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An Application of Load Path

Theory to the Design of Structures

by

Ashkan Bassandeh

A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of

Master of Engineering

School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

The University of New South Wales

Sydney, Australia

August 2012
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ABSTRACT

This thesis investigates the application of load path algorithms to define

trajectories for placement of reinforcing fibres in membrane tension structures.

Load paths can define how a structure performs its intended load carrying

function transferring loads from a point of application to a point of reaction. In

recent years, a novel method to compute these paths has emerged in the

literature using finite element analysis yet common FEA packages do not have

options to generate these paths. Therefore load path generation needs to be

performed by integration of an external numerical computing environment (i.e.

MATLAB or FORTRAN).

In this thesis a method of visualizing of load paths in membrane structures has

been achieved by overlaying of link and shell elements in the commercial finite

element program ANSYS. The method is based on equilibrium of nodal forces

and starts with consideration of trusses. Load flow is identified by removing

elements from an over populated model using an evolutionary method. The

design procedure is iterated for a number of loops by slowly deactivating

inefficient elements by a scalar criterion in ANSYS programming language. The

integrity of this design technique is verified by analyzing number of models

(trusses and shells).

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The work is then extended to membrane structures. Static structural analysis

using finite element geometric nonlinear analysis due to the large deflection is

conducted for a rectangle membrane under uniform pressure. Shell and link

elements in the model represent the main cloth and possible carbon fibre paths

respectively. By introducing the procedure of elimination, two diagonal straps of

link elements bridging the corners remained in the corner fixed structure. The

final application of this research is cruising boat sails which are analyzed with

the proposed nonlinear programming formulation. The results from this work are

compared to the patterns in existing sails.

Finally, this work concludes that defining load paths using overlaid link and shell

elements for reinforcement of the structure can provide qualitative information

on the trajectories followed by load in structures and it can predict trajectories

for reinforcing carbon fibre paths. This thesis has focused on developing the

numerical algorithms. A deeper investigation of manufacturing methods and

collaboration with manufacturers of shade structures or yacht sails is

recommended as future work.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are a number of people without whom this thesis might not have been

written, and to whom I am greatly indebted. My gratitude firstly goes to my

supervisor, Dr Garth Pearce for his inspiration, and his great efforts to explain

things clearly and simply. Throughout my thesis-writing period, he provided

encouragement, sound advice, good teaching, immense knowledge and lots of

good ideas.

My heartful thanks go to my co. supervisor Emeritus Professor Don Kelly for the

wonderful level of guidance I received throughout this thesis. He has always

provided tireless support and advice across all aspect of the project and has

invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration both professionally and

personally.

I would like to express my gratitude to Associate Professor Carl Reidsema for

the insight on the initiation of this work.

My sincere thanks also go to Ravi Shankar for his help and supports and for the

many discussions we have had over a year on static analysis and also to Ehsan

Chavoshi from IRANSYS who has provided me many insights on the modelling

of membrane structures.

My final and most sincere thanks go to my family, Sedighe and Baraatali who

have provided me the wherewithal to endure these two years of graduate

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school and have shared their love and advice with me in all the time constantly.

To my sister, Mojgan and her lovely husband, Mehrab, I thank them for their

wonderful support not only during this research but also over my entire life

being far from home country. To my sister, Mandana, who has always widened

my vision to the life and given me hope.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract ............................................................................................................................ iv
Acknowledgments ............................................................................................................ vi
Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................viii
list of Figures ................................................................................................................... xi
list of tables ..................................................................................................................... xv
Abbreviations and Acronyms ......................................................................................... xvi
Nomenclature ................................................................................................................ xvii
CHAPTER 1. .................................................................................................................... 1
1.1. Thesis background ........................................................................................................ 1
1.2. Thesis objective ............................................................................................................ 4
1.3. Thesis outline ................................................................................................................ 4
1.4. Research papers ............................................................................................................ 6
CHAPTER 2. .................................................................................................................... 7
2.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................... 7
2.2. Load path ...................................................................................................................... 8
2.3. Implementation of load paths ...................................................................................... 16
2.4. Structural Optimization:.............................................................................................. 20
2.4.1. Structural Optimization method .......................................................................... 21
2.4.2. History of structural optimization ....................................................................... 24
2.4.3. Techniques of topological optimization .............................................................. 25
2.5. Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 33
CHAPTER 3. .................................................................................................................. 35
3.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................. 35
3.2. Using load path to determine force transfer within the solution boundaries............... 37
3.2.1. Load path method clarification: .......................................................................... 41
3.2.2. Load path vector: ................................................................................................ 41
3.2.3. Load path integration: ......................................................................................... 47
3.2.4. Cantilever plate example:.................................................................................... 50

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3.2.5. Example of an L-Shape structure: ....................................................................... 53
3.2.6. Properties of the paths ......................................................................................... 56
3.2.7. Structural configuration ...................................................................................... 62
3.2.8. Discussion ........................................................................................................... 63
3.3. Exploration of load paths in trusses ............................................................................ 63
3.3.1. Gradual reduction based on force level ............................................................... 64
3.3.2. Example of a one bay truss ................................................................................. 69
3.3.3. Example of a two bay truss: ................................................................................ 71
3.3.4. Example of a multi-bay truss .............................................................................. 76
3.3.5. Discussion ........................................................................................................... 78
3.4. Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 79
CHAPTER 4. .................................................................................................................. 81
4.1. Introduction: ................................................................................................................ 81
4.2. Theory of shells and plates: ........................................................................................ 84
4.2.1. General concept................................................................................................... 84
4.3. Modelling of a clamped circular plate: ....................................................................... 86
4.3.1. Material characteristics ....................................................................................... 87
4.3.2. Element ............................................................................................................... 87
4.3.3. Boundary conditions, and loading ...................................................................... 89
4.3.4. The solution ........................................................................................................ 91
4.3.5. Post processing.................................................................................................... 92
4.4. Overlaying meshing method ....................................................................................... 94
4.5. Modelling of a clamped rectangle model:................................................................... 95
4.5.1. Material characteristics ....................................................................................... 96
4.5.2. Element ............................................................................................................... 96
4.5.3. Boundary conditions and loading ....................................................................... 98
4.5.4. The solution ........................................................................................................ 99
4.5.5. Post processing without overlaying link elements ............................................ 100
4.5.6. Post processing with overlaying link elements ................................................. 101
4.5.7. Determining the load paths ............................................................................... 103
4.6. Modelling of a corner fixed rectangle model: ........................................................... 105
4.6.1. Material characteristics ..................................................................................... 106
4.6.2. Element ............................................................................................................. 106
4.6.3. Boundary conditions, and loading .................................................................... 107
4.6.4. Determining the load paths ............................................................................... 108

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4.7. Conclusion: ............................................................................................................... 109
CHAPTER 5. ................................................................................................................ 111
5.1. Introduction: .............................................................................................................. 111
5.2. Sail as a membrane structure .................................................................................... 112
5.3. Finite element model of the sail ................................................................................ 113
5.3.1. Definition of the geometry ................................................................................ 113
5.3.2. Material characteristics ..................................................................................... 115
5.3.3. Element ............................................................................................................. 116
5.3.4. Boundary conditions, and loading .................................................................... 118
5.3.5. Results and Post processing .............................................................................. 122
5.4. Load path determination ........................................................................................... 123
5.4.1. Overlaid elements ............................................................................................. 123
5.4.2. Effect of boundary conditions on load paths determination ............................. 127
5.5. Conclusion: ............................................................................................................... 139
CHAPTER 6. ................................................................................................................ 140
6.1. Summary of findings................................................................................................. 140
6.2. Recommendations for Future Work .......................................................................... 143
References ..................................................................................................................... 145
APPENDIX.A……………….…………………...………………………………….….......…151
APPENDIX.B……………….…………………...………………………………….……....…160

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 2-1: Load path in a pinned connection (Kelly and Tosh, 2000) ............................ 9

Figure 2-2: Principal stress directions (Kelly and Tosh, 2000) ...................................... 11

Figure 2-3: Zero force components in the 𝑥 direction on a load path wall (Kelly and
Tosh, 2000) ..................................................................................................................... 12

Figure 2-4: Load path in a plate with a hole under tension in 𝑥 direction (a) and 𝑦
direction (b) (Kelly and Tosh, 2000)............................................................................... 13

Figure 2-5: Michell structure for a cantilevered beam(Chan, 1963) ............................... 16

Figure 2-6: Fibre steering patterns (Crosky et al., 2006) ................................................ 17

Figure 2-7: Test for straightening of load path (Kelly et al., 2010) ................................ 18

Figure 2-8: Transferred force to a node for 3D truss (Harasaki and Arora, 2001) ......... 19

Figure 2-9 Typical size optimized structure in initial given structure (a) and final
optimized design (b)(Christensen and Klarbring, 2008) ................................................. 22

Figure 2-10: Typical shape optimized structure (Christensen and Klarbring, 2008) ...... 22

Figure 2-11: Two dimensional optimization (Christensen and Klarbring, 2008) ........... 23

Figure 2-12: Topology optimization of a two bay truss (Harasaki, 2000) ...................... 24

Figure 2-13: Design domain (Querin et al., 1998; Huang and Xie, 2011) ...................... 28

Figure 2-14: Topology optimized design with BESO (Huang and Xie, 2011) ............... 29

Figure 2-15: Continuum structure Model (Harasaki 2004)............................................. 30

Figure 3-1: Load transfer in a pinned joint(Kelly and Tosh, 2000) ................................ 38

Figure 3-2: Reinforcing fibres in a yacht sail (Wightsails, 2012) ................................... 39

Figure 3-3: Major principal stress trajectories ................................................................ 40

Figure 3-4: Minor principal stress trajectories ................................................................ 40

Figure 3-5: Schematic of force "stream tube" ................................................................. 42


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Figure 3-6: Stress transformation to an arbitrary coordinate system .............................. 43

Figure 3-7: sample pointing vector at the solid element centre ...................................... 49

Figure 3-8: Cantilever block boundary condition ........................................................... 51

Figure 3-9: Load path in 𝑥 direction ............................................................................... 52

Figure 3-10: Load path in 𝑦 direction ............................................................................. 53

Figure 3-11: L-Shape structure boundary condition ....................................................... 54

Figure 3-12: 𝑦 direction load paths ................................................................................. 55

Figure 3-13: 𝑥 direction load paths ................................................................................. 55

Figure 3-14: Simple tension x-paths ............................................................................... 57

Figure 3-15: Simple compression x-paths ...................................................................... 57

Figure 3-16: Bending stress ............................................................................................ 58

Figure 3-17: Pure bending scenario ................................................................................ 58

Figure 3-18: Cantilever bending load picture ................................................................. 59

Figure 3-19: Force equilibrium in 𝑥 direction................................................................. 59

Figure 3-20: Simply supported beam .............................................................................. 60

Figure 3-21: Geometry discontinuity effect on load paths.............................................. 61

Figure 3-22: Interpretation of curved paths .................................................................... 61

Figure 3-23: Structural configuration(Kelly et al., 2010) ............................................... 62

Figure 3-24: sample section of a multi bay truss ............................................................ 66

Figure 3-25: 𝑥-force transfer ........................................................................................... 67

Figure 3-26: 𝑥-force transfer ........................................................................................... 68

Figure 3-27: 𝑦-force transfer ........................................................................................... 68

Figure 3-28: One bay truss example ............................................................................... 69

Figure 3-29: Final design after 4 iterations. .................................................................... 70

Figure 3-30: Reduction process for the one bay truss ..................................................... 71

Figure 3-31: Two bays model ......................................................................................... 72

Figure 3-32: The reduction process of the two bay truss ................................................ 73
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Figure 3-33: Clarification of force equilibrium in node 4............................................... 75

Figure 3-34: Multi-bay truss with regular meshing pattern ............................................ 77

Figure 3-35: Multi-bay truss with overpopulation meshing pattern ............................... 77

Figure 3-36: Final design for the multiple bay structure ................................................ 78

Figure 3-37: Total weight analysis .................................................................................. 78

Figure 4-1: Static condition of equilibrium in a shell ..................................................... 85

Figure 4-2: Shell elements distribution ........................................................................... 88

Figure 4-3: Clamped circle.............................................................................................. 89

Figure 4-4: Point load in the centre and enforced displacement in the edge .................. 90

Figure 4-5: Pressure ramping function............................................................................ 91

Figure 4-6: Z deflection .................................................................................................. 92

Figure 4-7: Von Mises stress .......................................................................................... 93

Figure 4-8: Overlaying of Link181 and Shell181 elements ............................................ 95

Figure 4-9: Shell element size convergence for the rectangle plate................................ 97

Figure 4-10: Shell elements distribution ......................................................................... 97

Figure 4-11: Link element distribution ........................................................................... 98

Figure 4-12: Rectangle boundary condition .................................................................... 99

Figure 4-13: Z deflection .............................................................................................. 100

Figure 4-14: Von Mises stress....................................................................................... 101

Figure 4-15: Z deflection .............................................................................................. 102

Figure 4-16: Von Mises stress....................................................................................... 102

Figure 4-17: load path distribution in the plate ............................................................. 104

Figure 4-18: load path for a masonry dome (O’Dwyer, 1999) ..................................... 105

Figure 4-19: Link elements distribution........................................................................ 106

Figure 4-20: Node distribution ...................................................................................... 107

Figure 4-21: Possible load path in the corner fixed rectangle ....................................... 108

Figure 4-22: Alternative load paths for a groined vault (O’Dwyer, 1999) ................... 109
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Figure 5-1: Components of a boat sail, adopted from (Jazzmanian, 2006) .................. 114

Figure 5-2: Meshing configuration ............................................................................... 117

Figure 5-3: 𝑧 displacement against number of division ................................................ 117

Figure 5-4: Analysis time against number of divisions ................................................ 118

Figure 5-5: General boundary condition procedure ...................................................... 119

Figure 5-6: stiffening of the sail .................................................................................... 120

Figure 5-7: Pressure ramping graph .............................................................................. 121

Figure 5-8: 𝑧 deflection ................................................................................................. 123

Figure 5-9: Overlaid link 180 elements ........................................................................ 124

Figure 5-10: overlaying of link and shell elements....................................................... 124

Figure 5-11: Link elements remaining after the 50 iterations ....................................... 125

Figure 5-12: layouts for mainsails (Fallow, 1996) ........................................................ 126

Figure 5-13: Shell element distribution ........................................................................ 127

