l, k
2
s
Z6:97 for simply supported top and bottom end as
mentioned above and clamped sides will be used in the present calculations [14].
2.4. Yielding
Yielding will not occur anywhere in the panel if
s%s
4
hs
y
(7)
For simplicity, no strain hardening effect is considered in this paper, although the analysis
presented herein can be straightforwardly extended to treat the case where material
hardening may be important [11]. Similarly, buckling in the inelastic range will not be
considered in the present optimization.
3. Optimization procedures
The maximum load, p, and panel length, L, are assumed to be pre-specied. Dene the
dimensionless load parameter as pZp=EL, and introduce the non-dimensional geometric
design variable as
x Zx=L (8)
where x may be H, l, t
s
or t. The non-dimensional weight of the panel to be minimized is
given by

W ZW=rL
2
Z

t C2

tH=l C2

t
s
(9)
It is noticed that parameters such as minimum gage thickness can have a signicant
inuence on panel efciency. However, in practice, the minimum gage of a panel
is dependent of its application. For example, a panel made of steel or aluminum sheet
should have different minimum gage than that of a ber cardboard. Consequently, non-
dimensional parameters are often used to deal with the issue (e.g. [11,17]). Since the focus
of this paper is placed on the general application of the optimization procedure, rather than
on the specic design of an individual panel, all panel parameters have been non-
dimensionalized to facilitate the comparison of different panels. If necessary, the analysis
can be modied to include more constraints such as minimum gage, maximum height,
maximum width, etc.
3.1. Simple-minded optimization
As a rst approximation, the minimum weight of a compression structure may be taken
as that corresponding to the simultaneous occurrence of all failure modes. Historically,
this simple-minded concept has been dubbed the na ve optimization [11], because the
structure would be over-designed if there exists a residual margin of safety with respect to
the secondary failure mode(s) when primary failure occurs. When the na ve optimization
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 482
procedure is adopted in a practical design, a knockdown factor is normally introduced to
account for the strong non-linear interaction of different failure modes [11].
For a corrugated panel under compression, the optimal design in the elastic regime is
dominated by overall buckling stress, s
1
, local buckling stress of the core, s
2
, and local
buckling stress of the web, s
3
. According to the na ve optimization, the minimum weight
of the panel is obtained by solving the following simultaneous equations:
s Z
p
2
EI
AL
2
Overall buckling (10a)
s Z
p
2
E
121 Kn
2

t
H
_ _
2
k
2
c
Local buckling of core (10b)
s Z
p
2
E
121 Kn
2

2t
s
l
_ _
2
k
2
s
Local buckling of skin (10c)
As there are four unknowns for a prescribed value of the load index p, a fourth equation is
needed. This is achieved rst by expressing

t,

t
s
and

l in terms of H/l from (10), yielding:

t
4
s
Z
31Kn
2

p
4
k
2
s
p
EL
_ _
2
k
s
H
l
_ _
C2k
s
H
l
_ _
2
C2
_ _
k
s
4
H
l
_ _
3
C
k
s
6
H
l
_ _
4
C
1
2
H
l
_ _
2
_ _
(11a)

t Zk
s

t
s
H
l
_ _
(11b)

l
2
Z
p
p
2
EL
k
s
4
H
l
_ _
3
C
k
s
6
H
l
_ _
4
C
1
2
H
l
_ _
2
1

t
s
(11c)
Substitution of the above relationships into (9) then results in

W Zf H=l; p (12)
where f is a dimensionless function. Finally, at given p, the minimization of

W with respect
to H/l gives the following optimal ratio of panel height to corrugation wavelength:
H
l
Z0:507 (13)
From (9), (11) and (13), the minimum panel weight as a function of load index is
obtained as
W
min
rL
2
Za

p
EL
_
(14)
where aZ1.14 for a sandwich panel with a square corrugated core. Upon substituting (13)
into (11), the optimal dimensions of the panel at minimum weight are obtained.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 483
3.2. Optimization based on the SQP method
In this method, the section stress s are constrained to satisfy all the failure
criteria include overall buckling, local buckling of core, local buckling of skin, and
yielding. The optimization aims at minimizing

