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Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

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Computers and Structures

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Adaptive nite element based shape optimization in laminated

composite plates
P.M. Mohite , C.S. Upadhyay
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 208016, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: In this study a reliable shape optimization for laminated plate structures has been attempted. For a xed
Received 2 October 2014 higher order plate model, a simple a-posteriori strain recovery algorithm, following ZZ type patch
Accepted 14 February 2015 recovery technique, has been developed. The recovery is seen to be accurate. The effect of higher
approximation order and mesh renement on the quality of the obtained solution quantities like stress
components and displacements, is studied in detail. The shape of the cutout is optimized with weight
Keywords: minimization as the objective function and the rst-ply failure criterion as the constraint. It is observed
Higher order shear deformation model
that control of the discretization error (via adaptive mesh renements) leads to vastly different nal
Strain recovery
a-posteriori error estimation
designs, as compared to those obtained using reasonably rened meshes, but without adaptivity. It is
Discretization error seen that without adaptivity, the design obtained is unsafe, as either more material removal is predicted
Shape optimization or failure is predicted at higher loads, as compared to that obtained using adaptivity.
First-ply failure 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction engineering design and optimization of large sized critical compo-

nents, the use of nite element technique has become an integral
Composite materials are nding wide applications in critical part. Therefore, accurate evaluation of the nite element data,
structural applications due to their capability of giving desired which in turn, is used in constraint evaluation, is very important.
enhanced properties. Moreover, one can tailor these properties Many researchers have attempted to optimize the composite
according to the requirements. These materials have very high laminate with design variables like ply thickness and ply orienta-
strength to weight ratios. Cutouts in these critical structural tion in order to obtain minimum weight designs subjected to
components are inevitable. For example, in aerospace applications several constraints, such as maximum deection, maximum
cutouts are made in wing ribs to facilitate the easy passage of fuel. strength, maximum stress, von-Mises stress, rst ply failure load
Sometimes the cutouts are made to provide access for damage (or reliability requirements), etc. (see [14]). The optimum design
inspection or electrical circuits. In aerospace applications, weight of laminated plates for maximum buckling load has also been
saving is one of the important design criteria. Therefore, the attempted in [58] with constraint on the natural frequency.
cutouts are made just to reduce the weight of the structures. Botkin [9] has worked on shape optimization of stamped sheet
Since, these components are used for critical applications one metal parts with buckling and stress constraints. Sometimes the
should have condence in the design procedure adopted. cutouts are just unavoidable in laminated structures. Hence, the
A typical optimization based designing procedure involves shape optimization of laminated plates with cutouts for weight
evaluation of an objective function subjected to one or more con- minimization has gained importance. For example, one can see
straints. For example, the objective function could be cost or weight the work on the optimization of composite plates with a cutout in
minimization or prot maximization. Optimization problems, from [10,11]. Sivakumar et al. [12] have worked on optimization with
engineering discipline, involve evaluation of the constraints which dynamic constraints.
may include state of stress at a point; or a function which is a A survey on structural optimization can be seen in [13,14]. The
combination of stress components; deection at a particular point; optimization of aerospace structures with minimum weight objec-
thermal stresses; buckling load, etc. Accurate computation of these tive, subjected to various constraints is reviewed in [15,16].
constraints plays an important role in a reliable optimum design. In In general, the focus in all the studies mentioned above has
been to demonstrate the effect of optimization on the nal design.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 512 2596024; fax: +91 512 2597561/7626. Thus, a xed nite element mesh has been used, with a suitable
E-mail address: (P.M. Mohite). order of approximation, to obtain the results. The effect of the
0045-7949/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
20 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

discretization error on the nal optimal design was not studied. and design, some specic applications of laminated composites
The early work which involves the study of effect of discretization require unsymmetric laminates. For example, the coupling
error, on the nal optimum shape, was seen due to Kikuchi et al. between bending and extension exhibited by this type of laminates
[17]. In the shape optimization procedure, due to change in shape, is an essential feature of jet turbine fan blades with pre-twist. It
the mesh gets distorted and the nal design is sensitive to the can be noted that the theories for unsymmetric laminates are
approximation error associated with the discretization. Thus, applicable to symmetric laminates as a special case. Unlike sym-
improvement in the quality of the approximation is needed [17]. metric laminates, unsymmetric laminates exhibit membrane-ex-
In this work global error estimates were developed for adaptive ure coupling phenomenon, which necessitates the use of a
renement strategies. A similar work was carried out by Hinton displacement eld containing both, membrane as well as exure
et al. [18]. Weck et al. [19] have worked on saving the computa- deformation terms which contribute to the overall response of a
tional cost during optimization of composite structures with laminate. The analysis of laminated plates is based on the choice
ply-orientations and thickness as optimization variables using of a plate theory. Several plate theories have been developed with
adaptive meshing technique. Benneet and Botkin [20] aimed to assumed variation of the displacement eld in the transverse
provide more accurate estimate of the true optimal solution with direction. For example, see plate theories in [3,4,12,3438]. These
the effect of adaptive meshing on stresses used in constraint theories attempt to give a higher order representation of strains
evaluation. Schleupen et al. [21] developed both global (based on in the laminate thickness direction. In the following, we present
error of the strain energy of overall structure) and local error esti- the details of plate theory due to Reddy [27] implemented in the
mates (based on error in a particular quantity of interest like dis- present study. The displacement eld
placement or stress component) for global and local adaptive
renements separately. The potential of these two techniques were ux; y; z ux; y; z v x; y; z wx; y; zT 1
then compared through two dimensional shape optimization prob- is derived from the expanded Taylors series in terms of thickness
lems. Morin et al. [22] developed an algorithm based on adaptive coordinate z. Here, ux; y; z; v x; y; z and wx; y; z are the
nite element method to equidistribute the errors due to shape displacement components along x; y and z axes, respectively.
optimization and discretization to optimize the computational These components, following the work of Reddy [27], are given as
cost. An application to X-FEM based structural optimization can
be seen in [23]. An evolutionary technique was used along with ux; y; z u0 x; y zhx x; y z2 /x x; y z3 wx x; y
sensitivity analysis, for a low cost adaptive remeshing, in shape
optimization problems by Bugeda et al. [24].
v x; y; z v 0 x; y zhy x; y z2 /y x; y z3 wy x; y 2
The application of adaptive meshing using goal oriented error wx; y; z w0 x; y
control for topology optimization was done by Bruggi and Verani
[25]. Another application of adaptive renement approach to In the expansion in Eq. (2), it is assumed that transverse normal
topology optimization can be seen in Wang et al. [26]. strain zz is zero. The linear straindisplacement relationships
In the present work a design of laminated composite plate, with using small deformation theory can be obtained from this
a centrally located cutout for minimum weight, subjected to a con- equation.
straint that the plate should not fail under rst-ply failure load cri- The condition that the transverse shear stresses vanish on the
terion, has been studied. Here, an attempt is made to demonstrate plates top and bottom faces (see Fig. 1) is equivalent to the
the effect of reliability of constraints on the nal optimal solution. requirement that the corresponding strains be zero on these
Initially, the nal optimal solution is obtained without considering surfaces, i.e.
reliability of the computed data used in the evaluation of rst-ply
d d
failure load constraint. The process is then repeated with a control cyz x; y;  cxz x; y;  0 3
2 2
on the reliability of the computed data, i.e. effect of discretization
error control on nal optimal shape. In the present work a higher On introduction of these conditions in the expressions for trans-
order shear deformable plate theory proposed by Reddy [27] has verse shear strains, the following relations are obtained.
been adopted and implemented in a nite element code. Further, 4   4
Zienkiewicz-Zhu (ZZ) [2831] type a-posteriori patch recovery /x /y 0; wy  2
hy w0 ;y and wx  2 hx w0 ;x
3d 3d
based error estimator is developed for strain eld corresponding
to the plate model considered. Although, the use of Genetic
Algorithms (GA) (for example, [12]) and evolutionary algorithms The displacement eld of Eq. (2) is modied by setting /x and /y
(for example [24]) is very popular in optimization studies, in the to be zero according to conditions of Eq. (4). The resulting displace-
present study we have used a conventional optimization algorithm ment eld is now written as
- Complex Search [32] to obtain an optimal design. Finally, the
effect of evaluation of rst-ply failure load constraint, with and ux; y; z u0 x; y z hx x; y z3 wx x; y
without control in discretization error, is studied. Here, the Tsai-
v x; y; z v 0 x; y z hy x; y z3 wy x; y 5
Wu rst-ply failure criterion [33] has been used as a constraint.
wx; y; z w0 x; y