Figure 5-14: visualization of batten .............................................................................. 128

Figure 5-15: 𝑧 displacement contours ........................................................................... 129

Figure 5-16: (a) Mesh generation and boundary conditions (b) Load paths defined by
the link removal algorithm. ........................................................................................... 130

Figure 5-17: Model with over populated links. ............................................................. 131

Figure 5-18: load path with force in the head ............................................................... 132

Figure 5-19: load path with force in the head and clew ................................................ 133

Figure 5-20: Shrouds in the sail (McDoon, 2004) ........................................................ 134

Figure 5-21: Shrouds location ....................................................................................... 135

Figure 5-22: cable reaction with identical magnitude ................................................... 136

Figure 5-23: cable reaction with different magnitude ................................................... 137

Figure 5-24: Boundary conditions ................................................................................ 138

Figure 5-25: Final possible load paths .......................................................................... 138

Figure 6-1: 𝑦-Force load path in a simple truss. ........................................................... 143

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LIST OF TABLES

Table 3-1: Summary of the force .................................................................................... 67

Table 3-2: Axial force based reduction ........................................................................... 74

Table 4-1: Circular element size ..................................................................................... 89

Table 5-1: Some common materials used for sails ....................................................... 115

Table 5-2: Summary of boundary conditions................................................................ 128

Table 5-3: Reactions and shrouds forces ...................................................................... 134

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ABBREVIATIONS AND

ACRONYMS

Term Definition

1D, 2D, 3D One Dimensional, Two Dimensional, Three


Dimensional
APDL ANSYS Parametric Design Language
BESO Bi-direction Evolutionary Structural optimization
CAD Computer Aided Design
CAE Computer Aided Engineering
CPU Central processing unit
DOF Degree of freedom
EM Evolutionary method
ESO Evolutionary Structural Optimization
FEA Finite Element Analysis
FEM Finite Element Method
FEM Finite Element Modeller
RAM Random access memory
SIMP Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization

TF Transferred force
WP Woven Polyester

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NOMENCLATURE

Term Definition

Celsius

𝐴 Area, Cross section area

𝑎 Radius

𝐸 Young’s modulus

𝐸𝑅 Evolutionary rate

𝐸 Scalar field

𝑒 Element

𝐹 Force
𝐹 Transferred force criterion
Internal Force
h Thickness

𝐼 Load flow

Unit vector

𝑗 Unit vector

𝐿 Length

𝑁 Node

𝑃 Tension force load


𝑃 Arbitrary point

𝑞 Pressure

𝑅𝑅 Rejection Ratio

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𝑠 Increment value
Load path contribution scalar
Developed Load path contribution scalar

𝑢 Elastic energy flow

𝑉 Pointing vector

Velocity

𝑤 Deflection

𝑥 X direction

𝑦 Y direction

𝑧 Z direction

Normal stress

𝑗,̅ 𝑗 Principal stress

𝑒 Local stress

Maximum global stress

Shear stress

Change
Removal ratio
 Boundary condition
 Solution Domain
Poisson’s ratio

Air density

Velocity

, , , Angle

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CHAPTER 1.
INTRODUCTION

1.1. Thesis background

“Load paths” define how a structure is performing its intended function of

transferring loads from a point of application to a point of reaction. The term is

often used in conjunction with structural analysis and design since the

identification of the paths gives insight to assess the overall integrity of a

structure. In particular when supports or joints cause a concentration of the

load, the identification of the load flow from the structure to the support aids to

define the required reinforcement to maintain the structural integrity.

Investigation of the load path in a structural design also broadens the vision of

the designers to anticipate how a load flow will be altered if the structure is

damaged.

A review of the literature however reveals that historically there has been no

mathematical definition of load paths and so commercial finite element systems


Chapter1Introduction

do not include plotting of the paths in their post-processing. For structural

components such as a joint subject to a single axial load, the force results can

be followed from one component to the next. In texts such as (Flabel, 1997) the

insight gained is used to warn of bending introduced by offset of the loads from

the original line of action. A related method recommended by (Zienkiewicz et

al., 1969) is to use the stress flow directly to predict and interpret the load

paths. Principal stress vectors can give some qualitative information but plots of

the principal stress in a structure do not identify the path for transfer of a shear

load (Kelly and Elsley, 1993).

Various approaches have been developed for more complex structural

assemblies. Simplified beam and frame finite element models allow force

resultants to be followed through the structure. Loads can also be evaluated on

sections cut across the structure and the load transfer can be followed manually

by the designer reviewing the results. However, all these methods are labour

intensive and rely on the designer’s skill to create the models and interpret the

stress fields. As a result, it is hard to find two methods that give similar

characterization and interpretation of the load paths.

Recently, attempts have been made to develop a mathematical framework for

defining load paths (Ullman, 1992; Kelly et al., 2001; Waldman et al., 2002).

From these concepts load paths can be mapped based on equilibrium on a

segment of the path between the components of shear stress and normal

stress. This theory is able to calculate the local orientation using finite element

analysis (FEA) and to plot the trajectories in a post processing environment

such as ANSYS or TecPlot.

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Chapter1Introduction

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the application of load paths to identify

trajectories for reinforcement in tension structures such as the shade sails and

wind sails. These structures are typically made from cloth that creates a large

surface to shade an area from the sun or harness pressure from the wind. Both

applications have local supports to which forces must be drawn from the global

structure. This means the fabric of the surface needs to be locally thickened to

withstand the locally increased load, or reinforced by tape or fibres attached to

the membrane. In high performance applications, such as racing boat sails,

carbon fibre is the preferred reinforcing material due to its high stiffness and

strength. Part of this thesis will therefore focus on fibre reinforcement of these

structures.

The first step in this research is to develop method to utilise the results of a

finite element analysis to define the fibre trajectories. In the early stages of this

research, procedures are developed to extend the previous methods for

continuum solids and plates to allow load paths to be followed through truss

structures. It is evident that these procedures could be applied to defining the

paths on the membrane structures if a reinforcing net is overlayed on the

membrane and the fibres represented by axial force elements. The aim of the

work is to define the development of this methodology using the commercial

finite element program ANSYS.

The application to shade and wind sail structures is set as the goal to define the

structural complexity. Because the procedures developed for the truss

structures are dependent on the topology of the truss, the algorithm to find the

paths has to modify the topology. As a result an algorithm similar to an

evolutionary design procedure (Xie and Steven, 1997) is set up. Relative nodal
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Chapter1Introduction

positions remain unchanged in the algorithm and topology evolves by

elimination of members carrying the smallest loads from an initial overpopulated

structure. The aim of the algorithm is to provide a topology that follows the

dominate paths rather than optimise the structure.

1.2. Thesis objective

This work therefore aims to determine the load path in tension structures under

static loading conditions through geometric non-linear analysis by implementing

an iterative evolutionary method. The objectives of this thesis are:

 Investigation of load paths by implementing the available load flow


method into the finite element package ANSYS.

 Visualisation of load path in membrane structures by an iterative


numerical algorithm through overlaying link and shell elements in
ANSYS.

 Determination of possible trajectories for fibre reinforcement in shade


and wind sail structures by the proposed method.

1.3. Thesis outline

The outline of the remaining chapters of the thesis is given in this section.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of the available methods to identify load paths

and describes how these methods have been developed and implemented in

order to anticipate structural performance under loading conditions. It reviews

the available literature in the area of the current study on this topic and

introduces shade and wind sails.

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Chapter1Introduction

In Chapter 3, the method proposed earlier by (Kelly et al., 2010) is described

and integrated into ANSYS. ANSYS is selected because it is the main FEA

package utilized for teaching and research at the University of New South

Wales. This integration is performed by the development of FORTRAN codes.

Once the analysis is performed stress resultants of the elements are exported

to the user defined codes and the load path vectors are generated for plotting.

Link elements are created and imported back into ANSYS. The links enable the

vectors to be visualized by plotting the finite element mesh without requiring the

algorithm to provide a contour plot capability. This chapter then extends the

load path algorithm to truss structures in preparation for the work on

membranes.

In Chapter 4, an overlaying meshing method consisting of two node truss

element and four node shell element is developed to define the load paths in

tension structures. Due to the large deflection of the membrane, geometric

nonlinear analysis is performed. As an approximation the sails are loaded by

uniform static pressure for the wind sail. Shell and link elements in the model

represent the main cloth and possible carbon fibre paths respectively.

In Chapter 5, an attempt is made to find the possible carbon fibre paths to

reinforce cruising boat sails using the overlaying method and structural

evolutionary elimination. The model is analysed under different boundary

conditions using over population of the link elements and then the algorithm of

elimination is used to reduce the fibre paths to a pattern that is feasible.

Chapter 6 concludes this project and provides recommendations for future

work.

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Chapter1Introduction

1.4. Research papers

The following research papers included contributions from my research.

 Kelly, D., Reidsema, C., Bassandeh, A., Pearce, G. and Lee, M. (2011).
"On interpreting load paths and identifying a load bearing topology from
finite element analysis." Finite Elements in Analysis and Design 47(8):
867-876.

 Kelly, D., Pearce, G., Ip, M. and Bassandeh, A. (2011). Plotting load
paths from vectors of finite element stress results. NAFEMS, Boston

The following paper being prepared for the ICCM2012 conference summarises

the work in this thesis.

 Bassandeh, A., Pearce, G. and Kelly, D. (2012). Identifying load paths


from finite element analysis with application to reinforcement of
membrane structures. 4th International Conference on Computational
Methods Gold Coast, Australia.

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CHAPTER 2.
LITERATURE SURVEY

2.1. Introduction

This literature survey aims to review how load paths and the application of load

paths to topology optimization in structural design have developed by reviewing

the history and the evolution of the load path theory. An attempt is also made to

review techniques that have been developed for the visualisation of load paths

in a structure. This literature review does not aim to be an exhaustive literature

survey that cites all references relating to the concept of load path. However, it

does aim to identify the current status of the load path method as a useful

means for a better understanding of the performance of a design. It will also

give an overview of some common methodologies for topological optimization

and some benefits and drawbacks of these methods.


Chapter2Background Theory

2.2. Load path

Load paths are used to identify the flow of a force from the application point to

the reaction point in the solution domain. Engineers have been able to visualize

how a load is transferred from its application point to the support and have

developed a number of techniques to define the load paths. Different methods

have been derived and various visualizations and interpretations have been

defined. However, in spite of all these attempts and conducted studies, there

has been no unified approach to quantify, characterize, and visualize precisely

the load paths in the structure. In addition, none of these methodologies have

defined a general acceptable procedure for calculation of these paths to show

how remote loads are equilibrated in the structure. There is therefore no

thorough insight into how a structure is performing its intended load carrying

functions.

Load paths in structural design have been studied over the last five decades. In

two studies, load paths in airplane structures were investigated by Kermode

and Osgood (Kermode, 1964; Osgood, 1970; Osgood, 1982) however, a clear

method for visualization was not defined by these engineers. The concept of

force flows was further introduced by French (French, 1992) as “A very helpful

abstraction” since he reported these flows could be used to minimize stress

concentration in spite of having no physical importance. This author also

emphasized that making the paths as straight lines can minimize bending. This

creates inefficient load transfer and he proposed a mathematical equation to

explain the problem. Later Juvinall in 1991 reviewed force flows or “load paths”

for “line of forces” in a pin loaded structure under tension (Juvinall and Marshek,

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Chapter2Background Theory

1991) however, the finding did not have mathematical basis. Figure 2-1 depicts

the load path in a pinned connection structure (Kelly and Tosh, 2000):

Figure ‎2-1: Load path in a pinned connection (Kelly and Tosh, 2000)

Here Fxa and Fxb represent the tension force in x axis. A similar approach was

developed by Ullman that connected fluid mechanics and structural force

transfers, using force flow visualization technique (Ullman, 1992). In the

conducted study, forces were treated as fluids and it was concluded that

transition of a tensile load into a compressive load must be accomplished

through shear (Ullman, 1992). This method was employed in another work to

minimize the stress concentration (Budynas, 1977) and later, the concept of

load flow was discussed by (Singh, 1996) where the force transfer through a

structure occurs as “flux”. The “load path” of a force that flows through a

structure can be sketched by following set of “Rules of thumb” which were

established by (Signorini et al., 1990):

 Load lines originate and terminate on load and reaction boundaries


respectively

 In uniform loading, load lines spread as evenly as possible and can


cover the whole structure

 Load lines never cross over each other

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Chapter2Background Theory

 Load lines may diverge by no more than 35 degree around geometric


discontinuities such as holes

 Any curvature of the load lines represents shear and the creation of
bending moments in structures

A mathematical definition that describes load paths in a structure is needed to

use load paths as an essential criteria in the design of a structure and its

optimization. There have been several studies to mathematically define and

identify load paths. The first successful study of how to plot load path

trajectories in a continuum based on finite element solutions was addressed by

Kelly and Tosh (Kelly and Tosh, 2000) and it was later implemented and further

discussed in a typical aircraft structure by Kelly 2001 (Kelly et al., 2001). Some

insight for a load path through a continuum structure can be obtained from

principal stress vectors for a simple tension or compression load. Principal

stress vectors are the vectors aligned with the maximum stress contours and

can be found from the post processing from the available commercial finite

element packages in the market. However principal stress vectors do not align

with the direction of transfer of shear loads and a more general technique has

to be developed.

From the theory of elasticity, in plane normal stress and the shearing

stress acting at a point on an arbitrary plane with orientation angle of

with 𝑥 axis, can be derived from Equation 2-1 & Equation 2-2 (Boresi et al.,

2010):

𝑠 𝑠 𝑠 𝑠 Equation ‎2-1

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Chapter2Background Theory

𝑠 𝑠 𝑠 𝑠 Equation ‎2-2

Equating the shear stress to zero delivers the principal direction which is

expressed as (Equation 2-3):

𝑎 Equation ‎2-3

From this definition, the stress paths or stress trajectories are defined as the

lines parallel to the maximum normal stress vectors with the angle of ,

Figure 2-2, and can reflect reasonable paths if either the shear stress

magnitude is negligible or there is no shear in the solution domain (Kelly and

Tosh, 2000). The load path is correct to the left and beside the hole but does

not visualize the transfer of the force to a bearing load behind the hole.

‎ -2: Principal stress directions (Kelly and Tosh, 2000)


Figure 2

The idea of visualization of load flow in the structures which was introduced

initially by Kelly and Tosh (Kelly and Tosh, 2000) and was comprehensively

reviewed later (Kelly et al., 2010) indicate that the flows of loads can define

paths along which, loads remain constant as they traverse the solution domain.