W with respect to the geometric
variables

t,

t
s
,

l and

H subject to the constraints in (4)(7), which in non-dimensional
form become
1 K
1
p
2
p
EL
L
3
I
R0 Overall buckling (15a)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
H
t
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of core (15b)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
s
p
EL
L
A
l
2t
s
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of skin (15c)
1 K
p
EL
E
s
y
L
A
R0 Yielding (15d)
The above optimization problem with non-linear constraints is solved by using the
sequential quadratic programming (SQP) algorithm with the IMSL software. It should
be emphasized that the optimization is local, in the sense that it is carried out for
sandwich panels having the same cross-sectional shape, i.e., the square corrugation.
The effect of different cross-sectional shapes on minimum panel weight will be
studied in the next section.
4. Panels with different corrugated cores
In this section, the SQP method is used to nd the minimum weight and optimal
geometric dimensions of sandwich panels for a variety of core cross-sectional shapes
(Fig. 2). The following procedures are followed.
4.1. Panel section properties
(1) Square core with a single skin (Fig. 2a)
I Z
tH
3
6l
C
tH
2
4
C
H
2
t
s
41 Ct
s
=t C2Ht=l
(16a)
A Zt
s
Ct C2Ht=l (16b)
W ZrLA ZrLt
s
Ct C2Ht=l (16c)
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 484
(2) Hat-stiffened panel (Fig. 2b)
I Z
4tH
3
H Cl
6l4HCl
C
H2H Cl
4H Cl
t
s
t=2 C2Ht=l
t
s
Ct=2 C2Ht=l
(17a)
A Zt
s
Ct=2 C2Ht=l (17b)
W ZrLt
s
Ct=2 C2Ht=l (17c)
(3) Triangular core with two skins (Fig. 2c)
I Z
tH
2
12

1 C2H=l
2
_
C
t
s
H
2
2
(18a)
A Z2t
s
Ct

1 C2H=l
2
_
(18b)
W ZrL2t
s
Ct

1 C2H=l
2
_
(18c)
(4) Triangular core with a single skin (Fig. 2d)
I Z
tH
2
12
4 Ct=t
s

1 C2H=l
2
_
t=t
s
C1=

1 C2H=l
2
_ (19a)
A Zt
s
Ct

1 C2H=l
2
_
(19b)
W ZrL t
s
Ct

1 C2H=l
2
_
_ _
(19c)
(5) Trapezoid core with two skins (Fig. 2e)
I Z
tH
2

4H
2
Cl K2b
2
_
12l
C
H
2
t
s
2
C
tbH
2
2l
(20a)
A Z2t
s
C
2tb
l
C

4H
2
Cl K2b
2
_
l=t
(20b)
W ZrL 2t
s
C
2tb
l
C

4H
2
Cl K2b
2
_
l=t
_ _
(20c)
(6) Trapezoid core with a single skin (Fig. 2f)
I Z
tH
2

4H
2
Cl K2b
2
_
12l
C
H
2
t
s
2
C
tbH
2
2l
(21a)
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 485
A Zt
s
C
2tb
l
C