2. Problem formulation In Eq. (5) u0 ; v 0 and w0 are the mid-plane displacement

components while hx and hy are the rotations about y and x axes,
In this section a higher order shear deformable plate theory due respectively. Further, wx and wy are higher order terms in the
to Reddy [27] is presented followed by the nite element Taylors series expansion and are also dened at the mid-plane.
formulation for this plate model. Thus, the generalized displacement vector fdg of the mid-surface
contains seven degrees of freedom (DOF) and is given by:
2.1. Higher order plate model fdg fu0 v 0 w0 hx hy wx wy gT 6

Symmetric laminates nd many applications in the aircraft The corresponding straindisplacement relations, using
industry. Although symmetric laminates are simple to analyze innitesimal strains, are:
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 21

Initial element of interest

Top surface y
d T,2 L,

Bottom surface

l x
3 x
(a) (b)
Fig. 1. Laminate geometry, coordinate systems, stacking sequence and layer numbering.

xx u0 ;x z hx ;x z3 wx ;x uh . Note that in this study Dirichlet means the part of lateral bound-
yy v 0 ;y z hy; z3 wy ;y ary where geometric constraints are imposed, while Neumann
stands for the parts of the lateral boundary where in-plane traction
cxy u0 ;y v 0 ;x z hx ;y z hy ;x z3 wx ;y z3 wy ;x 7 is applied. Further, M is a generic representation of displacement
cyz hy 3 z wy w0 ;y constraints on the Dirichlet boundary edge. For example, the
cxz hx 3 z2 wx w0 ;x boundary conditions can be clamped ui 0; i 1; 2; 3; soft
simple-support un ; u3 0; hard simple-support ut ; u3 0; etc.
Here, comma ; denotes the partial derivative. Here, un and ut denote in-plane displacement components normal
and tangential to an edge, respectively.
2.2. Finite element formulation Triangular elements are used in the nite element
approximation employed in this study, along with hierarchic shape
The total potential, Pp , for the structure is given by functions of order p (p 6 4). The mesh generation is done using
Z Z advancing front method based automatic mesh generator. A typical
Pp u ru  eu dV  T 3 u3 ds mesh generated over the plate domain is shown in Fig. 2.
2 V R [R
Z A detailed study on various plate models for laminate applica-
 T 1 u1 T 2 u2 ds 8 tions and their nite element implementation can be seen in
CN Pandya and Kant [3638].
where V is the volume enclosed by the plate domain; ru and eu
are the engineering stress and strain vectors, respectively. R and R 3. A-posteriori recovery of pointwise strains and error
denote the top and bottom faces of the laminated plate and T 3 x; y estimation
is the applied transverse load on these faces; C are the lateral faces
with C CN [ CD . Here, CN denotes the Neumann boundary and CD In a typical engineering analysis a mathematical model for
denotes Dirichlet boundary; T 1 ; T 2 are the in-plane tractions speci- physical problem is rst selected, such that it incorporates the
ed on the lateral faces along 1 and 2 directions, respectively. Here, essential features of the actual physical problem. The nite
u1 ; u2 and u3 denote the three components of the displacement eld element method determines an approximation to the exact
u in 1, 2 and 3 directions, respectively. Using the model described solution of the mathematical model. The computed solution should
by (5), the total potential Pu can be dened by substituting u in be compared with exact solution of the mathematical model which
Eq. (8). is being solved. Hence, the computed results can be used to make
The approximate solution to the problem, uh , is the minimizer engineering decisions only when one can guarantee that nite
of the total potential Pp uh and is obtained from the solution of
the following weak problem:
Find uh 2 H0 V such that
B uh ; v h F v h 8 vh H 0 V 9

    h T   h 
B uh ; v h ru e v dV; 10
F vh  T 3 v h3 ds  T 1 v h1 T 2 v h2 ds 11
and H0 V v h j Pp v h < 1 and M v h 0 on CD ; v h is the test
function and has the same form as uh given by (2). We will further x
dene Bv ; v kv kE as the energy norm. Note that Fig. 2. Rectangular domain with a circular cutout, meshed with an advancing front
 h h    
B u ; u 2U uh where U uh is the strain energy for the solution method based automatic mesh generator.
22 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

element solution is sufciently close to the exact solution of the 0

where exx;i denotes the unknown coefcients and qi are the
mathematical model problem. In general, the results of interest monomials. The monomials are dened in terms of a local coordi-
obtained from the nite element solution can be very different nate system described later. Similarly, the strain components
from those corresponding to the exact solution of the mathemati- 1 2 1 2 0 1 2
xx ; xx ; 0
yy ; yy ; yy ; xy ; xy and xy
can be approximated as
cal formulation and can lead to serious design errors. Thus, it is
imperative to accompany any computational analysis with an
Now, the transverse shear strain components of the strain ten-
accurate indication of the error in the quantity of interest.
The error estimator should be reliable. Unreliable error sor are approximated by p 1th order polynomial. For example,
estimates are dangerous because they could lead to a misleading 0
condence in the computed quantities. The reliability of the error cyz0 eyz;i qi 15
estimator has to be understood with respect to the solution quan-
1 0 1
tity of interest. Here, an error estimator is constructed for the Similarly, the strain components cyz ; cxz and cxz can be
energy norm of the error and it is assumed that if the error in approximated as above.
the global energy norm is low then all solution quantities of inter- A patch is constructed by taking an element s and one layer
est are also reasonably accurate. neighborhood of elements around it, as shown in Fig. 3. Let the
Many classes of a-posteriori error estimators are available in the centroid of the element s be xc ; yc . A local coordinate system
literature (see [3941]). For the three-dimensional problems, the can be dened, with xc and yc as the center, as
implicit type residual error estimators would prove to be computa-

^x x  xc
tionally expensive. Hence, the more economical recovery (or pro- 16
y y  yc
jection) based error estimators have been employed in this study.
It was found in [42,43] that the error estimator based on stress The monomials qi are given as,
recovery (dened in [29]) was reliable locally for patches at the
^; q4 ^x2 ; q5 ^xy
q1 1; q2 ^x; q3 y ^2 ; . . .
^ ; q6 y 17
boundary of the domain, as well as the interior of the domain.
Several denitions of such projections are possible (see [42,44]). Now, to recover a smoothened strain eld we should nd
In this study a simple procedure for the recovery of strains, from smoothened strain components. To get these coefcients, as afore-
the nite element solution, using patchwise data is proposed (as an said, the strain recovery procedure uses the principle of minimiza-
extension of the method in [45]). More details of this estimator can tion of energy norm of the error, i.e. the energy due to errors in
be seen in earlier works of authors [46,47]. These recovered strains strain and stress components, over the patch considered. A typical
will be then used to design a simple error estimator. patch, with a layer of one element neighborhood, over element s is
shown in Fig. 3. In this, the strain components of the nite element
3.1. Procedure for recovery of strains solution are known. The material properties and other relevant
information about patch is also available. From this, the strain
Following the representation of the solution by Eq. (7), we energy of the error can be computed as,
re-write the components of strain in the following form as Z Z d
8 0 9 1 2    
8 9 8 1 9 8 9 8 2 9 J   h  Q   h dz dA 18
> exx >
> >
> e >
exx >
> xx> >
> 0 > > >
> exx > > 2 Apatch z2d
> >
> >
> >
1 >
> >
0 >
>> >
> >
> >
2 >
> >
< eyy >
> e >
< yy =
e >
> >
yy >
= 0 >
< eyy >
> >
1 where  and h are the recovered and nite element strain vectors
 cyz cyz0 z 0 z2 cyz z3 0 12
> > > > > > > > > > and Q is material stiffness matrix, respectively. Note that J is the
> cxz >
> 0 >
> cxz >
> 0 >
cxz1 >
> 0 >
: ; >
> > >
> >
: >
; >
: >
; >
: >
2 ;
strain energy of the error in the strain,   h . In Eq. (18), although,
c : 0 ; c 1
0 c
xy cxy xy xy
the material stiffness matrix Q varies over the laminate thickness, it
The recovered strain  is also assumed to have the same form is constant over a given lamina thickness. Hence, the integration
(in terms of z) as the exact one, Eq. (7). Thus, the recovered strain is over laminate thickness can be written as sum of integration over
also represented as the individual lamina thicknesses. Further, the integration over
8  9 8 ;0 9
8 ;1 9 8 9 8 ;2 9 patch area can be written as sum of integration over the element
> exx >
exx >
> exx >>
> > >
> 0 > > >
> exx > > areas in the patch. Thus, the above equation can be written as
> e >> >
> > > > > > > >
< yy >
> ;1 >
e;0 >
< eyy >
< yy >
< 0 >
> ;2 >
< eyy >
> >
= N P 1 Z
LAY Z zl n
;0 ; 1 1X X
 cyz cyz
z 0 z cyz
z 3
0 J h l h
    Q    dz dA 19
> > > > > > > > > > 2 i0 sP l1 zl1
> cxz >
;0 >
cxz >
> 0 >
> ;1 >
> cxz >
> 0 >
:  ; >> > >
> >
: >
; >
: >
; >
: >
cxy : ;0 ; c; 1
0 c ; 2
cxy xy xy