Although stress analysis does not obey the continuity law in the sense of fluid

flow, continuity can be applied to the components of the force in an arbitrary set

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Chapter2Background Theory

of orthogonal directions due to the equilibrium requirement. Figure 2-3

illustrates the equilibrium between force components in the 𝑥 direction on a load

path wall (Kelly and Tosh, 2000).

𝐹
𝐹

‎ -3: Zero force components in the 𝑥 direction on a load path wall (Kelly and Tosh, 2000)
Figure 2

Load paths define boundaries in such that no load contribution in the specified

direction is introduced across the boundaries of the path (Equation 2-4):

𝐹 𝐹 Equation ‎2-4

Accordingly, the equilibrium in any segment (along load path wall) is achieved

when the components of and in 𝑥 direction are cancelled out if the

following condition is satisfied (Equation 2-5):

𝑠 𝑠 Equation ‎2-5

where in Figure 2-3.

When the equation is resolved for 𝑦 direction, the equilibrium can be modified

as (Equation 2-6):

𝑠 𝑠 Equation ‎2-6

The theory of load paths to calculate load flow orientations using finite element

solutions was implemented by Kelly and Elsley (Kelly and Elsley, 1993) and

Waldman et al. (Waldman et al., 1999). Waldman applied this approach to a

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Chapter2Background Theory

series of benchmarks problems including non-optimal and optimal holes in

plates. This method was linked to elastic energy flow. Where the orientation

angle of the produced vectors can be expressed as (Equation 2-7):

𝑎 Equation ‎2-7

In finite element analysis (FEA), the vectors field can be evaluated at the centre

of each element. This procedure was found to be sensitive to the placement of

the constraints required to suppress rigid body motion but it could not explain

thoroughly the peak stress regions (Waldman et al., 1999).

From the definition of load path, the load trajectories can be mapped in two

different directions of 𝑥 and 𝑦. The paths obtained in 𝑥 direction and 𝑦 direction

could be called major and complementary, or minor, respectively. In fact load

path can be determined in the direction that designer desires. Figure 2-4

depicts the load paths in and 𝑦 directions in a plate with a hole under tension in

the 𝑥 direction.

(a) (b)

Figure ‎2-4: Load path in a plate with a hole under tension in 𝑥 direction (a) and 𝑦 direction (b) (Kelly
and Tosh, 2000)

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Chapter2Background Theory

In a study by Chaperon (Chaperon et al., 1998), load flow on product of stress

and displacement tensors were visualized based on elastic energy flow which is

expressed as (Equation 2-8):

Equation ‎2-8

where represents load flow in the structure and is the displacement tensor.

Load paths have been also focussed for structural optimization purposes. The

method proposed by Takahashi (Takahashi, 1986) on the concept of relative

stiffness and transferred load inside structures, was refined by (Harasaki and

Arora, 2001; Arora and Harasaki, 2004). The authors introduced new concepts

of transferred as well as potentially transferred forces from the loading point to

the support points in structures based on a general continuum model. They

explained how to compute numerically these forces through using some

examples to demonstrate how some structures could be re-designed based on

these key concepts. The concepts were also studied and implemented for

topology optimization in the work by (Harasaki and Arora, 2001; Harasaki and

Arora, 2002). This work was also continued by Wang (Wang et al., 2010)

measuring the transferred force in rivets and gussets on joints of truck frames.

The advantages and drawbacks of web-connected joints that could not be

explained by stress distribution were also addressed in this work.

The concept of load transfer in vehicles structures (passengers cabins) was

expressed in another method proposed by Shinobu et al. (Shinobu et al., 1995)

based on introducing a scalar field 𝐸 . This term explains the degree of

connection between a loading point and an arbitrary point in the structure

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Chapter2Background Theory

according to the concept of relative stiffness. From several experiments in an

actual vehicle, the distribution of 𝐸 was measured by obtaining the load transfer

from the rear suspension to the front. It was concluded that the load transfer

initiated from rear did not coincide with the load transfer initiated from the front

under torsional loading. This concept was developed to tailor stiffness to reduce

vibration in the automotive structures (Hoshino et al., 2003). The so called

method can only provide qualitative directions of the load flow and with no

ablility to trace any trajectories from the application point to the reaction point.

The significance of a domain can be plotted by the magnitude of the transferred

force. However, this does not show critical stress regions under loading of

tension or compression.

Further work by Hoshino (Hoshino et al., 2003), introduced a method to express

load path determination based on a scalar . This term could measure the

contribution of any point in transformation of load in the structure. To

calculate , the solution domain is initially loaded under an external force and

then the overall displacement is computed and the recorded displacement is

applied to the domain as an enforced displacement boundary condition. can

be obtained at any point in the structural domain by the following method. The

displacement degree of freedom at that point is fixed and then the problem is

solved for the other displacements at other points. The gradient of this scalar

field is defined as the stiffness lines and the steepest lines are considered as

the load path in the structure.

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Chapter2Background Theory

2.3. Implementation of load paths

Load paths can be incorporated into most design processes to aid the designer

to determine the transfer of load through a structure. Load path contours may

indicate the optimal fibre orientation in a fibre reinforced composite layup and

can also be applied to damage tolerance studies to illustrate the effect of

geometric defects. In the early twentieth century, Michell developed a theory for

the minimum material requirement to meet strength or stiffness criteria within

structures. This theory led to a series of trajectories that were fundamentally

similar to principal stress trajectories (Michell, 1904). This achievement was

quite significant and still has been employed as a benchmark by structural

designers. Figure 2-5 illustrates the Michell structure for a tip loaded

cantilevered beam.

Figure ‎2-5: Michell structure for a cantilevered beam(Chan, 1963)

An application of Michell structures to fibrous composites was provided by

(Richards and Chan, 1966) and was applied to composite materials. The

feasibility of using this theory was investigated later through numerical studies

in order to reduce stress concentration around discontinuities such as holes

(Lackman and Ault, 1967). Since implementation of principal stress trajectories

can reduce these stress concentrations by 25% in the pin-loaded hole cases

(Lackman and Ault, 1967), they have been employed this technique for fibre
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Chapter2Background Theory

steering in composites in a number of studies (Brandmaier, 1970; Cooper,

1972; Jones and Platts, 1998). The fibre steering was achieved by placing dry

fibre onto prepared fabric or resin film in a highly optimized laminate along the

stress trajectories obtained from FEA. At the most efficient joints (up to 25 % of

fibres are placed in load paths patterns) the fibres were placed in these

orientations. Inclusion of reinforcing layers of steered carbon or fibreglass tows

in carbon fibre or fibreglass laminates were also examined by (Li et al., 2006)

through a series of research programs.

The aforementioned technique was followed by methods using load paths to

reinforce composite structures with carbon fibre (Crosky et al., 2006).

Figure 2-6 shows a fibre steering pattern by this method. The authors could

achieve bearing strength improvement of 33 % when they placed the carbon

fibre along the load paths based on FEA analysis. It was found that the load

path method provided surplus reinforcement against net section failure.

Therefore, the efficiency of the carbon laminate was increased by two by

reducing the ratio of the joint width to the bolt hole diameter.

‎ -6: Fibre steering patterns (Crosky et al., 2006)


Figure 2

In a recent study by Kelly (Kelly et al., 2010), an algorithm was presented to

combine the pointing vectors in order to define a topology to carry the loads.

Based on the definition of load path considered by the authors, a vector plot of

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Chapter2Background Theory

stress components determined the load flow across the domain and a contour

plot tangent to these pointing vectors identified paths along which a component

of the load remained constant. Since stress is a second order tensor and is

defined on an orthogonal set of axes, the vector plots could define separate

paths for load transfer in each direction. The algorithm modified the modulus of

the material based on the magnitude of the load path pointing vector on each

element. The algorithm was able to straighten the path indicated in the left hand

image in Figure 2-7, reducing bending moments and giving the straight path in

the second image. The form of the path during the iteration is indicated in the

third image. The significance of the plots and feasibility of the algorithm were

revealed by implementing the related FORTRAN codes to a number of

examples such as bolted joint, racing car and yacht hull (Kelly et al., 2010).

Figure ‎2-7: Test for straightening of load path (Kelly et al., 2010)

An algorithm was also developed into sketching the topology of a structure from

plots of the load paths. Sketching topological optimization for the given structure

from load paths was a helpful achievement based on the definition of load flow

in the structures.

In 2001 a theory of transferred forces and potential transferred forces in the

structures was established by Harasaki and Arora (Harasaki and Arora, 2001).

They considered the forces in 1𝐷 spring system as well as 2𝐷 and 3𝐷 trusses

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Chapter2Background Theory

and also rectangle frames. The force transfer through the structure was

presented by “force transfer” diagrams. This was followed by redesigning the

structure. Figure 2-8 shows the transferred force to node 5 for 3D truss in the

conducted study. Where and are applied force at node 1 and 2.

𝑧
𝑦

‎ -8: Transferred force to a node for 3D truss (Harasaki and Arora, 2001)
Figure 2

This work revealed that the transferred force magnitude was different from the

force applied to the structures, though the models engaged were quite simple.

Some suggestions about re-designing of the structures were given that could be

extended for optimal design of structures. The structural optimization concept

was developed using nonlinear programming formulation and computational

method in order to obtain size and topology optimization. Indirect methods were

also found to deliver similar solutions for different starting designs and

consequently can be applicable to general structural optimization (Harasaki and

Arora, 2001).

Wang and others (Wang et al., 2010) presented load paths in a truck cab under

frontal collision. They extended the described parameter, , to a new

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Chapter2Background Theory

parameter which was a statically calculated term extracted from

deformation results of the crash simulation. The work identified predominant

load paths along the floor member. To perform linear analysis using , the

behaviour of truck compartment was calculated in dynamic analysis in an early

stage of collision using LS-DYNA and NASTRAN as the finite element package.

The new term allowed the authors to estimate the effect of newly designed

stiffeners in the cab which could convey the load from the wall surface of the

tunnel into the rear part of the cab leading to better performance of the structure

under frontal collision. The load paths presented in the study were quite

different to path reported by other methods from what was previously reported.

2.4. Structural Optimization:

As the engineering industry advances, optimization becomes more relevant to

the design problems across all the fields. In the current competitive international

market, the companies can only survive if they can present cost optimized

products with exceptionally innovative concepts. Due to the limited material

resources, environmental impact and technological competition, only the

methods that can fulfil and improve the quality and reliability (such as light

weight and high performance) below the certain cost limit should be used

(Christensen and Klarbring, 2008). To achieve this, a new era in computer

aided engineering (CAE) has emerged from the early 1950’s.

Structural Optimization aims to offer a tool to the engineers to determine

optimal designs for acceptable structural responses, deformation and

satisfactory stresses and the interactions of all structural components in a

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Chapter2Background Theory

product. The optimization of a geometry and topology of a structural layout has

a great impact on the performance of structures, while satisfying various design

constraints (Yang and Chuang, 1994). As this structural optimisation can offer

efficiency and reliability as well as shortened development cycle of a product in

CAE procedures in particular, it has become a multidisciplinary field of research

and has drawn the attention of many researchers. Structural Optimization, is

widely used in aerospace structures, damage tolerance philosophy in vehicles

(Haftka and Prasad, 1980) and yachts design (Payne, 2008).

The general trend in vehicle and aerospace design has been towards more

specialized and higher capacity structures. These developments have forced

the designer to supply designs with sufficient strength, weight and safety

(Haftka and Prasad, 1980). Thus, the objective of structural topology is

determination of optimal distribution of material (such as material density

distribution) within the design domain such that it minimizes the cost and meets

a series of constraint functions. (Bendsøe and Soares, 1993; Bendsoe, 1995).

Optimization is incorporated into numerical engineering for product

development. In many applications by means of discrete and efficient methods

such as FEM, an algorithm-based optimization is required to support the

calculation engineering and design phase. To achieve this, number of

techniques have been suggested (Yang and Chuang, 1994).

2.4.1. Structural Optimization method

Optimization is a mathematical discipline that concerns finding of minima and

maxima of functions subject to constraints and can be used to determine shape,

size and topology. In terms of size optimization, once sensitivity is known,


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Chapter2Background Theory

design modification is rather simple and the corresponding modification of the

finite element model is straight forward. In other words, size optimization is to

find the optimal design by changing the size variables such as the cross-

sectional dimensions of truss and frames or the thickness of plates. This is the

easiest and earliest approach to improve structural performance. An initial given

structure and final size optimized design have been shown in Figure 2-9(a) and

Figure 2-9(b), respectively.

(a) (b)

Figure ‎2-9 Typical size optimized structure in initial given structure (a) and final optimized design
(b)(Christensen and Klarbring, 2008)

Shape optimization is a useful tool for fast development of lightweight

conceptual designs of structures, and has been investigated for many years. It

has been enhanced extensively to a viable level and has been implemented in

CAE (Bendsøe and Kikuchi, 1988). Figure 2-10 indicates a typical shape

optimized structure which shows the shape optimization can be applied in

allowable shapes which have fixed topological properties.

‎ -10: Typical shape optimized structure (Christensen and Klarbring, 2008)


Figure 2
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Chapter2Background Theory

Compared to sizing, shape optimization is more complex and is mainly

performed on continuum structures by modifying the predetermined boundaries

to achieve the optimal design (Bakhtiary et al., 1996). Nevertheless, topology

optimization is a relatively new and fast growing area of structural mechanics

and can be more cost effective than shape optimization. Figure 2-11

demonstrates a two dimensional topology optimization of a block under point

load on the top flange.

Figure ‎2-11: Two dimensional optimization (Christensen and Klarbring, 2008)

Topology optimization for discrete structures, such as trusses and frames, is to

search for the optimal spatial order and connectivity of the bars compare to

topology optimization of continuum structures which is to obtain the best

location and geometries of cavities and holes in the design domains (Huang

and Xie, 2010). Figure 2-12 shows an example of topology optimization of a two

bay truss. Figure 2-12(a) and Figure 2-12(b) present the original domain and

resultant truss, correspondingly.

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Chapter2Background Theory

(a) (b)
Figure ‎2-12: Topology optimization of a two bay truss (Harasaki, 2000)

The area of topology optimization is challenging due to its complexity; the

numerical effort increases rapidly as the number of variables is increased. The

number of variables is typically between 5,000 and 100,000 (Bakhtiary et al.,

1996).