4H
2
Cl K2b
2
_
l=t
(21b)
W ZrL t
s
C
2tb
l
C

4H
2
Cl K2b
2
_
l=t
_ _
(21c)
(7) Blade core with a single skin (Fig. 2g)
I Z
tH
3
12l
C
tt
s
H
3
4tH Ct
s
l
(22a)
A Zt
s
C
tH
l
(22b)
W ZrL t
s
C
tH
l
_ _
(22c)
4.2. Failure criteria
For panels with different cross-sectional shapes, the constraints on the maximum stress
due to failure are also different.
(1) Square core with a single skin (Fig. 2a)
1 K
1
p
2
p
EL
L
3
I
R0 Overall buckling (23a)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
H
t
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of the side wall of core
(23b)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
l
2t
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of the top wall of core
(23c)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
s
p
EL
L
A
l
2t
s
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of skin (23d)
1 K
p
EL
E
s
y
L
A
R0 Yielding (23e)
(2) Hat-stiffened panel (Fig. 2b)
The failure criteria are identical as those listed in (23) except that the sectional
properties should be replaced by those associated with a hat-stiffened panel, (17).
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 486
(3) Triangular core with two skins (Fig. 2c)
1 K
1
p
2
p
EL
L
3
I
R0 Overall buckling (24a)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
H
2
Cl
2
=4
t
2
R0 Local buckling of core (24b)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
s
p
EL
L
A
l
t
s
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of skin (24c)
1 K
p
EL
E
s
y
L
A
R0 Yielding (24d)
(4) Triangular core with a single skin (Fig. 2d)
The failure criteria are identical to those for the panel with a triangular core
sandwiched between two skins (Fig. 2c), but the section properties are different.
(5) Trapezoid core with two skins (Fig. 2e)
1 K
1
p
2
p
EL
L
3
I
R0 Overall buckling (25a)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
H
2
Cl K2b
2
t
2
R0 Local buckling of core (25b)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
s
p
EL
L
A
l Kb
t
s
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of skin (25c)
1 K
p
EL
E
s
y
L
A
R0 Yielding (25d)
(6) Trapezoid core with a single skin (Fig. 2f)
1 K
1
p
2
p
EL
L
3
I
R0 Overall buckling (26a)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
H
2
Cl K2b
2
t
2
R0
Local buckling on the side wall of core (26b
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
b
t
_ _
2
R0
Local buckling of the top wall of core (26c
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 487
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
s
p
EL
L
A
l Kb
t
s
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of skin (26d)
1 K
p
EL
E
s
y
L
A
R0 Yielding (26e)
(7) Blade core with a single skin (Fig. 2g)
1 K
1
p
2
p
EL
L
3
I
R0 Overall buckling (27a)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
c
p
EL
L
A
H
t
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of core (27b)
1 K
121 Kn
2

p
2
k
2
s
p
EL
L
A
l
t
s
_ _
2
R0 Local buckling of skin (27c)
1 K
p
EL
E
s
y
L
A
R0 Yielding (27d)
The buckling coefcient of core should be k
c
Z1.277 because the blade core is an
unstiffened element.
5. Results and discussions
5.1. Comparison between different optimization methods: Panels with square core
For sandwich panels with a square core, the non-dimensional minimum weight, W/rL
2
calculated by using both the na ve optimization and the SQP method is plotted in Fig. 3
as a function of p/EL. The material is assumed to have a yield strain of 3
y
Zs
y
/EZ0.007.
Before yielding occurs, the minimum weight depends upon the non-dimensional load
according to Eq. (14), with aZ1.14 for na ve optimization and aZ1.18 for SQP-based
optimization. After yielding, i.e. when p/ELO(a3
y
)
2
, the weight versus load curve for
the latter becomes a straight line, with:
W
rL
2
Z
1
3
y
!
p
EL
; 3
y
O0:007 (28)
As for the optimized panel shape, SQP-based optimization predicts H/lZ0.46 whereas
H/lZ0.507 from the na ve optimization, i.e. the core height of an optimally design panel
should be approximately half its wavelength. By Eqs. (11a) and (11b), the non-
dimensional thicknesses,

t and

t
s
, are obtained as functions of the non-dimensional load.
Upon substituting these into Eq. (11c), the non-dimensional wavelength,

