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New optimization method for steered fiber composites using the level set method

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Advanced fiber placement (AFP) composite manufacturing technology offers a means to tailor composite fibers for complex loading environments and significantly improve the overall structural efficiency. This paper introduces a new method to optimize the continuously varying fiber paths for AFP using a level set method. The paths of the fibers are defined by constant level set function values, describing a series of continuous equally spaced fiber paths. The sensitivity of the structural compliance to a change in level set function definition of the fiber path is derived. The sensitivities are used to optimize the level set defined fiber paths to minimize structural compliance, while maintaining the continuous fiber paths and producing a solution that can be manufactured using AFP. The optimization method is demonstrated in three numerical studies.

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This work was funded by NASA’s Fixed Wing Project under the Fundamental Aeronautics Program.

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Correspondence to Christopher J. Brampton.

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Brampton, C.J., Wu, K.C. & Kim, H.A. New optimization method for steered fiber composites using the level set method. Struct Multidisc Optim 52, 493–505 (2015).

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