2.4.2. History of structural optimization

Structural optimization has been pointed out for more than 100 years; however

there was no significant progress for more than five decades since the initial

introduction of the idea. In fact the improvement started with investigating the

cantilever truss structures by (Prager, 1977) which was briefly discussed

previously in this literature review. By 1980, programming finite element codes

were used to gain a weight optimum design for a rail road car with stress and

displacement and buckling constraints. This study concluded that more

attention must be paid for buckling effects if non uniform design is considered

(Haftka and Prasad, 1980). In 1981, the procedures were extended to solid

plastic plates and several methods to optimize axisymmetric plates with design

criterion of minimum static compliance were investigated (Cheng and Olhoff,

1981).

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Chapter2Background Theory

2.4.3. Techniques of topological optimization

Different techniques have been used by engineers in the area of topological

optimization and among all, homogenization, Evolutionary, Direct and indirect

use of load path methods have been most common techniques in this area.

 Homogenization method:

One of the main approaches for structural design that considers variable

topologies is the method of homogenization. In this method the material model

with micro- scale voids is introduced and the topology optimization problem is

defined. Then by seeking the optimal porosity using the optimal and satisfactory

criteria, the final design would be achieved (Wang et al., 2003). This method

was further modified by (Bendsøe and Sigmund, 2003) and a different

technique was introduced which did not need re-meshing in the topology

optimization process (with material distribution) using an artificial composite

material having microscopic voids (Bendsøe and Kikuchi, 1988). This approach

was followed later by a number of other researchers (Sigmund and Petersson,

1998; Zhou et al., 2001).

Applicability of the homogenization method to overcome checker boarding in

the design was verified by Suzuki (Suzuki, 1991). This method was extended

later for multiple material layout problems (Bruggi, 2008). This area was also

studied on bicycle and floor beam problem (Haber et al., 1996) and was

formulated and examined in several different examples (Yang and Chuang,

1994). An algorithm called Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization (SIMP) for

solid isotropic microstructures with penalization for intermediate densities was

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Chapter2Background Theory

suggested in 1988 which was the starting point of the outstanding work by

(Duysinx and Bendsøe, 1998).

From the mathematical point of view the theory of homogenization is very

limited since this theory uses the asymptotic expansion and the assumption of

periodicity to substitute the differential equation with oscillating coefficient that

may vary slowly when the solution is close to the initial equation. Although this

method is valuable for composite materials, it may not yield the intended results

for the mathematical modelling of the structural design. It often generates a

design with pores in the material that make the structure not manufacturable

and numerical instabilities may also introduce ‘ non- Physical ‘ artefacts in the

results and thus make the design sensitive to variation under loading (Wang et

al., 2003).

 Evolutionary Method (EM):

A new era of optimization called Evolutionary Method (EM) was opened in 1993

(Xie and Steven, 1993). This method was simple for shape and layout

optimization which was called “Evolutionary Structural Optimization” (ESO) and

was based on the concept of gradual removal of the material to achieve an

optimal design. The method has been developed for various problems of the

structural optimization including stress concentration, frequency optimization

and stiffness constraints. The ESO method is used as an appropriate criterion

to assess the contribution of each element to the specified behaviour of the

structure and subsequently to remove some elements with the least contribution

(Huang and Xie, 2010). Additionally, this study was based on Von Mises stress

in which elements with the magnitude lower than a certain level (rejection ratio),

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Chapter2Background Theory

were removed. The ESO method was expanded later to more complicated and

multiple loaded cases employing different rejection ratio( RR ) for each iteration

of the optimization (Xie and Steven, 1993).

Due to the importance of stress constraints in the structures, researchers have

devoted their time to the stress constraint topology. Topology optimization of

trusses with stress and local constraints was investigated by (Ohsaki and

Katoh, 2005). A sequential integer programming method for stress constrained

topology optimization was also studied by (Svanberg and Werme, 2007). In

recent research, the algorithms proposed previously by (Xie and Steven, 1993)

have been implemented using SIMP and homogenization methods in order to

minimize the weight of structures with stress constraints (París et al., 2010).

The level of stress in any part of a structure can be determined by conducting

FEA. Low value of stress or strain in the structure would be reliable indicators

for inefficient material use. Ideally the stress in the entire structure should have

even margin of safety. This concept leads to a rejection criterion based on the

local stress level where the low stressed material is assumed to be under-

utilized and is removed. The removal of material can be conveniently

undertaken by deleting elements from the finite element model using

(Equation 2-9):

Equation ‎2-9
𝑅𝑅

Where, RRi is the current rejection ratio and and are the local and

maximum stress level respectively. The process of material removal over

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Chapter2Background Theory

iterations can be repeated until it reaches to a steady state. At this stage, no

more elements are allowed to be deleted and an Evolutionary Rate (𝐸𝑅) is

added to ( RRi ) as (Equation 2-10):

RRi 1  RRi  ER Equation ‎2-10

The same process with the increased rejection ratio takes place until a new

steady state is obtained. Returning an element to the optimization process is

possible by adding one additional stage (element), if it is permitted. Removing

any element should be in such that the discarded element can be added further

at any stage of the process if needed (Querin et al., 1998). This method is

called Bi-directional Evolutionary Structural Optimization (BESO) and it appears

that it can deliver a more reliable and suitable final optimum design. Figure 2-13

and Figure 2-14 illustrate the initial design domain and optimal topology of the

BESO method applied to the beam problem, respectively.

5m

20m

‎ -13: Design domain (Querin et al., 1998; Huang and Xie, 2011)
Figure 2

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Chapter2Background Theory

‎ -14: Topology optimized design with BESO (Huang and Xie, 2011)
Figure 2

 Direct and indirect use of load path/ load transfer methods:

The above structural optimization procedures based on elimination of elements

has been applied by other researchers resulting in development of methods to

define load transfer within bars and solids. These methods were called

Transferred Force (𝑇𝐹) method. Since these methods do not use any formal

optimization technique, it is quite easy to use and can be implemented into

computational and numerical algorithms (Arora and Harasaki, 2004).

Optimization problems were resolved based on force travel between application

and reaction points by defining an index for two and three dimensional models.

The methods were based on the concept of transferred forces, the part of the

applied load that is transferred through a region of the structure is identified

(Harasaki, 2000). This concept can be explained by a continuum structure

model, Figure 2-15.

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Chapter2Background Theory

Figure ‎2-15: Continuum structure Model (Harasaki 2004)

Here 1 is the loading surface,  2 is the support, 3 is the boundary region of

3 and  4 is the free region. The forces transmitted to  2 comprise two

components: one that goes to the region 3 which is referred to as the

transferred force and another one which goes through the remaining region

called potential transferred force which is the indication of the stiffness of the

region.

The displacements are calculated by applying the forces on the load region.

This analysis is followed by eliminating 3 region from the solution domain and

applying the calculated displacement as an enforced boundary condition. The

force on the support region can then be recorded. The difference between initial

force and defines the transferred traction through the region 3 to the

support surface  2 and can be calculated as (Equation 2-11):

_
Equation ‎2-11
Fi  fi  f f   ij n j   ij n j

where 𝐹 is the difference between initial and final force and ̅ is the new and

is the initial principal stresses.

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Chapter2Background Theory

The elements with low transferred force can be removed from the design.

Therefore, transferred and potential transferred forces offer viable approaches

for conceptual design of structures that need to be developed further. 𝑇𝐹

method only provides qualitative information about the direction of load transfer

with no trajectory mapped in the solution domain.

In the last decade, load path based algorithm methodology has drawn attention

of the researchers. This is due to the reason that load path not only can lead to

statically determinant design but also may provide a tool for new technologies

such as determination of trajectories for carbon fibre placement in composite

structures. A novel fibre placement pattern was defined for highly loaded joints

by (Li et al., 2006) earlier. Optimal design of machine tool bed by load bearing

topology based on the load path theory optimization is another application of

this novel method to identify optimal layout of the stiffener plates conducted

recently (Li et al., 2012). Another application of the implementation of load

paths is the weight and stiffness optimization of reinforcement of shade and

wind sails by carbon fibre.

 Design of shade and wind sails:

Boat sail design has evolved over the years along many development paths in

terms of aerodynamic characteristics using some iterative methods (Fallow,

1996; Shankaran, 2005). The design of sails is a very old activity principally

based on the practice and the experience of sail makers and users, prototype

building and testing on the water, in constant search of performance and safety.

The use of a computer aided design and simulation package can significantly

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Chapter2Background Theory

reduce the time and cost associated with design and testing by optimizing the

design before a prototype is built (Viola and Flay, 2011).

Unlike the aircraft industry where the development has been essentially driven

by commercial consideration, boat sail design needs to comply with the sailing

rules. These rules may impose some limitation in regard to the weight or size of

the components; they have to be as light and stiff as possible (Gilliam, 2006). It

was this issue which led to the development of a number of alternate sailcloth

materials with new technology of reinforcement by carbon fibre. This is an

accepted method in this industry achieving sail with beneficial aspects

regarding the deformation and bending issues (Trimarchi et al., 2011). Carbon

fibre can be used to reinforce a structure with highest lightness and relatively

high stiffness. Since bending is the prevalent stress in a cursing yacht hull, they

are generally built with a fibre reinforced membrane core as:

 Carbon has excellent fatigue life and is extremely strong and rigid

 When combined with a core material Carbon Fibre will deliver substantial
weight reduction

 Consistent (minimal) resin content – about 33% for carbon unitapes

 Greater inter laminar shear strength due to better fibre-to-fibre contact

 Curing at 90⁰C (200⁰F) delivers a very stable part with a very low
coefficient of expansion

 Ability to mold complex shapes and easy to repair

 Results in a 25% lighter hull, deck, and structure that is 10-15% stiffer
then wet-preg

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Chapter2Background Theory

In sail structures the primary stress is membrane tension but many of the

advantages of using carbon fibre remain. Clearly the industry is used to using

carbon fibre and the application of carbon fibre to sail reinforcement is

commercially viable since users want high performance and look to new and

advanced materials to achieve improvements in performance and safety.

Design and manufacture of shade sails is less advanced and alternative

reinforcement may have to be considered. Nylon rope and fibreglass are

obvious candidates that would have good environmental performance. In this

thesis only carbon fibre will be considered as the reinforcing material.

The aim of this thesis will be to show that the possible carbon fibre paths in the

shade and wind sail cloth can be determined iteratively using ANSYS APDL as

a finite element package. Commercial and manufacturing issues will not be

addressed and will be recommended for future work.

2.5. Conclusion

This literature review studied the history and development of load transfer in the

structures and described different methods used to characterise and quantify

the load paths in structures. It also underscored the concept of the structural

optimization and compared the available approaches. There are several

methods that can quantitatively characterize load paths in a structure. All these

methods provide different results and insights into the load transfer. However,

some of these techniques provide more qualitative and quantitative information

efficiency of load transfer along load paths. This study also highlighted the

problem that, in spite of the existence of all the available methods, no single

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Chapter2Background Theory

accepted approach appears to emerge as a clear choice to characterize,

quantify, visualize and tailor load paths. Thus the question of exactly what the

best possible approach is for defining “true” load directions in the structures still

remains unanswered.

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CHAPTER 3.
BACKGROUND THEORY

3.1. Introduction

The literature review has identified the need to develop tools to aid the designers

to define load transfer in structures. Although it is clear why load paths are

important in the designing of the structures, there is no commonly accepted

approach to determine the paths and display them to the design engineers. Load

transfer based on the stress trajectories, load path based on the concept of load

flow and finally potential transferred force are the main contributors in this area.

Ideally, a load path method should be able to reflect some specific behaviour of the

structures under the imposed external forces. Thus a method should:

 Visualize the overall path of forces from the application points to the
reaction points
Chapter3Background Theory

 Indicate the regions with material utilization

 Indicate critical regions with high stress levels

Chapter 2 concluded that load paths that define a region in which a load

component is constant cannot be defined by contours parallel to the principal

stress vectors. Therefore tracing contours following these stress trajectories would

not define the load paths that this research aims to identify.

Load paths derived from the load flow analogy are able to show the direction of the

force within the solution domain and highlight the zones with high stress magnitude

such as stress concentration regions. This method has been used for the

placement of the fibres in composite material and has proved its ability to be used

in industry (Li et al., 2006). On the other hand, this method has not been applied to

truss structures and the application to truss structures therefore became the aim of

this research.

The third possibility for determination of load paths is the potential transferred force

method (Harasaki and Arora, 2001). Although this technique can be used to

determine optimal configurations for truss structures, it is not applicable to provide

qualitative information about where the loads flow. No trajectories can be traced

from the point of loading to the reaction points and it has not been used for shell

structures. This chapter introduces procedures to define load paths in truss

structures and defines procedures to use the paths in the design of truss

structures. It also describes procedures to integrate the new methods into the

Finite Element Package (ANSYS). As there are no default procedures to define

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Chapter3Background Theory

load paths in FEA packages, an algorithm where stress results are determined

using ANSYS and FORTRAN codes has been developed to read the results and

define the paths. ANSYS is then used to plot these paths for three-dimensional

applications. The load paths provide better understanding of the required layout of

the structure in the initial stage of design. For some simple beam configurations

the general pattern of paths for different loading conditions will be described

regardless of the detailed geometry of the structure. The last part of the chapter

applies the idea of transferred force to trusses and describes how they can

contribute to reinforcement of shell structures.

3.2. Using load path to determine force transfer within the


solution boundaries

Load path originally was proposed as a method to design Strut and Tie models in

reinforced concrete structures (Schlaich et al., 1987). The load path method has

also become a simple and effective instrument to understand the behaviour of the

structures under different loading conditions. Figure 3-1 provides the information

about how a simple load can flows through a bolted joint from the point of origin to

its end.

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Chapter3Background Theory

‎ -1: Load transfer in a pinned joint(Kelly and Tosh, 2000)


Figure 3

As it can be seen from Figure 3-1, a tension load is applied to the upper plate and

passes through the hole to become a bearing load on the pin. It then transfers in

shear form to reach the lower plate and finally ends in compression form in the

opposite end.