Given the representation of  as in Eq. (13), it is now desired to Material 1 Material 2
obtain the recovered strain eld as a polynomial, element by p3
4p 2p p
element, such that the recovered strain components are poly-
nomials that are one order higher than the corresponding nite p p
5p 1p 3 2
element strain components. Thus, if the order of approximation = p0 11
p p
for elements p is employed then all the recovered in-plane strain 6p p
4 p 0
components will be polynomials of degree p and the out of plane 10
p 5
7p 8p
strain components will be polynomials of degree p 1. The 9p 6
representation of the recovered strain components in terms of
polynomials are given below. For example, xx is given as (a) (b)
0 Fig. 3. One nelemento neighborhood patch P s over an element n o s consisting of
xx0 exx;i qi 14 p p
elements (a) sj ; j 0; 1; 2; . . . ; 11 in one material and (b) sj ; j 0; 1; 2; . . . ; 6
i1 in two different materials.
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 23

where NP is the number of elements in the patch over an element s, for testing the quality of a-posteriori error estimators for general
NLAY is the number of laminae in the laminate, Q l is the material second order elliptic problems. A detailed study was carried out
stiffness matrix and zl and zl1 are the top and bottom coordinates by the authors in [46] to ascertain the quality of the estimator.
of lth lamina, respectively. The procedure was based on the basic idea given in [44]. The pro-
The minimization of the function J with respect to each cedure is presented in the following for the sake of completeness.
unknown coefcient of recovered strain term gives as many For more details, see the earlier work of authors in [46].
linearly independent equations as the number of coefcients in Let x be a small subregion of interest, lying inside the domain
Eq. (18). The coefcients are solved for each element patch and X. Then asymptotically, for x  sufciently small, the nite element
the values are retained for the element s. solution is essentially the best approximation of the local p 1th
The above step is followed by reconstruction. In this, using order Taylor series expansion of the exact solution u, over a region
these coefcients, smoothened strain components can be slightly bigger than x  . It was assumed for the asymptotic error
constructed over the patch. These strains, in turn, can be used to analysis that all global contributions to error in the local region
construct the stress components. The in-plane stresses are x (i.e. pollution error) were negligible. Further, it was assumed
constructed using material properties, i.e. from the constitutive that the dominant part of the local error was due to the p 1th
equation. Although, the recovered shear strains are improvements degree terms of the local Taylor series expansion of the exact
over the nite element strains, equilibrium equations are used to solution.
get the transverse stress eld as the model used itself will not give However, for laminated composite plates, limited detailed
good transverse stress components. This is because the strain interior analysis of local error exists (for example see the earlier
continuity through the laminate thickness has been assumed and works of authors in [4650]). In [46], the work of [51,52] was fol-
it will lead to discontinuity of stresses at the interfaces. lowed to get the global component of the error (for a rectangular
The strain energy from recovered and nite element strains are plate) in a local region x  due to only boundary layer effect. The
calculated over the whole domain. effect of the thickness of the plate, d, on the convergence rate is
Z seen through a slowing down in the setting of asymptotic behavior,
i.e. a more rened mesh may be required to get asymptotic behav-
U r   dV patch
2 j1 j ior. This phenomenon is also known as locking effect. It is known
Z 20 that the h-version of the nite element method can be used to con-
trol the boundary layer effect by using sufcient mesh renements
Uh rh  h dV patch
2 j1 j near the boundaries. Assuming that the thickness d is xed (away
from zero), for the error e u  uh , we can write
where U  and U h are the strain energies over the whole domain
from recovered strains and nite element strains, respectively. r jjejjEX 6 C d h 23
and rh are the recovered and nite element stresses,  and h are
the recovered and nite element strains, respectively and NEL is where l minp; r and r depends on the regularity of the solution
the number of elements in the mesh constructed over the domain. u of the plate model; k  kEx is the energy norm given by
Remark: When there is a material discontinuity, the averaging kukEx 2 U x u. Here, U x is the strain energy of u over region
is done over the elements with same material. For example, given x.
the element sP0 , the patch consists of elements fsPi gi 0; 1; . . . ; 6 Further, assume that for a subregion x  2 X, sufciently away
(see Fig. 3(b)). from the boundary
Remark: No attempt is made here to obtain a smoothened
stress or strain eld (as prescribed in [30,31]). It is expected, fol- jjejjEx 6 C d h 24
lowing the work of [42,45], that the recovered strain eld will be
more accurate than that obtained by the nite element solution. in the absence of boundary layer effects, and for a xed d. The
readers are referred to the work of [53] for a detailed proof on
convergence of local error for isotropic plates. Thus, if the nite
4. Denition of a-posteriori error estimator based on strain
element solution is obtained over the same mesh using p 1
recovery p1
order elements, the error ep1 u  uFE in the nite element

The recovered strain  can be used to dene an a-posteriori solution uFE satises
estimate of the error. The element error indicator gs , for an p1
element s is given as: jjep1 jjEx 6 C d h 25
XZ n
zi   o Hence, we can obtain,
g2s   h  Q i   h dz dA 21
p1 p1 p1
s i1 zi1 jjejjEx jju  uFE uFE  uh jjEx 6 jju  uFE jjEx
p1 p1
The element error indicators can be used to dene the global jjuFE h
 u jjEx  jjuFE h
 u jjEx
error estimator nX as:
v thus, Eq. (26) means that the error is essentially the difference
uX between the p 1th order solution and the pth order solution,
nX t g2s 22 p1
s1 when h ! 0. Here it is to be noted that uFE denotes the nite ele-
ment solution uh obtained with an approximation of order p 1.
The error estimator based on the recovered strain developed Letting nx be the error estimator for subregion x
 , we dene
above has to be tested for robustness and accuracy. Following
the work of [42,45], it is imperative to subject an estimator to rig- nx nx
jx  27
orous bench-marking tests in order to ascertain the quality of the jjejjEx jjuFEp1  uh jjEx
estimator for the class of materials, domains, loading and boundary
conditions of interest. In [44,45], a rigorous mathematical proof where jx is the effectivity index for the subregion x
 . Ideally,
was given, which leads to a simple computer-based procedure jx 1 is desired.
24 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

