Optimisation of hierarchical structures for compression bearing applications

Authors: Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope, Robert S. Farr, and Yong Mao
Journal: Engineering Optimisation, IV1341-346, 2014.

It has previously been shown that hierarchical designs can be used to create highly efficient load bearing structures. The increase in efficiency is highlighted through a systematic ability to change the scaling relationship between minimum volume of material required for stability and maximal load a structure can withstand. The gain in efficiency when compared to a simple beam is found to increase as the loading magnitude for which the structure is optimised is reduced. Here we investigate a single hierarchical structure optimised for withstanding a compressive force. We show that through slight alteration of the frame geometry the efficiency gains can be increased and the range of loading over which hierarchical designs are of interest can be increased. Parameters of practical importance are calculated and discussed. These results suggest that through further alteration of the space frame geometry the use of hierarchical geometries in practical optimisation problems can become more widely applicable.

(ISBN 978-1-138-02725-1)