l, is obtained.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 488
In the naive optimization, only overall buckling and local buckling constraints are used,
whereas in the SQP procedure, in addition to the above constraints, constraint against
yielding is also introduced. For lower loads (p/EL!(a3
y
)
2
), the dominant failure stress is
less than the stress for yielding and is in the elastic regime, and hence the results obtained
by the two methods agree with each other. For higher loads (p/ELR(a3
y
)
2
), the stress for
yielding is the dominant stress in the SQP method, which is not considered in the naive
method, and hence the minimum weight curves obtained by the two different methods
have a signicant difference. For higher loads (p/ELR(a3
y
)
2
), the results obtained by the
SQP method should be used.
For simple geometries such as panels with a square core, the na ve optimization
procedure has the advantage of being able to generate explicit design formulae. For more
complicated panel geometries, however, the number of design parameters is likely to
exceed the number of equations due to simultaneous failure, and hence the SQP-based
optimization method should be used.
5.2. Panels with different core geometries
The non-dimensional minimum weight versus load curves are show in Fig. 4 for eight
panel geometries (Figs. 1 and 2), of which four are sandwich panels and four are panels
with one face sheet. Only results based on the SQP optimization are presented. As can be
Fig. 3. Non-dimensional minimum weight plotted as a function of non-dimensional load index: na ve
optimization versus SQP-based optimization.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 489
seen from Fig. 4, for uniform axial compression, hat-stiffened panels (Fig. 2b) widely used
in the airplane industry outperform the rest whereas sandwich panels with triangular cores
have the worst performance. Also, for the same core geometry, panels with a single face
sheet perform better than panels with double face sheets (i.e. sandwich panels). In the
elastic regime, the weight versus load curve for each panel is accurately correlated by
Eq. (14), and the values of a for all the eight panels are listed in Table 1, with aZ0.953 for
hat-stiffened panels and aZ1.18 for sandwich panels with a square core. For a given load
Fig. 4. Non-dimensional minimum weight plotted as a function of non-dimensional load index for different panel
geometries.
Table 1
Optimal results for corrugated panels
Panel No Section a b H/l t
s
/t b/l
1 Square core with two skins 1.18 0.877 0.460 1.34 N/A
2 Square core with a single skin 1.06 0.943 0.500 1.32 N/A
3 Hat-stiffened panel 0.953
a
1.05 0.500 1.31 N/A
4 Triangular core with two skins 1.31 0.763 0.827 1.27 N/A
5 Triangular core with a single skin 1.26 0.794 0.789 1.22 N/A
6 Trapezoid core with two skins 1.14 0.877 0.483 1.48 0.566
7 Trapezoid core a single skin 1.06 0.943 0.486 1.25 0.486
8 Blade core with a single skin 1.09 0.918 0.740 1.73 N/A
a
bZ0.99 [5], 0.96 [6].
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 490
and boundary conditions as assumed above, the minimum weight of a square-cored
sandwich panel is about 40% higher than that of a hat-stiffened panel.
Note that the results presented in Figs. 3 and 4 are obtained by assuming that the
failure modes are independent. In practice, the presence of initial geometrical
imperfections may cause strong non-linear interactions amongst the failure modes
[11,15,16]. As a result, the predicted optimal panel geometry may not be correct and,
further, the panel strength may be degraded. As a conservative estimate, it has been
suggested [11] that, for practical design, the load Pin Figs. 3 and 4 should be replaced
by an amplied load P/g where g is the knockdown factor. For hat-stiffened panels,
gz0.9 [11]. For other panels examined in this paper, the value of g is expected to vary
from 0.8 to 0.9. A more rigorous study on the knockdown effect of multi-mode
interactions due to imperfections will be carried out in the future, using an approach
similar to that of [16] for cylindrical sandwich shells.
The optimal results for each panel can be also expressed in another form as suggested
by [11]:
s
opt
E
Zb

p
EL
_
(29)
where s
opt
is the section compressive stress when the minimum weight is achieved, and
bZ1/a. For hat-stiffened panel, the value of b is 0.99 and 0.96 obtained by [5,6],
respectively, whereas 1.05 is obtained by the present study, as listed in Table 1. The
difference may be attributed to the different optimization procedures and failure criteria
used.
The optimal geometric dimensions as functions of the compressive load are shown in
Fig. 5 for panels with square cores, in Fig. 6 for panels with triangular cores, in Fig. 7
for panels with trapezoidal cores, and in Fig. 8 for panels with blade stiffeners. It is seen
from Fig. 4 that, for panels with the same core geometry, the weight of panels with two
face sheets is larger than that of panels with one face sheet. For these same panels, from
Figs. 57, it can be seen that the core member thickness and face sheet thickness of one-
faced panels are larger than those of sandwich panels. On the other hand, for a given
section, the core height to core wavelength ratio H/l is constant (Table 1) and,
for trapezoidal cores, the ratio of web length to core wavelength b/l is also constant
(Table 1). Although the core member thickness and face sheet thickness of an one-faced
panel are all larger than those of a two-faced panel as mentioned above, the minimum
weight of the former is still slightly less than that of the latter. The reason is that the
minimum weight as presented in Eqs. (3), (17c), (18c), (19c), (20c), (21c) and (22c) is
not only dependent upon the thickness of the skin and core, but also upon the number of
the skin and wavelength of the core.
The optimal geometric parameters for different section are shown in Figs. 58. For the
give section, the geometry of the section is independent of load, the ratio between H/l, t/t
s
and b/l is the constants which are shown in Table 1.
For the given panel, optimal non-dimension parameters of the panel are only dependent
of the non-dimensional load, so the following formulas to calculate the non-dimensional
parameters of the panel can be got from the optimal results.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 491
Fig. 5. Panel geometrical parameters as functions of load index for square-cored panels.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 492
Fig. 6. Panel geometrical parameters as functions of load index for triangular-cored panels.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 493
Fig. 7. Panel geometrical parameters as functions of load index for panels with trapezoidal cores.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 494
Fig. 8. Panel geometrical parameters as functions of load index for blade-stiffened panels.
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 495
(1) Thickness of the core