The details of this work for laminated plates with various stack- 5.1. Optimization algorithm
ing sequences, boundary conditions, plate length to thickness
ratios, materials, mesh patterns, etc. can be seen in earlier work Complex Search Method algorithm is used for solving this
of authors [46]. The quality of the proposed error estimator was optimization problem [32]. The algorithm begins with a number
also studied in [46]. of feasible points created at random. If a point is found to be infea-
sible, a new point is created using previously generated points.
Usually, the infeasible point is pushed towards the centroid of the
4.1. Adaptivity
previously found feasible points. Once a set of feasible points is
found, the worst point is reected about the centroid of rest of the
The energy norm of the error obtained using the recovered
points to nd a new point. Depending on the feasibility and function
strain eld is used to rene the mesh. The procedure developed
value of the new point, the point is further modied or accepted. If
is very simple. It involves the computation of the energy norm of
the new point falls outside the variable boundaries, the point is
the error in each element, followed by a ranking of the elements
modied to fall on the violated boundary. If new point is infeasible,
in the order of highest contributions to the total error. The
the point is retracted towards the feasible points. The worst point in
elements contributing eighty percent or more of the maximum
the simplex is replaced by this new feasible point and algorithm
error are rened. This procedure is repeated till convergence to
continues for next iteration. Here, the reection parameter and con-
within the specied tolerances is obtained. It should be noted that
vergence parameter are chosen as 1.3 and 0.01, respectively.
adaptive analysis requires repeated solution of the boundary value
The algorithm given above is presented in the following.
problem, with the modied meshes. Thus, the cost of computation
increases (see [39,45] for details).  
Step 1: Assume a bound in x xL ; xU , a reection parameter a
and termination parameters  and d.
5. Optimization problem formulation Strep 2: Generate an initial set of P feasible points
For p 1; . . . ; P  1.
The plate with dimensions of X; Y, thickness d and a centrally p
(a) Randomly generate xi ; i 1; . . . ; N
located cutout of elliptical shape with initial size 2a; 2b and p
(b) If xi is infeasible then reset
oriented at h degrees with respect to x axis, is shown in Fig. 4.
Here, 2a is major axis, 2b is minor axis.
xp xp x  xp 29
The objective of the optimization problem is to minimize the 2
weight of the plate. Since all the laminae of same material are where x is the centroid of previously generated feasible points.
taken, the objective becomes the minimization of the plate mate- Repeat this process until xp becomes feasible.
rial area. Hence, the design parameters are, semi-major axis - a, (c) Else if xp is feasible then continue with (a) until P feasi-
semi-minor axis b and orientation of the elliptical cutout. ble points are generated.
Objective function : Minimize weight of the material; W
(d) For all feasible points evaluate the function value f xp
Set the iteration counter k = 1.
Step 3: Reection step
Minimize area of the material; A X Y  p ab
Subject to : State of stress is such that the Tsai Wu failure index 6 0:8 and
(a) Select the point xR such that
Y f xR Max f xp Fmax 30
6 a;b 6 0:4Y
28 x of all feasible points except xR
(b) Calculate the centroid 
and the new point
The second constraint given above is purely from geometric  
constraints point of view. xm x a x  xR 31
(c) If xm is feasible and f xm P Fmax , retract half the distance
to the centroid  x. Continue until f xm < Fmax ;
Else if x is feasible and f xm < Fmax , go to Step 5.

Else if xm is infeasible, go to Step 4.

Step 4: Check for feasibility of the solution
(a) For all i reset violated variable bounds:
2a If xm
i < xi set xm
i xi
2b If xm
i < xi set xm
i xi
(b) If the resulting xm is infeasible, retract half the distance
Y to the centroid. Continue until xm is feasible. Go to Step
Step 5: Replace xR by xm . Check for termination.
P   P
(a) Calculate f 1P p f xp and  x 1P p xp
P  p 2 6  and P jj xp  
(b) If p f x  f p x j j2 6 d
x Terminate;
Else go for another iteration. Set k k 1 and go to Step 3(a).
5.2. Failure criterion
The failure criterion based on interactive failure theories is
Fig. 4. Geometry of the laminate and initial shape of the cutout. considered. We have used here second-order tensor polynomial
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 25

MeshI MeshII

MeshIII MeshIV
Fig. 5. Mesh types or patterns used for plate validation study.

criterion proposed by Tsai-Wu [33]. It is a complete quadratic 6. Results and discussion

tensor polynomial with the linear terms included. The most com-
pact form for expressing this theory is through tensor notation: The shape optimization process requires computation of con-
straint information (here, rst-ply failure criterion). In order to
F i ri F ij ri rj 6 0:8 i; j 1; 2; . . . ; 6 33 guarantee the reliability of the constraint information, the accu-
racy of the plate model (and its implementation), the discretization
where F i and F ij are the strengths tensors established through procedure and postprocessing module have to be established. In
experimental procedures and are related to failure strengths in this section, a detailed validation study for the plate model, along
principal lamina directions. ri denotes the stress components. with the inuence of mesh renement and p-enrichment, is done.
Here, right hand side of above equation is deliberately taken 0.8 Further, a validation study for rst-ply failure load is also carried
instead of 1 as a safe constraint for the optimization problem men- out. This is followed by the shape optimization problem with and
tioned earlier. For orthotropic lamina this reduces to (see [33,54,55] without adaptivity. The mesh types or patterns used in the study
and references therein) for plate model validation are shown in Fig. 5.

F 1 r11 F 2 r22 F 3 r33 F 11 r211 F 22 r222 F 33 r233 F 44 r223 F 55 r213

F 66 r212 2F 12 r11 r22 2F 13 r11 r33 2F 23 r22 r33 6 0:8 34 6.1. Comparison of displacement and stress components
The components of the strength tensor are given below as:
In this section, rst we dene the problem for validation study.
F 1 X1T  X1C ; F 2 Y1T  Y1C ; F 3 Z1T  Z1C ; It is followed by validation studies for thick, moderately thick and
thin laminates. Lastly, the validation study for rst-ply failure load
F 11 X T1XC ; F 22 Y T1Y C ; F 33 ZT1ZC ;
of laminates is presented.
F 44 R12 ; F 55 S12 ; F 66 T12 ; Remark: The denition of thin, moderately thick and thick
F 12  12 p
1 ; F 13  12 p
; F 23  12 p
1 plates depends upon length to thickness ratio S Xd , loadings,
boundary conditions, etc. In general, this denition is based on
35 thickness ratio. Hence, we have used this denition in this analysis.
Further, unless specied, the analysis is done for full laminate.
where subscript T denotes tensile strengths, C denotes compressive A laminated plate of dimensions X and Y along x and y direc-
strengths. X; Y and Z are the strengths in L; T and T 0 directions, tions, respectively, and thickness d, as shown in Fig. 1, has been
respectively. R; S and T are shear strengths in TT 0 ; LT 0 and LT planes, considered for the analyses. The coordinate system and laminate
respectively. T 0 is perpendicular to plane LT (see Fig. 1). sequence convention are also shown in this gure. The plate is
26 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

Table 1 or with uniformly distributed transverse load as

Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse deection for square cross-ply thick
plate under sinusoidal loading with mesh renement and p = 3 xed. qz x; y q0 37

Mesh pattern 0
w Pp 105 where qc is the amplitude of the sinusoidal loading and q0 is the
intensity or magnitude of the uniform transverse load. The
Mesh-I 1.9230 1.7371
transverse mid-plane displacement at the center of the plate (that
Mesh-II 1.9242 1.7395
Mesh-III 1.9258 1.7397
is, at z 0), w0 (unless specied) is normalized as w
Mesh-IV 1.9260 1.7397 3
E2 d
Kant et al. [38] 1.9058  0 w0
w 102 38
qc X 4
In above equation, when the load is uniformly distributed, the
Table 2 term qc is replaced by q0 . Unless specied, in all problems the mesh
Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse deection for square cross-ply thick
types used are shown in Fig. 5.
plate under sinusoidal loading with p renement for Mesh-III.

