Optimization analysis is a method of optimizing the subject under a variety of predefined physical constraints, for example: frequency, weight, strength, thermal etc. Today there are several types of optimization and their use requires an understanding of the subject, of the system of constraints and a general direction for the solution. Optimization tools enable the improvement of design stages, shortening convergence processes and streamlining development stages, Optimization analysis is one of the most effective multidisciplinary methods in the field of engineering.
Materials layout and design, defined for a number of well-defined constraints is the process for determining the optimal performance under specific conditions and system limitations in the defined space.
An advanced method of form optimization. This approach is ideal for maximizing the durability of the components without the addition of extra mass, which can also be used to maximize the model’s frequency, according to the spec. One must note that topographic optimization only works with parts which are defined by the surface geometry.
Shape optimization is used to refine an existing design using the shape variables created using networking technology.
Size optimization finds optimal model parameters such as material properties, cross-sectional dimensions and thicknesses.
Optimization of composites (number of layers, thickness, direction, resins)
A very advanced method for finding weaves and interactions between layers that depend on the resins for defined constraints. In this method an optimization process is performed in a combination of three optimization processes, shape, size, and division (how to lay the layers), this is one of the most complex and interesting methods.
Each type of optimization addresses a particular feature of the subject, the constraints in the optimization process can be individual or a combination of a variety of constraints for example, frequency and weight constraints.
Example of an optimization project
A lifting beam for an aviation mechanism - the goal is to lower the beam weight at least 10%, while meeting a target frequency of 120 Hz, initially, the arm was tested as it is, and then the arm underwent a shape optimization process, according to three constraints: weight, strength and frequency.
At the end of the optimization process a general (non-engineered) structure of the arm was obtained, which requires adjustment for production. However, on closer inspection, the optimization result reveals the relationship to the mechanical load so that more accurate planning can be done in a process that requires less time. At the end of the optimization process the arm is examined again for comparison.
The arm’s weight after the optimization process is reduced by 15%, and self-frequency improvement by 40% while maintaining structural strength. The arm now meets design needs and saves engineer work time.