t Zc
1
p
1=2
for p% p
c
(30a)

t Zc
0
1
p Cc
00
1
for pO p
c
(30b)
where p
c
-critical non-dimensional load, p
c
Za3
p

2
.
(2) Thickness of the skin

t
s
Zc
2
p
1=2
for p% p
c
(31a)

t
s
Zc
0
2
p Cc
00
2
for pO p
c
(31b)
(3) Height of the panel

H Zc
3
p
1=4
for p% p
c
(32a)

H Z

H
c
for pO p
c
(32b)
(4) Length wave of the core

l Zc
4
p
1=4
for p% p
c
(33a)

l Z

l
c
for pO p
c
(33b)
(5) Top web length of the trapezoid core

b Zc
5
p
1=4
for p% p
c
(34a)

b Z

b
c
for pO p
c
(34b)
All the constants in Eqs. (30)(34) are listed in Tables 2 and 3.
Table 2
Optimal formula coefcients for corrugated panels in elastic region
Panel no Section c
1
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
1 Square core with two skins 0.326 0.243 0.663 1.30 N/A
2 Square core with a single skin 0.383 0.291 0.749 1.50 N/A
3 Hat-stiffened panel 0.422 0.321 0.784 1.57 N/A
4 Triangular core with two skins 0.374 0.294 0.699 0.840 N/A
5 Triangular core with a single skin 0.473 0.388 0.850 1.09 N/A
6 Trapezoid core with two skins 0.329 0.222 0.662 1.37 0.776
7 Trapezoid core a single sin 0.385 0.307 0.752 1.55 0.486
8 Blade core with a single skin 0.826 0.470 0.926 1.25 N/A
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 496
6. Conclusions
Corrugated panels subjected to uniform axial compression are optimized for minimum
weight by using the na ve optimization and SQP-based method. The advantage of the
na ve optimization is its simplicity, with explicit design formulas and predictions that are
accurate in comparison with those from the more rigorous SQP-based optimization.
However, the na ve optimization can only be applied to panels with simple geometries
where the total number of design parameters does not exceed that of design constraints.
A total of eight different panel geometries are analyzed, including hat- and blade-stiffened
panels, and square, triangular and trapezoidal cores. From a weight standpoint, panels with
hat-stiffeners are found to be the most efcient for the given boundary conditions, about
40% lighter at some load levels than the least efcient-sandwich panels with a square core.
For the packaging industry, the results may be used to identify suitable alternative core
geometries as a replacement of the widely used sinusoidal core for weight advantages
without strength scarications.
Acknowledgements
This work is sponsored partly by the UK Engineering and Physical Scientic Research
Council (EPSRC).
References
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Optimal formula coefcients for corrugated panels in plastic region
Panel no
p!10
5
c
0
1
c
00
1
!10
5
c
0
2
c
00
2
!10
5

H
c

l
c

b
c
1 6.37 35.0 37.0 35.5 32.5 0.0594 0.117 N/A
2 5.51 48.5 15.5 48.5 K50.5 0.0647 0.129 N/A
3 4.45 59.0 11.0 54.0 K15.0 0.0642 0.128 N/A
4 8.41 37.0 32.0 35.0 K25.0 0.0670 0.0809 N/A
5 7.78 58.0 K50.0 47.0 K23.0 0.0800 0.103 N/A
6 6.37 33.0 52.0 36.0 K49.0 0.0592 0.122 0.0695
7 5.51 49.0 13.0 47.0 K25.0 0.0649 0.133 0.0649
8 5.82 87.0 127.0 77.0 K9.0 0.0816 0.109 N/A
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Further Reading
Thomp
Y.S. Tian, T.J. Lu / Thin-Walled Structures 43 (2005) 477498 498