p 0
w Pp 105 6.1.1. Comparison for thick laminates
In this section cross-ply square and rectangular laminates under
1 1.8339 1.6009
2 1.9267 1.7388
transverse loads are studied for their predictive capabilities of
3 1.9258 1.7397 pointwise transverse deection and stress components. This study
4 1.9261 1.7397 is carried out for different types of mesh patterns (as shown in
Kant et al. [38] 1.9058 Fig. 5) and degree of approximation (p = 1 and 2) used. The results
are compared with those available in literature.
Case 1: A cross-ply square laminate under sinusoidal transverse
Table 3
Material properties used for rectangular 0=90S thick laminate under transverse A 0=90=0 square laminated plate and S 5, under sinusoidal
sinusoidal loading [35]. transverse load, with qc 6:89  103 N/mm2 and m n 1, is
Property E1 GPa E2 GPa G12 G13 GPa G23 GPa m12 m13 m23 analyzed. The plate is simply supported over all edges. The lamina
Value 138 9.3 4.6 3.1 0.3 0.5 has properties E2 E3 6:89 GPa and m12 m23 m13 0:25.
Further, E1 25 E2 ; G23 0:2 E2 and G13 G12 0:5 E2 is taken.
Here, all the laminae have equal thicknesses.
Table 4 The comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse deection
Comparison of transverse deection for rectangular cross-ply thick plate under with mesh renement when p 3 is xed, is reported in Table 1.
sinusoidal loading with mesh renement for xed p = 3. Table 2 reports these results for p renement with mesh xed to
Mesh pattern w0 104 Pp 104
From these tables we can see that the values of non-dimen-
Mesh-I 5.8090 3.1683 sionalized transverse deection from our study are close to the
Mesh-II 5.8439 3.1954 one with reference results obtained by Kant et al. [38]. For approx-
Mesh-III 5.8467 3.1974
imation order p 3 the effect of mesh renement shows that
Mesh-IV 5.8468 3.1975
3D solid [35] 5.7263 3.0851 results converge with mesh renement above Mesh-III and with p
renement it converges for p P3. It should be noted that the refer-
ence results are obtained for a xed rectangular mesh with four ele-
ments and no convergence analysis has been reported. Hence, we
Table 5
Comparison of transverse deection for rectangular cross-ply thick plate under
see a difference in the two results. Further, it can be seen that the
sinusoidal loading with p renement for xed Mesh-III. total potential converges to a value of 1:7397  105 and for this
value of total potential we observe that the non-dimensionalized
w0 104 Pp 104
transverse deection also shows convergence.
1 5.2480 2.8603 Case 2: A cross-ply rectangular laminate under sinusoidal trans-
2 5.8439 3.1954 verse loading
3 5.8467 3.1975
A rectangular 0=90S laminated plate, hard simple supported
4 5.8469 3.1975
3D solid [35] 5.7263 3.0851 along all edges, and subjected to transverse sinusoidal loading is
analyzed. All the layers have equal thicknesses and S 5 is taken.
The laminae properties are listed in Table 3. The amplitude of
loaded transversely on the upper surface through a sinusoidal load sinusoidal loading qc is 1 N/mm2 with m n 1. The sinusoidal
as loading in this case is of the from
m p x n p y m p x n p y
qz x; y qc sin sin 36 qz x; y qc cos cos 39

Table 6
Comparison of stresses for rectangular cross-ply thick plate under sinusoidal loading with mesh renement for xed p 3.

Mesh rxx ryy sxy rxx ryy sxy

X  X    X  X   
pattern Y d
Y d
2;2;2 X; Y;  2d Y d
Y d
2;2;2 X; Y;  2d

Mesh-I 8.5821 1.8848 0.9662 8.0526 1.7647 0.8916

Mesh-II 7.9947 1.7597 0.9057 7.9523 1.7496 0.8990
Mesh-III 7.9137 1.7410 0.8989 7.9118 1.7403 0.8982
Mesh-IV 7.9042 1.7384 0.8980 7.9042 1.7382 0.8970
3D solid [35] 7.7388 1.9267 0.8602 7.7388 1.9267 0.8602
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 27

Table 7
Comparison of stresses for rectangular cross-ply thick plate under sinusoidal loading with p renement for xed Mesh-III.

p rxx ryy sxy rxx ryy sxy

X Y d
 X Y d
   X  X   
2;2;2 2;2;2 X; Y;  2d Y d
Y d
2;2;2 X; Y;  2d

1 7.1042 1.5524 0.8073 6.9450 1.5100 0.7813

2 7.9947 1.7597 0.9057 7.9523 1.7496 0.8990
3 7.8687 1.7298 0.8936 7.8972 1.7363 0.8970
4 7.8663 1.7513 0.8980 7.8980 1.7365 0.8972
3D solid [35] 7.7388 1.9267 0.8602 7.7388 1.9267 0.8602

Table 8 xed, the recovered stress components show faster conver-

Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse deection for a square cross-ply, gence to the values in [35] than compared to the convergence
moderately thick plate with mesh renement and p 3 xed.
of nite element stress components.

Mesh pattern 0
w Pp 104

Mesh-I 0.7174 1.0098

6.1.2. Comparison for moderately thick laminates
Mesh-II 0.7171 1.0127 In this section square cross-ply anti-symmetric laminates under
Mesh-III 0.7176 1.0129 uniformly distributed transverse load are studied for their predic-
Mesh-IV 0.7176 1.0129 tive capabilities of pointwise transverse deection. This study is
Kant et al. [38] 0.7164
carried out for different types of mesh patterns (as shown in
Fig. 5) and degree of approximation (p = 1 through 4) used. Then
The transverse deection for mesh renement with xed p 3 these results are compared with the results available in literature.
is tabulated in Table 4 and for p renement with Mesh-III is Case 1: A cross-ply square laminate under sinusoidal transverse
reported in Table 5. The convergence of the in-plane stress compo- loading
nents has been reported in Table 6 for mesh renement with p 3 The problem description is same as Case 1 of the Section 6.1.1,
xed and in Table 7 for p renement with Mesh-III xed. In Tables but with S 10. The effect of mesh renement, with approx-
6 and 7, the stress components rxx ; ryy and sxy denote recovered imation order p 3, on the convergence of the results has been
stresses and rxx ; ryy and sxy denote nite element stresses. The studied and is reported in Table 8. Similarly, with Mesh-III xed
recovered stresses are obtained using constitutive relations and the effect of p renement on the convergence of the results is
the recovered strain components, as discussed in Section 3.1. reported in Table 9. Further, for these cases the convergence of
These results are compared with the 3D nite element results the total potential is also reported.
reported in [35]. It should be noted that the origin of the coordinate The observations for this study show that the non-dimen-
system for laminate geometry in the present study is xed at the sionalized transverse displacement convergences to a value of
lower left corner and in [35] it is xed at the center of the laminate. 0:7176 and total potential to a value of 1:0129  104 for
From the results we observe that: Mesh-III and higher levels of mesh renement. Similarly, for
Mesh-III the convergence is observed for p P3. It can be observed
1. The results for transverse deection converge to 5:8467 104 that the convergence in the non-dimensionalized transverse
for mesh renement with meshes above Mesh-III type and displacement is seen when the value for total potential is con-
p 3 xed. The results from present study are close to 3D nite verged. It can be easily seen that the converged value of the non-
element results reported in [35]. dimensionalized transverse displacement is very close to the value
2. The results from present study for deection component with p reported in [38]. Further, it can be observed that the convergence
renement converge with Mesh-III xed for p P3. The with mesh and p renements is achieved faster as compared to
converged values are same as mentioned in point 1 above. thick plate case.
3. The plate model gives a converged total potential value of Case 2: An anti-symmetric square laminate under uniform
3:1975  104 , which is higher than the reference values in transverse loading
[35]. This difference between total potential values is because A four-layer antisymmetric angle-ply square laminate,
the plate model considered here assumes a smooth strain eld 45=  45=45=  45, subjected to uniformly distributed transverse
through the thickness, which may lead to a jump in the values load is analyzed for all edges hard simple supported and all edges
of the transverse stresses at the interfaces. This is in direct vio- clamped boundary conditions. The intensity of the uniformly dis-
lation of the stress continuity requirement (from 3D elasticity tributed load is q0 6:89  103 N/mm2. Here, the thicknesses of
solution point of view) at the interface.
4. The convergence of stress components to the values reported in
[35], obtained using three dimensional nite element analysis, Table 10
Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse displacement for 45=  45=45=  45
does not show much difference between stress components
square, moderately thick laminate with mesh renement for p 3 xed.
obtained using recovery and nite element approach for mesh

renement with p 3. However, for p renement, with mesh Boundary condition Mesh pattern 0
w Pp 104