Load paths provide an interesting series of trajectories that may provide an

alternative means of placing reinforcing fibres in structures designed to carry

membrane loads. Such structures include shade cloth erected to provide shade

over large areas and sails used on boats (Figure 3-2). Besides, these structures

deform to carry load as membrane forces. The literature survey does not identify

any analytical procedures based on load paths for placing reinforcing fibres in the

membrane structures. Tension structural designers have used trial and error

strategy to find the “Fibre-path” sails and shades for many years. The ’fibre path’

technology would allow the designers to align the fibres along the primary loads in

a sail and build in multiple fibre patterns to address secondary loads. Sails with

reinforcing fibres have a better wind range than traditional radial sails and also

require less sheet adjustment through different conditions. Since fibre-Path

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Chapter3Background Theory

technology handles secondary loads, the sail holds its design shape throughout

the wind range so the sailors experience better sailing capabilities.

‎ -2: Reinforcing fibres in a yacht sail (Wightsails, 2012)


Figure 3

The use of major principal stress trajectories for engineering applications has been

reported in the literature as a successful reinforcing pattern. The principal stresses

are aligned in directions for which the shear stress is zero. A tensile principal

stress will be carried out by reinforcing fibres and the membrane connecting the

fibres will be lightly loaded. Figure 3-3 and Figure 3-4; however, indicate the main

drawback using the principal stress directions to define the direction of the

reinforcement. A direction for the maximum principal stress and an orthogonal

direction for the minimum principal stress are two sets of principal stresses that

can be observed in Figure 3-3 and Figure 3-4 respectively. According to these

identified directions, two sets of fibres would therefore be required; one set needs

to be stiff enough to resist compression and another set is required to resist

tension. It is noteworthy; the load parallel to the fibres varies along the path.

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Chapter3Background Theory

‎ -3: Major principal stress trajectories


Figure 3

Figure ‎3-4: Minor principal stress trajectories

For that reason similar to other methods, principal stress trajectories experience

some limitations. The placement of fibres along the tensile principal stress

trajectories alone may result in strength improvement but may not represent the

absolute maximum strength improvement possible. To further support for

investigation of load paths, when the loads create a stress field dominated by

tension (such as the stresses around a hole under uniaxial tension such as

Figure 3-3 and Figure 3-4) the resultant dominant paths from the stress trajectories

are very similar plot to the paths obtained from load path method. However, tracing

load trajectories based on these orientations would not result in trajectories where

the loads being transferred are constant in the sense of streamlines in a fluid flow.

Load paths determined by the concept of load flow results trajectories similar to

streamlines in a fluid flow. As the patterns obtained from this method can be

compared to the benchmarks from the paths originated from stress trajectories,

they can be used as an alternative method for fibre reinforcement.

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Chapter3Background Theory

3.2.1. Load path method clarification:

Load paths have been generally accepted by many researchers (Karkauskas and

Norkus; Chan, 1963; Waldman et al., 1999; Kelly and Tosh, 2000; Arora and

Harasaki, 2004; Sakurai et al., 2007; Wu et al., 2009) as a useful tool for

optimization of a structure against stress concentration. These loads can express

how remote loads are equilibrated through a structure and can also provide insight

into how well a structure is performed its intended load carrying functions. There

was no significant research to define load paths until late 90s when all the

proposed methods could only define some simple structures. Moreover, no

mathematical form to determine load transfer was found until Kelly and Elsley

proposed a method for computing load flow orientation (Kelly and Elsley, 1993).

This method was based on the stress resultants obtained from finite element

analysis. Some of the investigations, development and clarifications by this author

will be covered in the following sections in this chapter.

3.2.2. Load path vector:

As previously described, load paths are the regions carrying an applied load in a

prescribed direction within the structure. This concept of load flow comes from fluid

flow analogy, so it needs to originate from one prescribed location and end in

another. In a three-dimension scale there will be three directions defined in each of

the 𝑥, 𝑦 or 𝑧 axes. For some simple cases such as the tensile loads (Figure 3-5),

there is one direction as the dominant direction while in other cases, such as

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Chapter3Background Theory

bending from a shear force, there is more than one main way that the load flows,

this will be addressed later in the current chapter. For load flow in a single

dominant direction, the concept is illustrated with a hypothetical force “stream tube”

shown in the Figure 3-5.

θ
x

Figure ‎3-5: Schematic of force "stream tube"

The load path defined is bounded by contours in such that there is no contribution

of force in a given direction, say in 𝑥 direction. Equilibrium in 𝑥 direction can be

simplified to:

Pxa  Pxb Equation ‎3-1

There are two stress components that are normal and tangent to the side wall of

the force tube, namely  n and  nt .  n is the local stress acting normal to the plane

and  nt is the shear stress acting along the plane.  nt acts on the face whose

normal is in the n direction and is positive in the positive t direction. Equation 3-1

will be satisfied if the orientation of  n with respect to 𝑥 axis at each point along the
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Chapter3Background Theory

wall is defined by  .  is the angle of transformation of coordinate system. The

orientation of the contours is calculated by satisfying the conditions of

(Equation 3-2):

 sin    cos   0 Equation ‎3-2


n nt

or

 sin    cos 
n nt

The solution to Equation 3-2 can be achieved by expanding the terms in the

equation. Considering the unique differential element in a structure shown in

Figure 3-6:

y
t
 xy n

 nt n
 xy
x x

 xy

 xy

y

Figure ‎3-6: Stress transformation to an arbitrary coordinate system

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Chapter3Background Theory

where is the normal stress component on a plane perpendicular to 𝑥 axis and

is the shear stress component on the same plane. Similarly, is the normal

stress component on a plane prependecular to 𝑦 axis Based on the solid

mechanics formulation regarding the transformation of stresses,  n and  nt can be

transformed using Equation 3-3 and Equation 3-4:

 n   x sin 2    y cos 2   2 xy sin  cos  Equation ‎3-3

and

 nt  ( x  y ) sin  cos    xy (cos 2   sin 2  ) Equation ‎3-4

According to Figure 3-6,  can be calculated from dividing shear stress by normal

stress (Equation 3-5). Having  n and  nt from the equations above, allows updating

the Equation 3-5 to the new form as Equation 3-6 and Equation 3-7:

 nt Equation ‎3-5
tan  
n

( x   y )sin  cos    xy (cos 2   sin 2  ) Equation ‎3-6


tan  
 x sin 2    y cos 2   2 xy sin  cos 

giving:

 x tan 3    xy tan 2    x tan    xy  0

after dividing all terms in by :

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Chapter3Background Theory

x  Equation ‎3-7
tan 3   tan 2   x tan   1  0
 xy  xy

x
tan  (tan 2   1)  (tan 2   1)  0
 xy

Solving Equation 3-7 shows that with only value of for tan  the equation will be

satisfied. Since the value of tan 2  is always equal greater than zero, tan 2   1  1 .

In addition there are two solutions for  in the range of 0    360 , in which each

one will differ 180 from the other. This noticeably reveals that load path is

directionless and can travel from left to right or right to left in an identical direction

regardless of the origination of the paths. A pointing vector (𝑉 tangent to the wall

can therefore be defined for the 𝑥-Path given by

Vx   xi   xy j Equation ‎3-8

A load path in 𝑦 direction (𝑉 can be derived similarly. If the axes are transformed

in such that 𝑥 axis is in the direction of the dominant applied load, these load paths

will be either secondary or complementary.

Vy   y i   yx j Equation ‎3-9

One of the significant aspects of load path is that singularity has no effect on

determination of the direction of the trajectories defined by this method. Looking

closely at Equation 3-10 proves:

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Chapter3Background Theory

Equation ‎3-10

  tan xy
1

x

 xy
lim (tan 1 )  tan 1 
 x 0 x

  90
In Equation 3-10 if  x tends to zero (the case where singularity happens) then 

tends to 90 with respect to 𝑥 axis, so singularity cannot effect the load path

direction. Knowing the direction and the extent of the load is a high priority in the

design discipline. The extent of the load being carried between adjacent contours

in Figure 3-5 is given by Pxa as the external applied force. This force can be

determined by integrating the stresses on a section of the region between two

contours. By knowing  , and , 𝑃 can be obtained (Equation 3-11)

Pxa  ( n sin   nt cos ) A Equation ‎3-11

where A is the cross-sectional area between the contours.

The stresses  n and  nt can be extracted from the finite element analysis packages

such as ANSYS. In the standard version of these packages, load paths cannot be

plotted in the post processing section directly from the solution and thus an

external platform such as FORTRAN codes needs to be developed. Although a

number of codes written by Kelly (Kelly, 2005) could define these paths, additional

improvement was made since this research has begun. These improvements were

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Chapter3Background Theory

to find a unique attribute of load path within different types of structures regardless

of their geometries; these attributes will be covered later in the following.

3.2.3. Load path integration:

The main platform for the finite element package was ANSYS APDL 12.1 due to its

wide use and proved acceptance in the simulation world. FORTRAN was also

selected as the programming code due to its compatibility with the FEA package.

The process of plotting load paths consists of five stages:

 CAD modelling

 Loading and simulation in ANSYS

 Extraction of stresses from every single element

 Exporting to FORTAN program and generating the plotting vectors and

contours

 Importing back the contours to ANSYS in order to plot the load paths

Previously, Kelly et al. (Kelly et al., 2001) established an algorithm in order to

define the load paths contours. These contours illustrate continuous load paths

through a structure and are traced by placing this contours tangent to the load path

vectors generated from FORTRAN codes. Load path interpretation generally is

based on the visualization of the pointing vectors and alternatively, load path

contours can be determined by taking sections through a structure in a direction

perpendicular to the selected loading direction and integrating stresses on these

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Chapter3Background Theory

sections until Equation 3-1 is satisfied. This approach however requires user

interaction and does not lend itself to a global plot for all points on the domain.

The initial stage to achieve the pointing vector approach is to obtain the elemental

information such as nodal stresses from the solution mainstream. The element

used for this purpose has 8 nodes and translational movement at each node.

Solid185 elements in ANSYS are used to interface with the codes. In this chapter it

is mainly focused on the application of 3D elements; however, in the modified and

developed algorithm other types of elements can be used.

In every element, the solution of the model can produce 8 nodal stress vectors and

by averaging these stresses values in their respective element centre, elemental

stress can be reported. These stresses are averaged only internally between the

nodes within the same element. This process must be repeated for all the

elements within the boundaries and once this collection has been made, as

starting element of the path can be selected. By selecting an arbitrary element and

recording the element number, the starting point for the path the general pattern of

the paths can be plotted. The stresses and initiation points for the load paths are

sent to the FORTRAN codes to calculate the pointing vectors at the centroid of

each element. The pointing vector is then defined using a non-structural link

(Figure 3-7). Each link is drawn in such that angular orientation of the link is

tangent to the load path direction. The length of the link can be scaled up to

indicate the qualitative magnitude of axial stress or can be given a unit value to

indicate direction only.

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Chapter3Background Theory

8 7

4 3

5
6

1 2

Figure ‎3-7: sample pointing vector at the solid element centre

Applying this method to each element produces the required links that can be

plotted in ANSYS to define the pointing vectors and once these links are

generated, they exported back as an input file to ANSYS. The links are then

plotted with the required ANSYS format in the CAD section over the initial

geometry.

A fourth order Runge-Kutta method was used predict the contours through the

vector field by repeatedly projecting forward from one location on the contour to the

next in a similar fashion to plotting streamlines in fluid flow. Runge- Kutta method

(in numerical analysis) is an important family of implicit and explicit iterative

methods for the approximation of the solution of ordinary differential equations.

The use of Runge – Kutta method is defined based on the increment of s as the

increment along the load path. Using this step length can ensure that all the spatial

increments are fixed to a unit magnitude during the generation of the path through

the entire structure.


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Chapter3Background Theory

As an evidence, for a normalized vector field, V is defined over the mesh domain

and initial arbitrary point Pi (Equation 3-12):

dp1  V pi
s
dp2  V 1
pi  dp1
s
2

dp3  V 1
pi  dp2
s
2
Equation ‎3-12
dp4  V 1
pi  dp3
s
2

1
pi 1  pi  ( dp1  dp2  dp3  dp4 )
6

where, 𝑃 is the next point and V pi


is the value of the vector V evaluated at point

𝑃.The vector can be defined at any arbitrary point by first associating the point with

an element and then interpolating from the nodal stress values.

3.2.4. Cantilever plate example:

As an example of the application of load path visualization using the vector plots

approach, a cantilever plate with a tip shear load is examined (Figure 3-8). The

model is a three-dimensional plate under a tip shear load of 100 N in its right wall.

This load is applied to a node in 𝑦 direction downward and is constant and non-

changeable during the simulation. The left surface of the plate is fully fixed. The

length to width ratio of the plate is 3, and the length, height and depth are 0.6, 0.2

and 0.1 , correspondingly. The plate is meshed with 693 nodes in 400 elements.

The size of the elements is completely subjective and depends on the complexity

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Chapter3Background Theory

of the structure and accuracy of the results. A finer mesh can generate more

contours hence, resulting more accurate paths. This is a simple shear loaded

example and thus 400 nodes would be enough in terms of the visualization of the

load transferred within the boundaries. All elements are quadratic Solid185 with 8

nodes with isotropic behaviour. Young’s modulus of 210GPa and Poisson’s ratio of

0.3 are considered through static structural analysis.

‎ -8: Cantilever block boundary condition


Figure 3

Regarding selection of the element for initiation of the load path, 20 random

elements are considered. The recorded element numbers accompanying the nodal

stresses in each element are then defined in the FORTRAN code. The FORTRAN

codes produce 3200 links with individual length of 0.01 and at the final stage the

links are imported back to ANSYS in the post processing environment to visualize

the load paths. The load path contours for loads parallel to the 𝑥 axis, are shown in

Figure 3-9.

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Chapter3Background Theory

‎ -9: Load path in 𝑥 direction


Figure 3

It can be clearly observed that some of the regions are not traversed by the load

paths since they are not traversed by paths selected in the random selection. The

FORTRAN codes are written in a way to be able to show high stress zones in the

structures. In Figure 3-9, the paths are given a spectrum of 10 colours. The colour

presentation can reflect the stress level of each zone in the domain and therefore,

the designer will be able to have more understanding of performance of the

structure in their further study. Red colour represents the highest stress level while

blue shows the lowest and the rest of colours in the spectrum indicate the stress

with the extent between the maximum and minimum level. The looping of the paths

shows existence of bending in the structure which will be discussed further in the

next section.

The contours plotted in the Figure 3-9 have the dominant load transformation

within the structure. Due to the boundary condition top half bear tension and

bottom half bear compression and transfer the shear load from left to right.

