This paper presents a gradient based topology optimization method for Discrete Material and Thickness Optimization of laminated composite structures, labelled the DMTOmethod. The capabilities of the proposed method are demonstrated on mass minimization, subject to constraints on the structural criteria; buckling load factors, eigenfrequencies, and limited displacements. Furthermore, common design guidelines or rules, referred to as manufacturing constraints, are included explicitly in the optimization problem as series of linear inequalities. The material selection and thickness variation are optimized simultaneously through interpolation functions with penalization. Numerical results for several parameterizations of a finite element model of a generic main spar from a wind turbine blade are presented. The different parameterizations represent different levels of complexity with respect to manufacturability. The results will thus give insight into the relation between potential weight saving and design complexity. The results show that the DMTO method is capable of solving the problems robustly with only few intermediate valued design variables.
Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 2014, Vol 50, Issue 1, p. 25-47