H-SSSS Mesh-I 1.1062 2.6566

Table 9
Mesh-II 1.1059 2.6682
Comparison of non-dimensionlaized transverse deection for a square cross-ply,
Mesh-III 1.1068 2.6698
moderately thick plate with p renement and Mesh-III xed.
Mesh-IV 1.1069 2.6700
p 0
w Pp  104 Reddy and Miravete [56] 1.1598

1 0.6202 0.8459 CCCC Mesh-I 0.5562 1.1342

2 0.7175 1.0118 Mesh-II 0.5779 1.1756
3 0.7176 1.0129 Mesh-III 0.5799 1.1819
4 0.7176 1.0129 Mesh-IV 0.5800 1.1812
Kant et al. [38] 0.7164 Reddy and Miravete [56] 0.7708
28 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

Table 11 Case 1: A cross-ply square laminate under sinusoidal transverse

Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse displacement for 45=  45=45=  45 loading
square, moderately thick laminate with p renement for xed Mesh-III.
The problem description is same as in Case 1 in Section 6.1.1
Boundary condition p 0
w Pp  104 with the change that S 100. The results from present study are
H-SSSS 1 0.8862 2.0615 given in Table 12 and Table 13. From above tables we can see that:
2 1.1055 2.6642
3 1.1068 2.6698 1. The non-dimensionalised displacement converges to 0.4353
4 1.1069 2.6700 and total potential to 0.0614 for mesh renement Mesh-III
Reddy and Miravete [56] 1.1598
and p 3 xed and similar results are seen for xed mesh
CCCC 1 0.4632 0.9143 Mesh-III and p renement with p P 3.
2 0.5773 1.1719
3 0.5799 1.1819
2. The non-dimensional displacement obtained from present
4 0.5801 1.1812 study is very close to the reference values in [38]. It should be
Reddy and Miravete [56] 0.7708 noted that the laminate considered here is thin. Hence, the
effect in transverse direction is easily captured by HSDT model
used in the present study.
all layers are same and S 4 is taken. The properties of the lami- 3. The convergence in both displacement and total potential
nate material are: E2 6:89  103 N/mm2, m12 m13 0:25; E1 values is achieved with a moderate mesh and p renements.
10 E2 ; G12 G13 0:6 E2 , and G23 0:5 E2 .
The convergence study for the values of non-dimensionalized Case 2: A cross-ply rectangular laminate under uniform transverse
transverse deection and total potential has been carried out for loading
both mesh and p renements. These results are tabulated in A simply supported thin cross-ply laminate 0=90S with
Table 10 and Table 11, respectively. Here, H-SSSS or CCCC denote thickness of each ply as 0.127 mm and S  450 under uniformly
the boundary conditions that all edges are hard simple supported distributed load is considered. The intensity of the uniform load
or clamped, respectively. applied is q0 6:9  104 MPa. T300/5208 Graphite/Epoxy
The observations drawn from this study are:  
(pre-preg) v f 0:7 is used as the material for the laminate ana-
lyzed. The material properties for this material are given in
1. Both non-dimensionalized transverse displacement and total Table 14. Results are tabulated in Table 15 and Table 16. From
potential converge for mesh renements above Mesh-III, these tables, it can be observed that:
whereas, for a xed mesh Mesh III, the convergence with p
renement can be seen for p P3. Further, the convergence for 1. The displacement converges to a value of 11.5004 with mesh
displacement component is seen when there is convergence renement for mesh renement level of Mesh-III or above.
for total potential as well. 2. The convergence with renement for the Mesh-III or above
2. The displacements from present study are higher than those levels is achieved with p P3.
obtained by Reddy and Miravete [56]. We have used higher 3. The reference results are obtained for constant mesh and with
order shear deformation theory (HSDT) while in [56] rst order FSDT model. Also, no convergence study with respect to either
shear deformation plate theory (FSDT) is used. The solution to mesh renement or p renement was done. The results with
the problem is obtained by using Le vy method with state-space present HSDT model match exactly with the results reported
approach. The HSDT model leads to a more exible structure as in [56].
compared to the FSDT model. However, one should note that 4. Mesh renement level Mesh-III and p 3 seem to be reason-
there is no signicant difference in the values obtained by these able for convergence study.
models for hard simple supported boundary condition case.
However, for all edges clamped boundary condition the results 6.2. First-ply failure load
from present study are not in good agreement with [56]. This is
due to the locking effect caused by edge constraints. In this section, the rst-ply failure load using Tsai-Wu failure
3. In both the studies, the results converge fast for simple sup- theory [33] has been obtained. The transverse deection at the
ported plate as compared to the clamped one. The clamped center of the plate corresponding to the rst-ply failure load is also
plate shows signicant effect of edge constraints, in comparison obtained. These results are then compared with the results
to the simple supported plate. reported in [57].
The non-dimensionalized transverse deection at the center of
6.1.3. Comparison for thin laminates the plate, corresponding to the rst-ply failure load, is dened as
In this section the non-dimensionalized transverse deection is w0
validated for cross-ply square laminate under sinusoidal load and w0 40
cross-ply rectangular laminate under uniform transverse load for
and the non-dimensionalized rst-ply failure load (FLD) is given by
both mesh and p renements.

Table 12 Table 13
Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse displacement for thin cross-ply Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse displacement for thin cross-ply
laminate with mesh renement for p 3 xed. laminate with p renement for xed Mesh-III.

Mesh pattern 0
w Pp p 0
w Pp
Mesh-I 0.4336 0.0605 1 0.0388 0.0530
Mesh-II 0.4352 0.0612 2 0.4255 0.0600
Mesh-III 0.4353 0.0614 3 0.4353 0.0614
Mesh-IV 0.4353 0.0614 4 0.4353 0.0614
Kant et al. [38] 0.4344 Kant et al. [38] 0.4344
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 29

Table 14 transverse load. This laminate with material T300/5208 Graphite/

Material properties for T300/5208 Graphite/Epoxy unidirectional composite [56]. Epoxy (pre-preg) is analyzed for rst-ply failure load. The material
Property E1 E2 E3 G12 G13 G23 m12 m13 m23 strength parameters are given in Table 17.
GPa GPa GPa GPa Results from our analysis are reported in Table 18 for h rene-
Value 132.5 10.8 5.7 3.4 0.24 0.49 ment and in Table 19 for p renement. In these tables RR denotes
that the stresses constructed from recovered strains are used in
failure criterion in Eq. (34) and FE denotes nite element stresses
Table 15 along with Eq. (41). Here and in the following, xco and yco
Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse displacement for cross-ply thin denote the x and y coordinates of the point where the failure index
laminate with mesh renement and xed p 3. value is reported.
Mesh pattern w0 Pp From the above tables we can see that:
Mesh-I 11.7421 23.9584
Mesh-II 11.5132 24.2721 1. For xed value of p 2 with mesh renement, the failure load
Mesh-III 11.5004 24.4141 for Mesh-II is very high. This is due to locking effect exhibited
Mesh-IV 11.5004 24.4231 by plate. Since, plate is very thin and clamped along all edges,
Reddy et al. [56] 11.5000 this effect is more severe. A similar observation can be made
for p renement.
2. With higher levels of renement for mesh (Mesh-IV) or higher p
Table 16
values the failure loads are very close to one reported in [57].
Comparison of non-dimensionalized transverse displacement for cross-ply thin 3. The failure loads with stresses obtained from recovered strains
laminate with p renement for xed Mesh-III. are lower compared to failure load obtained by using nite ele-
p w0 Pp
ment stresses.
4. The failure locations obtained for our study are different from
1 0.0340 0.0712
those reported in [57]. The problem considered is symmetric
2 10.9555 23.2155
3 11.5004 24.4141 in all respect. Hence, locations can also be expected to be sym-
4 11.5004 24.4250 metric. We are getting the locations on the face opposite to that
Reddy et al. [56] 11.5000 obtained from reference results. It should be noted that the
reference results were obtained for a xed mesh with FSDT
model using Lagrangian iso-parametric rectangular elements
q0 X and no convergence study was done.
FLD 41 5. Failure location is found mostly on top face of the laminate.
E2 d
Further, the maximum contribution to failure index is due to
For this validation study, the mesh topology shown in Fig. 5 has rxx and sxy stress components. The failure mode is, thus, matrix
been used. First, an antisymmetric angle ply laminated plate is failure.
studied for its rst-ply failure load. In the second problem, we have
analyzed a symmetric cross ply laminate for its rst-ply failure Case 2: A cross-ply laminate under uniformly distributed load
load. The rst-ply failure load has been obtained by using nite The problem description is same as in Case 1 above, but the
element stresses as well as stresses constructed using recovered lamination scheme for this problem is 0=90S . Results from present
strains and constitutive relations. In both cases the transverse analysis are reported in Table 20 for mesh renement with p 2
stresses used are obtained by using equilibrium equations. held constant and in Table 21 with p renement for a constant
Case 1: Antisymmetric angle-ply laminate under uniformly dis- mesh, Mesh-II.
tributed load The comparison of the results with the reference results yield
The problem description is same as Case 2 in Section 6.1.3. The the same conclusions as discussed in Case 1 above.
antisymmetric angle ply laminated plate considered here is Fig. 6 depicts the failure locations obtained from present study
clamped along all edges and loaded with uniformly distributed and those reported in [57]. The point 1 and 2 denote the failure
locations obtained by Reddy and Reddy [57] for 45=45=
Table 17
45=45 and 0=90S laminates, respectively. Further, the points
Strength parameters for T300/5208 Graphite/Epoxy unidirectional composite [57].
1 and 2 show the failure locations from our study for
Property XT XC Y T ZT Y C ZC R ST 45=45=  45=45 and 0=90S laminates, respectively. A detailed
Value 1515 1697 43.8 43.8 67.6 86.9
study on the rst-ply failure loads along with discretization error
control can be seen in earlier works of authors [49].