Figure 3-10 gives the y direction load paths and 𝑦-Path load paths show shear

transfer from right to left. Although load paths can be generalised to three
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Chapter3Background Theory

dimensions, examples in this section are restricted to cases with non-trivial paths

in only 2 dimensions for clarity. However, only the front view of the model can be

observed in all the examples in this thesis

Figure ‎3-10: Load path in 𝑦 direction

3.2.5. Example of an L-Shape structure:

An L-shaped domain with vertical shear load is the employed example to test

optimization algorithms in order to define the optimal topology. As one of the

requirement of the code, this model is a three-dimensional block with height and

width of 0.2 m and depth of 0.1 m . The applied load as shear applied to the middle

element at the centre of right wall with magnitude of 100 N as shown in

Figure 3-11 and is constant during the analysis. Boundary conditions constrain the

top wall of the model. All other nodes are free to move in 3 degree of freedom.

Finer meshing has been chosen for this model as it has more complicated

geometry compare to the previous model. 1936 nodes in 1470 elements have

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Chapter3Background Theory

been created. All of the elements are 8 node Solid185 elements in ANSYS. The

Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio is 210 GPa and 0.3 respectively.

‎ -11: L-Shape structure boundary condition


Figure 3

Similar procedure is applied to transfer data between the FORTRAN codes and

ANSYS and the outcome for 𝑦 direction load has been plotted in Figure 3-12. The

red colour identifies zones in which the magnitude of the pointing vector is high.

Similarly blue colour contours present lower value of pointing vector. As expected,

the corner in the geometry is stressed more than the other zones because of the

stress concentration caused by a sharp edge in the model.

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Chapter3Background Theory

Figure ‎3-12: 𝑦 direction load paths

Figure 3-13 provides information of how load is transferred in x direction. The

existence of loop in the paths reflects the existence of bending. This bending is

caused by shear load.

Figure ‎3-13: 𝑥 direction load paths

In three dimensional applications with an element with free face, the paths are

projected parallel to the free surface when the angle of vector to the surface is

small and this implies on order to prevent the path leaving the solution domain due

to numerical errors. The amount can be set in the program and is totally

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Chapter3Background Theory

changeable but usually vectors within 30 degrees of tangency are subjected to

projection.

3.2.6. Properties of the paths

As it was mentioned earlier, load path determination is totally based on the

geometry of the model and it is impossible to have a general idea how the force

can flow in every structure from the application of the load to the support.

Nevertheless, some patterns can be pre-defined for some simple cases. Following

is the load cases to be considered for simple rectangular domains:

 Pure tension

 Pure compression

 Pure bending

 Cantilever bending

 Simply supported bending

 Torsion

For the purpose of generalization of load flow, the pure tension case is considered

first and without any discontinuities in the structure, the load can trace straight from

left to right. Since the load is only in x direction, no paths can be expected in the

normal direction, 𝑦 direction. Since the path carries the same load, they are equally

spaced (Figure 3-14).

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Chapter3Background Theory

Figure ‎3-14: Simple tension x-paths

Pure compression has a similar pattern to pure tension but the difference is that

the load is transferred from left to right and as the geometry is totally symmetric,

load paths are straight and equally spaced. As the load transfer is directionless

then the plotted arrows are only for visualization purpose.

Figure ‎3-15: Simple compression x-paths

Pure bending in Figure 3-16 provides a linear stress distribution from top to bottom.

Therefore if the paths bound regions transferring the same load, the contours will

be closer together at the top and bottom of the beam in Figure 3-17 where the

structure experience higher stress.

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Chapter3Background Theory

y  xx

z x

Mz

Figure ‎3-16: Bending stress

Higher stress regions

Figure ‎3-17: Pure bending scenario

A more complex case occurs when a shear load is applied to a beam. Shear load

creates a bending moment in the beam and make the load paths lose their uniform

linearity and form loops or eddies in the solution domain. Since shear stress

distribution in 𝑦 direction transversely is quadratic, the pattern is non-uniform

straight.

Figure 3-18 (b) shows 𝑉 contours in a cantilever bending. In more details; a sub-

domain that is bounded by two load paths including the mid-plane of the beam and

the loaded right hand wall (Figure 3-19) can be created. 𝑥-force equilibrium is

 yx
maintained by a shear stress at the mid-plane, , and a direct stress at the right

hand wall,
 xx .

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Chapter3Background Theory

𝑥-Path
(a) (b)

𝑦-Path
(c)

Figure ‎3-18: Cantilever bending load picture

The two edges defined by the curved contours are free from any 𝑥-force. This case

demonstrates that the stress that ensures the subdomains, are in equilibrium can

vary between direct stress and shear stress as the load bearing surfaces are re-

oriented in the coordinate axes.

Px
Px

Figure ‎3-19: Force equilibrium in 𝑥 direction

The loops in simply supported beam are similar in cantilevered beam; the loops

form oval/circular shape depends on the ratio of the block. In this loading condition,

existence of bending requires existence of the loops. Similar behaviour in 𝑦

direction can be perceived (Figure 3-20).

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Chapter3Background Theory

𝑥-Path

𝑦-Path

Figure ‎3-20: Simply supported beam

The most efficient load path is a straight path of constant cross-sectional area

parallel to the load (such as a cable in tension) carrying load from the point of load

application to the point of reaction. However, load paths are forced to follow curved

trajectories dictated by the geometry of the domain or the creation of bending

moments. The force is constant along the path identified in Figure 3-21, a stress

concentration narrows the path so that the ratio of the force to the cross-sectional

area gives the higher stress experienced at the stress concentration. This can

happen at some discontinuity in the structure, such as a hole or fillet.

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Chapter3Background Theory

Stress concentration regions

‎ -21: Geometry discontinuity effect on load paths


Figure 3

If the path is not straight, the bending moments are introduced that are equilibrated

by tractions in the orthogonal direction acting on the boundaries. For the path

segment, for example, Figure 3-22, the tractions on the top and bottom boundaries

do not contribute to a force in the 𝑥 direction. There is no restraint on force in the 𝑦

direction. The bending moment due to the offset in the loads pxa can be

equilibrated by a distribution of p ya along the boundary.

Px
Px
Py
Py

Figure ‎3-22: Interpretation of curved paths

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Chapter3Background Theory

3.2.7. Structural configuration

Typical structural configurations to transfer the load for each case identified in the

previous section are presented in Figure 3-23

Figure ‎3-23: Structural configuration(Kelly et al., 2010)

The geometries proposed are suggested by the contour patterns of the load paths.

These configurations define the cross-sectional geometries required to carry

bending moments and shear. For axial load, the relevant property is the cross-

sectional area and is independent of the cross-section geometry. The cross-

section is therefore defined by other requirements such as buckling resistance in

the case of compression. For bending, the second moment of area is essential and

is highly sensitive to the cross-sectional configuration. Transfer of shear load not

only requires a path for the shear and bending but also includes connecting
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Chapter3Background Theory

members (such as the shear web) to ensure compatibility of the cross-section.

Once a clear interpretation of the types of load and the load paths are defined,

alternate configurations for the structure can be identified by the designer.

3.2.8. Discussion

To determine the load paths, the three-dimensional structures with solid elements

were studied in this chapter. A formulation to define the load path from the theory

defined by Kelly was covered and further refined to plot the load paths in the

ANSYS package. Then a procedure was used to determine the appropriate

trajectories for solid elements. Number of examples and applications were

presented to give an overview of the behaviour of the load paths. However, as

mentioned earlier they are completely subjective and totally depend on the

complexity of the structure. Then structural configuration for a rectangle solution

domain under some loading condition was discussed.

3.3. Exploration of load paths in trusses

In this section of the study, determination of load paths in trusses will be covered.

In trusses the load path is determined by the member that carries majority of the

load (Kelly and Elsley, 1993). These members are crucial to the structure since

any damage or failure to them would collapse the entire design. However, the

other members only play a complementary role in the transformation of the load in

the structure and can be removed from the domain. The internal force can be set
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Chapter3Background Theory

to a criterion to determine the load paths from the FEA analysis. The criteria then

will deduce the elements based on an iterative procedure through the solution.

The reduction of the members can follow the method introduced by Xie and Steven

(Xie and Steven, 1997) called Evolutionary Structural Optimization Method (ESO).

ESO is based on the simple concept of gradual elimination of inefficient material

from a structure. Usually the path of force transfer is quite complicated to be

defined as the force must follow the members in the truss. It is then possible to

determine which parts of the structures carry the most applied load. This technique

can provide a useful tool for engineers and architects in their design processes.

3.3.1. Gradual reduction based on force level

The internal force in members can be used to represent force transfer from the

load point to the support. The force magnitude in any part of the structure can be

determined by conducting a finite element analysis. If the member is not carrying

significant load, it can be removed from the structure in such that its removal does

not allow a mechanism to form and lead to failure in the structure. The element

removal from the structure can be based on a rejection scalar parameter that is

assumed to be under-utilized. However, since removal could permit a mechanism

to form and cause divergence, an alternative solution to perform this removal is

introduced by reducing the Young’s modulus of the member.

The internal force value of each single element can be determined by comparing;

e
for example, an element with f i as the local internal force with the maximum
Page | 64
Chapter3Background Theory

max
force value of fi as the maximum global force value. After each finite element

analysis, element which satisfies the following condition can have their modulus

reduced:

fi e Equation ‎3-13
max <r
fi

where  r is assigned to be removal ratio.

In ANSYS all elements for trusses have chosen to be “Link 180”. Link180 is a bar

that can be used in a variety of engineering applications. This element can be used

to model trusses, sagging cables, links, springs, etc. This 3-D bar element is a

uniaxial tension-compression element with three degrees of freedom at each node:

translations in the nodal 𝑥, 𝑦 and 𝑧 directions. Tension-only (cable) and

compression-only (gap) options are supported. As in a pin-jointed structure, no

bending of the element is allowed. Moreover, plasticity, creep, rotation, large

deflection, and large strain capabilities are considered in order to model these

behaviours in future developments of the algorithms.

The algorithm implemented for determination of the load path in truss structures

consists of eight iterative stages. These stages can be repeated for a number of

times depending on the set up removal ratio. For more clarification, the load path in

Figure 3-24 which is a part of multi bay truss can be obtained from the following six

stages:

1. Determine axial force in each member as well as 𝑥 and 𝑦 components.

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Chapter3Background Theory

2. Define direction of path to be plotted

3. Define starting node and force at starting node

4. Identify sign of path exiting node

I. Define section at node as vertical for 𝑥-force, horizontal for y-force

II. If entering force is tension one side of section – exiting force must be

tension from other side or compression from same side. If entering

force is compression – exiting force must be compression on other

side of section or tension on same side

5. Select member with largest force component (𝑥 or 𝑦) and obeying sign rule

on axial force. (Add magnitude of force component in brackets)

6. Define new node and go to I

N5 2T N4
2

1.414C 1.414T

2
N1 1C N2 1C N3

1 1

Figure ‎3-24: sample section of a multi bay truss

In Figure 3-24 Ni i  1...4 are the nodes which are connected to each other with

Link180 elements. 𝐶 and 𝑇 represent the member which is under compression or

tension. Table 3-1 shows a summary of the forces:

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Chapter3Background Theory

‎ -1: Summary of the force


Table 3

Member Axial Force

12 1C 1 0

23 1C 1 0

14 1.414C 1 1

24 0 0 0

34 1.414T 1 1

45 2T 2 0

For plotting 𝑥-path, the sign convection must be satisfied, hence:

Start at node with external x-force (ie. N1 and member 𝑁 𝑁 ). Consider vertical

plane at N 4 . Look for compression on right of plane or tension on left of plane.

Hence path goes from 𝑁 to 𝑁 , Figure 3-25.

N5 2T N4
2
(1)
1.414C

(1)

2
N1 N2 N3

Figure ‎3-25: 𝑥-force transfer

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Chapter3Background Theory

Now follow load in member 𝑁 𝑁 . Applying rules above gives the second 𝑥-paths,

Figure 3-26.

N5 2T N4
2
(1)

(1) (1)
2
N1 N2 N3

‎ -26: 𝑥-force transfer


Figure 3

For the 𝑦-path start at N1 or N3 . Here start at N1 and apply rules, (Figure 3-27)

N5 N4

1.414T

(1) (1)

N1 N2 N3

1 1

‎ -27: 𝑦-force transfer


Figure 3

Once the algorithm of the determination of load path is set up, it can be

implemented numerically in number of examples. The results from these examples

then can be compared with the benchmarks in the literature on truss optimization

discipline to validate the approach.

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Chapter3Background Theory

3.3.2. Example of a one bay truss

To find a possible load path for the loading and support conditions shown in

Figure 3-28, a one bay truss with unit width and height producing a square is

employed. A vertical load of 100 N is applied to the bottom right side of the truss.

The value of force has been taken from the force applied by Xie and Steven (Xie

and Steven, 1993) in their paper. This load has to be constant during the analysis

at all time. Young’s modulus of the elements has been chosen to 210 GPa .

The truss is analysed by ANSYS APDL in the static structural environment. The

element as proposed earlier is chosen to be Link180 with isotropic behaviour. It

means that stress distribution is uniform along the length of the element. Two full

supports at left side do not allow any movements to the node N1 and N 4 . However,

the other joints ( N 2 and N3 ) are free to move in any translational directions.

𝑁 𝑁

𝑁
𝑁

Figure ‎3-28: One bay truss example

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Chapter3Background Theory

The axial forces obtained from each element are tabulated and stored as a

parameter in ANSYS temporary memory. Then the lowest value from the table is

extracted and the member number associated with the called value is written as a

new parameter. Once this parameter is generated, the reduction procedure starts.

The reduction can be performed in two ways; the ratio method or the cutting

method. In the ratio method as explained earlier in this chapter, Young’s modulus

is reduced by to certain extent. In this example the removal is set to just one single

element reduction in one iteration and the designer can interact with the design

process to approve which element is removed from the structure in every step. The

reduction of elements is performed by killing the elements just deactivates the

selected elements. A deactivated element remains in the model but contributes a

near-zero stiffness value of (1.0𝐸-6) to the overall matrix. Deactivated elements

contribute nothing to the overall mass (or capacitance, etc.) of the matrix.

Figure ‎3-29: Final design after 4 iterations.

