Low-carbon design of structural components by integrating material and structural optimization
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Mechanical parts, especially large mechanical structures, consume a lot of resources and energy in manufacturing stage and produce large amounts of carbon emissions. To reduce the carbon emissions of mechanical parts from the perspective of manufacturing system, an approach integrating structural optimization and material selection is studied. A hybrid optimization model for low-carbon design of mechanical parts is established. The objective function of the model is built by quantifying the carbon emissions of mechanical parts. To improve the efficiency of carbon emissions analysis, a new concept “variable carbon emission” is proposed to identify part of carbon emissions, the amount of which will change with design variables. In this paper, variable carbon emissions of mechanical parts are quantified and parameterized by the relevant parameters of design variables. Two types of design variables (material variable and structural variable) are included in the model. The qualitative constraints and quantitative constraints for the low-carbon design optimization are both taken into consideration. Furthermore, an integrated numerical solving method is used to search for the optimal design scheme considering the coupling among material and structural parameters in low-carbon design. It foresees the synergic use of finite element model (FEM) and several numerical solution algorithms. The low-carbon design of a hydraulic slider is given as an example to demonstrate the approach. The results show that the approach has good potential to be applied in the low-carbon design of mechanical parts even with complex structural features.
KeywordsLow-carbon design Variable carbon emissions Structural optimization Material selection Hydraulic slider
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