Table 18
Comparison study for rst-ply failure load for 45=45=  45=45 laminate with h renement for p 2 xed.

Mesh Stress FLD w0 xco yco Ply Location

pattern type number
Mesh-II RR 1.771106 35.09 111.93 2.84 1 Top
FE 1.223106 24.25 166.62 93.82 4 Bottom

Mesh-III RR 46264.58 25.77 115.78 1.42 1 Top

FE 55555.74 30.94 111.93 0.71 1 Top
Mesh-IV RR 37661.66 23.85 115.35 0.95 1 Top
FE 41294.01 26.15 112.79 0.47 1 Top
Reddy et al. [56] FE 39354.80 26.79  125  125 1 Top
30 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

Table 19
Comparison study for rst-ply failure load for 45=45=  45=45 laminate with p renement for xed Mesh-II.

p Stress FLD w0 xco yco Ply Location

type number
2 RR 1.771106 35.09 111.93 2.34 1 Top
FE 1.223106 24.25 166.62 93.82 4 Bottom

3 RR 38044.02 25.66 129.31 125.83 1 Top

FE 35558.73 24.10 119.62 125.57 1 Top
4 RR 32385.21 21.92 99.68 125.83 1 Top
FE 29058.74 19.64 176.87 3.32 1 Top
Reddy et al. [56] FE 39354.80 23.79  125  125 1 Top

Table 20
Comparison study for rst-ply failure load for 0=90S laminate with h renement for p 2 xed.

Mesh Stress FLD w0 xco yco Ply Location

type type number
Mesh-II RR 1.215106 24.38 117.06 2.84 4 Bottom
FE 1.173106 23.53 119.62 1.42 1 Top

Mesh-III RR 26955.81 21.92 115.78 1.42 1 Top

FE 29899.92 24.32 117.06 0.71 1 Top
Mesh-IV RR 19499.95 18.41 115.35 126.05 1 Top
FE 21029.35 19.85 112.79 126.52 1 Top
Reddy et al. [56] FE 19050.90 19.34 2  75 1 Top

Table 21
Comparison study for rst-ply failure load for 0=90S laminate with p renement for xed Mesh-II.

p Stress FLD w0 xco yco Ply Location

type number
2 RR 1.215106 24.38 117.06 2.84 4 Bottom
FE 1.738106 19.58 119.62 1.42 1 Top

3 RR 19423.48 19.58 109.37 1.42 1 Top

FE 17588.19 17.80 119.62 125.57 1 Top
4 RR 16823.48 16.97 119.62 1.42 1 Top
FE 15676.43 15.82 119.62 125.57 1 Top
Reddy et al. [56] FE 19050.90 19.34 2  75 1 Top

y 2
229 mm
127 mm


1 2

Fig. 6. Laminate showing the failure locations predicted from present study and reported in [57].
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 31

Remark: In above example cases the transverse normal stress, transversely with uniformly distributed load, is analyzed for shape
that is r33 , is not considered while evaluating the failure index in optimization. The intensity of the transverse uniform load is
Eq. (34). This is because this component cannot be computed q0 2:0 N/mm2. The lamination scheme considered is 0=90S with
either from recovered strain data or nite element data, directly. S 10. Here, Y X2 is taken.
Further, no attempt has been made to evaluate this component All laminae are made of T300/5208 Graphite/Epoxy (pre-preg)
using equilibrium equations. and have a thickness of 0.127 mm. The material mechanical prop-
erties are given in Table 14 and strength parameters are given in
Table 17. Here, p 2 is used in the study.
6.3. Shape optimization
The optimum cutout shape results are tabulated in Table 22 and
the corresponding cutout shapes during optimization process are
Here, with few typical examples, we will demonstrate the effect
shown in Fig. 7. From these results we observe that:
of control of discretization error on the nal optimal shape of the
cutout and value of failure index attained. In this study, cross-ply
1. The discretization errors are below 5% for all the feasible
and angle-ply symmetric laminates with cutouts have been
shapes. Hence, adaptive renement is not needed.
2. The initial conguration with the given loading had a maximum
Remark: In each of the problems, we start with an initial prole
failure index of 0.4095. Thus, there was scope for reduction in
of the elliptical cutout to be circular with a b Y=8, and h 0
weight by increasing the size of cutout, which in turn may
Since the p 2 approximation, with sufciently rened mesh,
increase the failure index value. This fact is seen through the
gives reasonable failure load values, this is taken as the order of
intermediate conguration during the optimization procedure.
approximation for all future computations.
The size of the cutout is increased, thereby increasing the maxi-
mum value of failure index.
6.3.1. A rectangular 0=90S laminate under transverse uniform loading 3. The maximum failure index for optimal solution is very close to
A rectangular symmetric laminated plate, with a cutout, the allowable value set (FLD 6 0:8).
clamped along one of the smaller edge (that is, x 0) and loaded 4. The reduction in weight for this study is 3.68%.

Table 22
Optimal shape for cutout in 0=90S laminate without adaptive renement and p 2.

Sequence a b Weight Max. index error (%) xco yco

Initial 0.3175 0.3175 12.5865 0.4095 3.6582 2.2109 1.2165
Intermediate 0.5799 0.4109 12.1544 0.7709 4.8672 1.9517 1.3472
Intermediate 0.6015 0.4119 12.1245 0.7899 4.3852 1.9197 1.2083
Optimal 0.6057 0.4100 12.1229 0.7959 4.8293 1.9157 1.2077

y y

x x
Mesh I a=b=0.3175, max. index=0.4095, error=3.658% Mesh II a=0.5799, b=0.4109, max. index=0.7709, error=4.867%

y y

x x
Mesh III a=0.6057, b=0.41, max. index=0.7959, error=4.8293% Mesh IV a=0.6015, b=0.4119, max. index=0.7899, error=4.385%

Fig. 7. Cutout shapes during optimization in 0=90S laminate under uniform transverse load.

Table 23
Optimal shape for cutout in 45=  45S laminate without adaptive renement and p 2.

Sequence a b Weight Max. index error (%) xco yco

Initial 0.3175 0.3175 12.5865 0.4953 7.1979 0.0740 0.0224
Intermediate 0.8598 0.8808 10.5236 0.3461 11.8820 2.1983 0.4315
Intermediate 1.0122 0.8960 10.0535 0.3939 11.8937 2.1435 0.4188
Optimal 1.0160 1.0160 09.6602 0.7712 15.6503 2.4090 2.3167
32 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

y y

x x
Mesh I Mesh II

y y

x x
Mesh III Mesh IV

y y

x x
Mesh V Mesh VI

Fig. 8. Adaptive renements in optimum shape for 45=  45S laminate under uniform transverse load.