The reduction is performed for four iterations and then a statically determinant

structure is achieved (Figure 3-30):

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Chapter3Background Theory

(1) (2)

(3)

Figure ‎3-30: Reduction process for the one bay truss

In this reduction the elements shown with lighter colours are more desired to be

eliminated from the domain. These colours depict the lower internal force value

among all the elements. It is noteworthy; the convergence of the evolutionary

method can be obtained via either the reduction ratio or constraining the number of

iterations to a predefined value. There is also possibility of the setting up a

statically determinate design criterion to fix the ending time. In this thesis the

iterations constraint is taken into consideration.

3.3.3. Example of a two bay truss:

Similar approach was taken for a two bay truss with cross section area of 1 cm2 and

unit length for each bay. A load of 100 N was applied to the bottom right corner.

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Chapter3Background Theory

And then FEA and other procedure were applied in ANSYS APDL program,

Figure 3-31:

‎ -31: Two bays model


Figure 3

The reduction of the element was set to be the member with the lowest axial force.

So it was expected to have only one element removed at every step unless

multiple elements with identical values of axial forces were observed. The

procedure of the reduction is detailed in Figure 3-32:

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Chapter3Background Theory

(1) (2)

(3) (4)

(5) (6)

(7) (8)

Figure ‎3-32: The reduction process of the two bay truss

In Figure 3-32 elements are coloured in spectrum of 10 colours where red depicts

the highest value and Blue the lowest extent of internal force.

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Chapter3Background Theory

Table ‎3-2: Axial force based reduction

Element Number and force magnitude

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
1
-1302.5 -766.95 443.71 639.53 1291 0 406.85 -39.804 488.81 -350.56 -432.52 471.04 -437.87
1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
2
-1302.5 -766.95 443.71 639.53 1291 406.85 -39.804 488.81 -350.56 -432.52 471.04 -437.87
1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13
3
-1290.7 -757.04 458.14 649.43 1302.8 377.38 461.99 -377.38 -461.99 481.16 -427.75
1 2 3 4 5 9 10 11 12 13
Iterations

4
-1014.4 -1014.4 276.57 553.15 1418 611.55 3.22E-13 -611.55 650.68 -618.44
1 2 3 4 5 9 11 12 13
5
-1014.4 -1014.4 276.57 553.15 1418 611.55 -611.55 650.68 -618.44
1 2 4 5 9 11 12 13
6
-1335.3 -1335.3 0 1329.4 940.06 -940.06 749.71 0
1 2 5 9 11 12
7
-1335.3 -1335.3 1329.4 940.06 -940.06 749.71
1 2 5 9 11
8
-1000 -1000 2000 1414.2 -1414.2

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Chapter3Background Theory

It is noteworthy; the final truss has two members connected at node N 2 . This would

give a singular stiffness matrix if the killed members are actually removed. Instead,

the killed members are remained with reduced stiffness and prevent singularity in

the stiffness matrix. In iteration 6 of the reduction, two members indicate no carried

load since their recorded axial force is zero. Removal of two members at the same

time occasionally is possible if two members meet each other in a node and lack

one complementary member. This concept is explained in more details in

Figure 3-33:

Figure ‎3-33: Clarification of force equilibrium in node 4

In the node N 4 , three elements 𝑒 𝑒 and 𝑒 meet each other. Element e3 is vertical

and thus carries the force only in 𝑦 direction. Element e4 is angled and theoretically

carries the load in both 𝑥 and 𝑦 directions. Similar interpretation would be true for

element e13 as well. It means that it can carry the load in 𝑥 direction. During the

reduction process, e3 was removed from the solution domain while the other two

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Chapter3Background Theory

members are still active. Removing element e3 causes the equilibrium of the node

to fail since there is no more elements to cancel out the load caused by e4 in 𝑦

direction and hence e4 will be automatically removed from the domain. Similar

concept would be considered for 𝑒 as well.

The procedure obtained from both one and two bay truss can be compared and

validated to the optimization of trusses examined by Harasaki (Nha et al., 1998;

Harasaki, 2000; Harasaki and Arora, 2001; Arora and Harasaki, 2004). This

method can lead to statically determinate design. Statically determinate structures

are geometrically unchangeable and consisting of a series of one- span beams

with or without overhangs connected together by means of hinges.

3.3.4. Example of a multi-bay truss

To expand the method to more complex trusses, a multi-bay truss consisting of 3

bays with the ratio of three and different loading conditions is considered. This

example validates the results by comparison with benchmarks in the literature. The

width with the unit value and the height of the truss with the half times to the length

is examined. Two full supports are placed at the very bottom of the structure.

These supports forced zero displacement on the associated nodes in any direction.

A tip vertical load of 100N is located in the middle of the structure in the bottom

flange. The material property of 210 GPa as Young’s modulus is considered for this

model.

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Chapter3Background Theory

This model consists of 10 nodes and 21 elements. The nodes are connected to

each other via two ways; regular and overpopulation meshing method. In the

regular method the nodes are connected to each other with horizontal, vertical and

diagonal members (Figure 3-34). In the overpopulation method every node is

connected to other nodes to provide all the possibility of load transfer

(Figure 3-35).

‎ -34: Multi-bay truss with regular meshing pattern


Figure 3

‎ -35: Multi-bay truss with overpopulation meshing pattern


Figure 3

After FEA analysis and the reduction procedure are conducted, the total number of

the elements is reduced down from 21 to 5 elements at the final stage,

Figure 3-36.

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Chapter3Background Theory

Figure ‎3-36: Final design for the multiple bay structure

As it is observed, the result from both meshing methods is identical with no effect

on the final plot of the remaining members. The achieved result can be also

validated from the result from the benchmarks in the literature (Karnovsky and

Lebed, 2009). Figure 3-37 reveals illustrates the weight reduction in every step of

the elimination:

200

150
Weight (kg)

100

50

0
1 2 3 4 5 6
Iteraion Number

Figure ‎3-37: Total weight analysis

3.3.5. Discussion

Optimized design can be generated from the initial structure by different methods

when a truss structure is subjected to multiple external forces. The optimized

design can interpret the load path in the discrete structures as they comprise a

finite number of clearly defined members which carry only axial load. The above

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Chapter3Background Theory

study explained a method to determine load paths in the trusses by formulating a

numerical approach.

The procedure developed was based on the Evolutionary Method originally

proposed by Xie and Steven. The Evolutionary Method acts via a reduction

criterion which was explained and utilized in a number of examples. The achieved

results were similar to the optimized structures defined in the literature using shape

and topology optimization procedures. Consequently, this validation assures the

applicability of the procedure in other applications which may be extended to new

areas. An overlaying of truss and membrane is proposed for determination of load

path in the boat sails and shade structures which will be investigated in the next

chapter.

3.4. Conclusion

Chapter three discussed two formulations to find load paths in order to illustrate the

concept of load path in both continuum and discrete structures and then some idea

of generating load path for sail structures were explained. Formulation by Kelly et

al. (Kelly et al., 2010) earlier to this research could determine the load paths in the

continuum structures while it was not applicable through ANSYS as the FEA

package. The development of the algorithm and the process of obtaining load

paths and the integration into ANSYS were therefore explained. The formulation

was applied to a cantilever beam and L-Shape structure. Regardless of the type of

the structure in a rectangle solution domain, the idea which was examined through

some specific examples resulted visualisation of some characteristics of the load


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Chapter3Background Theory

path that can be generalized into the other applications. This idea was classified

into four different categories:

 Pure tension

 Pure compression

 Pure bending

 Cantilever bending

 Simply supported bending

The extension of load paths to trusses was also explained later in this chapter and

the idea of considering the axial force as the parameter was proposed. This was

followed by applying an Evolutionary Method (𝐸𝑀) to eliminate the element from

the structure. The combination of the axial force method and EM provided

promising results from examples.

As there is no published numerical method to place carbon fibre paths in the

industrial boat sail structures, proposal of a method comprise of axial force

criterion, 𝐸𝑀 method and membrane analysis may be a great step for this

particular application. The modelling of membranes and fibre reinforcement will be

covered later in the next chapter and the application of the formulation and the

attained results will be presented in Chapter 5.

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CHAPTER 4.
NUMERICAL STUDY OF LOAD
PATHS IN SHELL AND PLATE
STRUCTURES

4.1. Introduction:

Thin plates are extensively used in all fields of engineering; in architectural

structures, bridges, hydraulic structures, pavements, containers, airplanes,

missiles and ships. It is essential to understand how the load travels in the tension

structures under boundary conditions. This additional information would open the

designers’ vision to have deeper insight through the design. The wide application

of tension structures in engineering is due to the following advantages:

 Efficiency of load-carrying behaviour

 High degree of reserved strength and structural integrity


Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

 High strength to weight ratio. This criterion is commonly used to estimate

structural component efficiency: the larger this ratio, the more optimal is a

structure

 High stiffness

 Containment of space

In the area of tension structures, the sail and yacht construction industry has

become the front runner when it comes to implementation of fibre reinforced resin

material and construction techniques (Beck et al., 2009). However, in respect to

windsurfing field everything is comprised purely of previous experience, prototype

building and testing on the water. The use of computer aided design and

simulation packages can significantly reduce the time and cost associated with

design and testing the design before a prototype is built. The optimum use of

carbon fibre in the sails can reduce the total cost of the product. Yet, there is no

validated method to employ the carbon fibre to sail construction. Hence,

establishing a finite element method not only can provide the designer stress

distribution and other stress resultants but also can deliver information of how

fibres distribute through the domain. To avoid any possible error in determination

of the carbon fibre through finite element analysis, the tension structure with their

large deflection must be thoroughly understood.

This chapter aims to investigate shells deflection under uniformly distributed

pressure load in ANSYS. The analysis must be carried out in the static condition,

so that the load path determination algorithm can be implemented in the

membrane structures. Essentially, the analysis needs to be through geometric


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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

nonlinearity to tolerate the condition of large deflection imposed by wind load in the

real situation. In order to obtain the possible load paths in the yacht and cruising

boat sails, the first step is to simulate a shell as the main cloth and then validate

the results with the theory of shells and plates and then overlay the suggested

method to find the load paths. A shell element for the analysis of thin and moderate

plate and shell structures is formulated along with the compatible link element. The

overlaid elements are created for the analysis of laminated fibre reinforced boat

sails.

Moreover, a brief attempt is made to emphasise on the physical meanings of

engineering shell theories and the adapted basics and supplementary

assumptions. Then the numerical results obtained from finite element analysis

(ANSYS APDL) can be compared with the theories. This chapter mainly highlights:

 The basic concept of shells and membranes

 Formulation of large deflection in the plates

 Analysis on a circular plate under large deflection

 Analysis on a clamped and corner fixed rectangle model

 Determination of possible load paths in the circular and rectangle model

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.2. Theory of shells and plates:

4.2.1. General concept

Firstly, it is worth introducing some general terms used in the plate analysis

formulation to be used later in this chapter. Sails encounter deflection through

sailing or competition caused by wind pressure. This deflection is generally large

compared to the overall dimensions of the sail, so large deflection theory of the

membranes must be used to simulate the sails. The fundamental assumptions of

the elastic theory of plate under large deflection stated as follows:

1. The material of the plate is elastic, homogeneous and isotropic

2. The plate is initially flat

3. The deflection of the mid-plane is fairly large compared with the thickness of

the plate. So the slope of the deflected surface is therefore very large in

comparison with unity.

4. The normal lines initially normal to the middle plane before deflection remain

straight and normal to the middle surface during the deformation and the

length of such elements is not altered

Generally, plates may be classified to three different categories according to their

thicknesses:

a
1. THICK PLATES, when the ratio of 8:
h

Where a in this inequality is the area of the plate and h is the thickness of the

plate. The analysis of such bodies includes all the components of stresses, strains,
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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

and displacements as for solid bodies using the general equations of three-

dimensional elasticity.

a
2. MEMBRANES, when the ratio of 80  :
h

Membranes carry the lateral loads by in-plane axial tensile forces 𝑁 (and shear

forces). These forces are called membrane forces; they produce a projection on a

vertical axis and thus balance a lateral load applied to the plate-membrane.

a
3. THIN PLATES with 8   80 :
h

This group represents an intermediate type of the plates. Depending on the value

w
of the ratio the part of flexural and membrane forces may vary.
h

where w in this division is the maximum deflection of the plate.

Generally, sail and shade sails can be considered as membranes, therefore the

theory associate with membrane deflection would be considered in the following

section. The plate in Figure 4-1 illustrates the terms to be used later in this chapter.

𝑞 𝑎

𝑓𝑦𝐵 𝑓𝑦𝐴
𝑓𝐵 𝑓𝐴
𝑓𝑥𝐵 𝑓𝑥𝐴
w
𝐵 h A

Figure ‎4-1: Static condition of equilibrium in a shell

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

Where 𝑞 is the applied dynamic pressure, , and their components in 𝑥 and 𝑦

axis are reaction forces in 𝐴 and 𝐵.

4.3. Modelling of a clamped circular plate:

this part of the study validates finite element analysis approach by comparing with

shell theory. ANSYS classic is chosen as the platform for the analysis due to its

wide use and compatibility with third party applications. Thin and moderate thin

shell structures such as shades and sails are analysed usually by Shell elements

in ANSYS. Membrane analyses are difficult to conduct because the omission of

bending stiffness often leads to singular solutions of the stiffness matrix under

transverse loads. To achieve equilibrium, transverse pressure loads must be

equilibrated by membrane action which requires a nonlinear analysis. In order to

satisfy the enforced conditions in the membrane, distributing the pressure through

number of load steps, pre-tensioning of the membrane, radially stiffening of the

membrane and advance feature of ANSYS using Stabilizer and Line search are

implemented. An FEA structural analysis is conducted on a three dimensional

circular model clamped in the radius edge. The radius of the plate is 8.70 and the

thickness is 4 . The model is used to explain the validation of the analysis steps

and capability of the modelling for the layered elemental creation which will be

discussed later in this chapter.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.3.1. Material characteristics

Materials characteristics used in the current analysis are adapted from the values

used in the sail construction industry (CyTec, 2011), woven polyester (WP)

sailcloth with and Young’s modulus of 873 MPa and a Poisson’s ratio of 0.3.

4.3.2. Element

The element used for this model is Shell181. This element is suitable to analyse

thin to moderately-thick shell structures. It is a 4-node element with six degrees of

freedom at each node: translations in the x , y and z directions, and rotations

about the x , y and z axes. Shell181 can be used for linear, large rotation,

deflection and large strain nonlinear applications .This element is well suited for

sail modelling since it will give the designer the chance of stiffening the model as it

encounters the distributed pressure during the analysis (ANSYS, 2009).