Table 24
Effect of adaptivity on nal optimal shape in 45=  45S laminate under transverse
uniform load. Table 26
Effect of adaptivity on optimal shape in 45=  45S laminate subjected to combined
Renement level error (%) Max. index loading.
Initial 15.6503 0.7712 Adaptivity a b Weight Max. index error (%)
First 15.0825
Second 13.5012 No 1.0155 0.8753 10.1103 0.7997 8.3792
Third 12.4125 Yes 1.0157 0.8258 10.2681 0.7999 6.4297
Fourth 11.0823
Fifth 10.4591 1.0089

6.3.2. A rectangular 45=  45S laminate under transverse uniform

Table 25 loading
Effect of adaptivity on optimal shape in 45=  45S laminate subjected to uniform The problem description is same as in Section 6.3.1. However, in
transverse loading.
this case the lamination scheme is changed to 45=  45S . The
Adaptivity a b Weight Max. index error (%) intensity of uniform transverse load is q0 0:22 N/mm2.
No 1.0160 1.0160 09.6602 0.7712 15.6503 In this study the discretization error was estimated but not con-
Yes 0.5248 0.3175 12.3796 0.7978 6.7000 trolled by adaptive renements. These results are tabulated in
Table 23. From these results we observe that:

5. The failure occurs at the edges of cutout boundary. When the 1. The discretization errors are above 10% in most of the feasible
contribution to the failure index from each of the stress compo- shapes.
nent is studied in detail, it was seen that the stress component 2. The reduction in weight obtained is about 22%.
ryy contributes more as compared to other components. Thus, 3. The nal optimum shape has reached the upper bound on the
the mode of failure can be said to be a matrix failure. This result design variables, that is, the minor and major axes of the ellip-
is in accordance with the results obtained by Ericson et al. [58]. tical cutout. Although, the value of failure index is very close to
6. The optimal shape of the cutout is an ellipse with an orientation the allowable value set for this optimum shape, there is scope of
angle of 0
with respect to x axis. additional material removal from this design.
P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935 33

4. Failure occurs at the edges of cutout boundary. This is due to are taken. Here, N xx and N xy denote uniform axial stress along x
high stress concentration because of constraint and free-edge direction and shear stress in x  y plane per unit length, respec-
effects. Further, it was observed that the location of rst-ply tively, applied on the edges.
failure changes from one iteration to another in the cutout In this study rst the optimal cutout shape is obtained without
vicinity. controlling the discretization error and then the optimal shape is
5. When the contribution to failure index from each of the stress obtained with control of discretization error. Again, the mesh is
component at the point of failure was analyzed, it was seen that rened adaptively till either the tolerance in discretization error
the stress components ryy and sxy contribute most. Thus, it can is reduced below 7% or for ve levels of renement, whichever is
be said that the mode of failure in this case is matrix failure. attained earlier. The results are reported in Table 26. Here, we
This result is in accordance with experimental study reported see that the nal optimal shapes obtained with and without adap-
by Herakovich [54]. tivity are closer to each other in all respects. This is because the
discretization error in both the cases is close. Further, it is seen that
In the above study the discretization error was not controlled. failure occurs near the cutout boundary, but the location changes
The discretization error for the optimal shape is over 15%. Now, during the iterations. Thus, it can be concluded that if the dis-
without changing the optimal shape obtained, an attempt is made cretization error is within specied tolerance, then there is no
to control the discretization error below 7% or ve renement effect of adaptivity on nal design. Note that using higher p
levels, whicever is attained earlier. The sequence of adaptive mesh (p P 3) will not result in signicant change in the conclusions, as
renements is shown in Fig. 8. Mesh-I is the initial mesh used. The the discretization error is controlled.
discretization errors for these rened meshes are reported in Remark: The optimization algorithm used here works with a set
Table 24. of feasible points. In the present study the initial set of feasible
The error estimator predicts that the elements of the clamped shapes are chosen such that the failure index is closer to 0.8.
edge and the cutout boundaries have high discretization error. Further, it is seen that during each iteration the feasible shape
Hence, a relatively rened mesh is seen at these locations. This attained is such that failure index reaches close to the maximum
result is in agreement with the earlier study of the authors [46]. value of 0.8. Therefore, the evolution of failure index with iterations
The higher discretization error near the constraint and free edges will be almost a horizontal line. Further, it is interesting to see the
of the cutout are expected due to constraint and free-edge effects. evolution of optimal shape with iterations. Here, this has been
Thus, due to adaptive renement the errors are reduced from depicted for Examples 6.3.1 and 6.3.2 for some of the iterations.
15.6503% to 10.4591%. However, the failure index has increased Remark: The proposed approach is very efcient as it simultane-
from 0.7712 to 1.0089. This shows that the optimal solution ously estimates and controls the discretization error in each itera-
obtained without control over discretization error is unsafe. tion. The cost of computation involved with this approach, with
Hence, control of discretization error is essential in shape lower value of approximation, can be signicantly lower than that
optimization study. without the control of discretization error but a highly rened mesh
Now we will see the effect of discretization error control, and/or higher value of approximation. It was shown in [42,45] that
through adaptive mesh renements, on the outcome of the recovered strain eld is accurate than that obtained by the nite
optimization process. The mesh is rened adaptively till either element solution. This leads to the accurate computations of stres-
the tolerance in discretization error is reduced below 7% or for ve ses used in the optimization constraints evaluation. Further, it was
levels of renement, whichever is attained earlier. The comparison shown in [42,4547] that the ZZ type approach of estimating and
of results with and without adaptivity is shown in Table 25. controlling the discretization error is computationally economical.
From these results it is seen that: Therefore, the overall approach used for shape optimization is
computationally economical and accurate as well.
1. The nal optimal shape obtained with and without adaptivity Remark: Here, all computations have been carried out approx-
are signicantly different. The optimal shape of the cutout with- imation order p 2. This has been done intentionally because in all
out discretization error control is circular in nature while the practical purpose computations a lower order of approximation is
one obtained with discretization error controlled throughout used. When a lower approximation order is used and discretization
the optimization procedure is elliptic in shape with orientation error is not controlled then nal solution may not be accurate.
of 0
with x-axis. Here, we wanted to demonstrate this fact through the optimization
2. The discretization error for the nal optimal shape with adap- study. If the approximation order is increased then the recovered
tive procedure is well below the tolerance mentioned. strains will be more accurate. Therefore, the discretization error
3. Failure occurs at the cutout boundary, but the location changes will be lesser as compared to the error when obtained with
from one iteration to another. p 2. However, the nal optimal shape obtained with higher
4. The value of the maximum failure index attained is very close to approximation order may not be different from that one obtained
the allowable value. with p 2.
5. The weight reduction in the optimal design obtained without
control of discretization error (about 22%) is more compared
to one obtained with control of discretization error (about 7. Conclusions
2%). Thus, from this example it is seen that if the discretization
error is not controlled, more material removal will be predicted In this study the shape optimization of laminated composites
erronouysly, hence compromising safety of design. plates with cutout has been studied with a special emphasis on
control of the nite element discretization error. A third order
shear deformation plate theory has been used for the laminate
6.3.3. A rectangular 45=  45S laminate under combined loading analysis and is implemented in a nite element code. A strain eld
A rectangular symmetrically laminated composite plate, having same representation as the exact solution of the displace-
45=  45S clamped along a smaller edge, x 0 is taken. The plate ment eld of the plate model considered is recovered using energy
is loaded under uniformly distributed load, in-plane tensile loading projections over the element patches similar to ZZ type patch
and shear load. The laminate properties are as in Section 6.3.1. For recovery. Then these recovered strains are used to dene a-posteri-
this case, q0 0:15 N/mm2, N xx 20 N/mm and N xy 0:35 N/mm ori error estimator, which drives a simple mesh renement
34 P.M. Mohite, C.S. Upadhyay / Computers and Structures 153 (2015) 1935

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