According to Zienkiewicz and Taylor (Zienkiewicz and Taylor, 2005), the elements

with reduced integration scheme can improve responses for thin plates and shells.

Since the predicted transverse shear stresses are found to be incorrect in shell

structures, accuracy of integration can be increased by using more integration

points, while more points may not increase the accuracy of the computed FE

results. FE results may become more accurate if the order of quadrature is

reduced (Cook, 2001).Therefore, the reduced integration behaviour is chosen for

the shell elements in this research. The shell elements used in this analysis do not

resist any bending and thus the feature of the “membrane only” is chosen for the

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

element creation. This enforced limitation to the elements, assures the designer

that the structure deflects easily under the wind load and has only translational

degree of freedom; however, there are no rotational movements. The elements

distribution can be found in the Figure 4-2:

‎ -2: Shell elements distribution


Figure 4

The size of the element is selected based on final 𝑧 deflection compare to the

theory of plate by Timoshenko (Timoshenko et al., 1959) presented in the

Table 4-1. The selected size is 51 cm which is the closest value to the theory. In

the theory of Timoshenko, flexible tension structures similar to what was

implemented like in this research, the deflection w may become very large in

comparison to h . In such cases the resistance of the plate to bending can be

neglected, hence the maximum deflection can be calculated from Equation 4-1

where terms are defined from Figure 4-1:

qa Equation ‎4-1
w  0.662a 3
Eh

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

‎ -1: Circular element size


Table 4

Element Size ANSYS Theory ERR%

a/11 1.32514 0.093058 92

a/13 0.96821 0.093058 90

a/15 0.095423 0.093058 2

a/17 0.094081 0.093058 1

a/18 0.096477 0.093058 9

4.3.3. Boundary conditions, and loading

To confirm the analysis steps and the implemented parameters with Timoshenko

theory of plate and shells (Timoshenko et al., 1959), a clamped circle is used. The

clamped circle has no DOF (degree of freedom) in all directions in the edge

(Figure 4-3). This is simulated by applying the fully support in the edge nodes

within ANSYS. However, the other elements are free to move in x , y and z

directions.

‎ -3: Clamped circle


Figure 4

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

Modelling of the pre-tension in the plate is carried out with the radially stiffening of

the membrane in the first step of the loading step with 8 enforced

displacement. For the convergent purpose, a point load of 1.3E-6 N is assumed to

be acting in the normal direction to the plate at the centroid of the circle in the 2nd

loading step while it is removed from the boundary conditions later during the

analysis. This is due to the fact that one step load application would lead to a non-

convergent solution therefore; the membrane must be stiff enough to react with the

imposed load (Figure 4-4).

‎ -4: Point load in the centre and enforced displacement in the edge
Figure 4

Uniform pressure of 56 Pa is applied normal to the membrane (Blicblau et al.,

2008). The pressure is static and remains constant during the analysis. Due to the

distortion discussed earlier, the load is applied in 9 load steps of the increments for

the convergent purpose graphed in the Figure 4-5:

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

70

Magnitude of the pressure (Pa)


60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Loading step Number

Figure ‎4-5: Pressure ramping function

As Figure 4-5 shows, the pressure must be slightly increased up to loading step 8,

however, afterwards membrane can be subjected to a much bigger load, which

means after a certain point the membrane is stiff enough and let the platform to

solve any elemental equations.

4.3.4. The solution

To begin the analysis, a total number of 2352 Shell181 elements and 2409 nodes

are used. Large displacement is activated in order to solve the model in

geometrical nonlinear. Stress stiffening is also used to make the material stiffer

once stress is applied. Newton-Rophson iteration is chosen and the stepping time

may vary in each different steps. The reason of analysing plate through geometric

nonlinearity and different loading steps is due to the fact that the model does not

resist bending and thus the elemental formulation can easily be distorted if the

plate is not stiff enough.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.3.5. Post processing

It is evident that maximum 𝑧 deflection occurs in the centre of the plate. The

maximum deflection at the centroid is 0.094 m while there is no deflection in the

edge as it is fully constrained in all DOF. This is the result which was expected and

validated by the theory of plate by Timoshenko presented in the Table 4-1.

Figure 4-6 provides information of 𝑧 deflection contours over the entire model:

Figure ‎4-6: Z deflection (m)

From Figure 4-6, the symmetrical behavior of the model can be understood since

the deflection is completely symmetric about z axis.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

Figure ‎4-7: Von Mises stress (Pa)

The stress distribution is also graphed in Figure 4-7. which illustrates that Von

Mises stress in the centroid is in maximum extent and the clamed edge is

experiencing the lowest extent. This is is expected from the distribution of load into

the membrane along 𝑧 axis.

Above results indicate that the procedure of the loading steps and pretentioning of

the model do not affect the result and model remains symmetrical in 𝑧 direction

and maximum 𝑧 deflection agrees with shell theory, Table 4-1. From this promising

results it can be understood that the method of modelling can be extended to a

rectangle shade and cruising boat sail simulated by overlaying meshing method in

order to determine the possible load paths.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.4. Overlaying meshing method

Essentially a reinforced tension structure is a mixture of two or more materials that

are distinct at one length scale but together form a single structural entity at a

longer length scale. One example is long continuous fibres imbedded in a matrix

material. The fibres, either unidirectional or interwoven, are usually layered to form

a laminate.

An overlaid Shell180 and Link181 element is implemented in this research in order

to find the possible load paths in the tension structures. By combining these two

elements a finite element model for reinforced shells is formulated. The reinforced

finite element model employs elastic constitutive relationship for the main cloth,

discrete link elements for modelling of reinforcement and bonded joints for bonding

the slippage between the main cloth and reinforcement. The numerical results

show that the model can predict the behaviour of the laminated tension structures

under uniformly distributed wind load.

The four and eight node isotropic plate elements for thin plates and shells are

generally used for thin and moderate thin shells and two node beam elements are

usually implemented in the finite element models of reinforced structures (Brezzi et

al., 1989; Ranjbaran, 1992). Due to the fact that beam elements can resist

bending, it would not be a suitable element to be used in this research. Hence

Link181 is used as the replacement due to its similar characteristics but bending

resisting behaviour. Figure 4-8 illustrates overlaying of link and shell elements

clearly. As shown, a four node shell element consists of four nodes which is
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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

combined with six Link181 elements on top. The members are common in corner

nodes and since both elements do not resist bending and have three degree of

freedom, essentially they are bonded in the corner joints hence they move together

as the structure deflects. It means that Link181 and Shell181 can only move

translationally along the axis of the global coordinate system.

Link180
Node2

Node1 Shell181

Node3
y
x Node4

Figure ‎4-8: Overlaying of Link181 and Shell181 elements

4.5. Modelling of a clamped rectangle model:

After progression of the analysis procedure, a rectangle model is analysed with

and without over laying link elements in ANSYS. Rectangle model is chosen since

it has a regular shape and all the nodes and elements creation can be modelled

automatically through APDL. The advantage of the automatic coding is more

highlighted when the load path determination process is added to the analysis

since the proposed load path procedure needs to be operated iteratively in a


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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

number of loops which depends on the element size. Essentially the shell model is

modelled without overlaid link element first due to the possibility of convergent

issue then overlaid shell and link element is analysed together. The thickness of

the plate is the same as circular model with 4 mm and the width and height of the

shade is 2.4 m . The cross section area of the link elements is considered to be

1 .

4.5.1. Material characteristics

Materials characteristics used in the current analysis is similar to the previous

model and are adapted from the values used in the sail construction industry

(CyTec, 2011), woven polyester (WP) sailcloth with and Young’s Modulus of 873

MPa and a Poisson’s ratio of 0.3.

4.5.2. Element

The elements for modelling of shell are chosen to be Shell181 due to its ability

which was explored earlier in this chapter. The membrane model in this research

does not resist any bending hence membrane only attribute is picked through the

pre-possessing. The size of the element is selected through element length-

convergence which is depicts in the Figure 4-9. The model consists of 1600 nodes

and 6 cm of length in each element and 4641 shell elements all together.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

1.80
1.75
1.70
1.65
Z deflection (m) 1.60
1.55
1.50
1.45
1.40
1.35
1.30
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Element size (𝑚)

Figure ‎4-9: Shell element size convergence for the rectangle plate

Figure ‎4-10: Shell elements distribution

Link181 is selected as the overlaying elements owing to its compatibility with

membrane attribute of the shell elements. The nodes in the Link181 have DOF to

move translationally in 𝑥 and 𝑦 and 𝑧 directions. The size of the links is identical to

the size of one side of a Shell181 element. The meshing pattern is in such a way

that between every pair of nodes in shell element a link member is overlaid. This

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

means that there are 6 link members in a shell element in vertical, horizontal and

diagonal directions. This meshing type can let the load flows over the shell layers

as well as in the edges of the elements. Generating the link elements as explained

earlier creates 3120 Link181 elements in the model. Figure 4-11 shows the

meshing pattern.

Figure ‎4-11: Link element distribution

4.5.3. Boundary conditions and loading

This model is a clamped rectangle which is fixed in all DOF in the nodes in the

edges (Figure 4-12). All other inner nodes are free to move in all x , y and z

directions.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

‎ -12: Rectangle boundary condition


Figure 4

Modelling of the pre-tension is performed with the translational stiffening of the

membrane in 𝑥 and 𝑦 directions in the 1st step of the loading step with 5

enforced displacement in the vertical and horizontal edges respectively. In order to

stretch the membrane in the 𝑧 direction a point load of 1.3𝐸-3 N is assumed to be

acting in the normal direction to the plate at the centroid of the circle after the pre

tensioning process while it is removed from the boundary conditions later during

the analysis. And finally 10𝑃𝑎 is ramping on the membrane through the rest of the

analysis.

4.5.4. The solution

The static structural analysis through geometric nonlinear analysis is performed in

ANSYS. The simulation is performed twice, with and without overlaid link elements.

Starting with shell element only, and then with shell and link elements. Similarly,

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

circular plate, large displacement and stress stiffening are also used to resist large

deformation in the structures. The analysis is performed though 12 load steps and

11 sub steps with Newton-Raphson iteration method. This model due to its

boundary condition is easily solved very quickly. However, for more unstable

models more iteration is needed.

4.5.5. Post processing without overlaying link elements

As Figure 4-13 displays, the maximum 𝑧 deflection occurs in the centre and it is

expected to be symmetrical due to the geometry and boundary condition.

‎ -13: Z deflection (m)


Figure 4

It is evident that deflection of the membrane is greatest in the centre of the

rectangle which results in the typical shape of clamped shades. Along the edges of

the model there are some negative deflections; this indicates that wrinkling or

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

rippling of the membrane is occurring at these points. This is generally due to the

translation of the material towards these edges and the inability of the nylon to

resist bending and wrinkling. Also the stress distribution can be found in

Figure 4-14. Similarly to the circular membrane stress in the 𝑧 direction can be

found significant compare to the other directions and hence Von Mises stress also

gets affected.

Figure ‎4-14: Von Mises stress (Pa)

4.5.6. Post processing with overlaying link elements

Compare to the model without overlaid link element, it is expected that deflection

can be affected by overlaying element significantly. 𝑧 deflection is decreased down

from 1.7 m to 0.16 m and also Von Mises stress in the membrane is lowered from

1039 Pa to 11.63 Pa . (Figure 4-15, Figure 4-16). This can highlight the effect of

carbon fibre into the sail and tension structures performance. In this specific model,

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

the plate with link element can bear 1000𝑃𝑎 while the plate without link element

can only bear 10𝑃𝑎 at its maximum wind load capacity.

Figure ‎4-15: Z deflection (m)

Figure ‎4-16: Von Mises stress (Pa)

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.5.7. Determining the load paths

Determination of load paths is carried out as part of post processing by

implementing the APDL algorithm discussed in the Chapter 3. The determination of

the load paths consists of elimination of link elements through an iterative

procedure. This technique involves modelling of the internal force in the link

elements as a discrete network of forces. This network of forces is constrained to

lie within the shell elements. The time for elimination is dependent on the

complexity of the structure and the meshing pattern. The elimination procedure of

the rectangle plate with diagonal overlaid link element took seven hours and thirty

minutes over 700 iterations to reach the final pattern. The computational time is

based on the regular desktop with 3.00 𝐺𝐻𝑧 CPU and 4.00 𝐺𝐵 RAM and hard drive

of 150𝐺𝐵.

It must be highlighted that the elimination method as explained earlier does not

delete or simply removes the selected element from the solution domain while the

Young’s modulus is reduced to half of the magnitude of its initial value. The benefit

of this method is that stress singularity never occurs in the solution procedure due

to elimination of one element from the solution system. However, the reduced

elements do not play significant role in the load transfer.

Figure 4-17 provides information about how the links elements are remained in the

model after the elimination process. The starting point of modulus is from the

elements in the boundaries as they carry the load since all their nodes are fixed in

all DOF. Then the process kills the horizontal elements in the top and bottom sides

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

as well as vertical elements in the right and left sides. As the process continues,

two strips of link elements connecting the top to bottom and left side to right side

remain in the structure. These two strips of link elements are joints in the centre of

the shade. The connections are where all the forces that act on and within the

tension structure come together.

Figure ‎4-17: load path distribution in the plate

It can be observed from Figure 4-17, that the force has the higher magnitude along

the edges and is reduced towards the centre. This means that if the elimination

process continues, the elements in the areas coloured in yellow are the latest

members to be eliminated from the solution domain. The line of links elements

represents the state of stress in a linear pattern in the shade. If the loads upon the
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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

shade are discretised into a set of point loads then the line of links can construct a

cross polygon. The remaining result can be compared with the load path for a

masonry dome considered as a series of lune shaped pieces presented in

(O’Dwyer, 1999) (Figure 4-18).

‎ -18: load path for a masonry dome (O’Dwyer, 1999)


Figure 4

4.6. Modelling of a corner fixed rectangle model:

Another rectangle shade with more complicated boundary conditions is considered

as the second numerical example. Under this circumstance, the rectangle is only

fixed in the corners while the other nodes are free to move in translational degree

of freedom. These boundary conditions represents a type of shade sails which is

tensioned from the corners and usually are perfect solution for shading any

outdoor area including pools, patios, playgrounds and schools. The dimensions are

similarity to the previous model with 2.4 m lengths in each side, 4 as thickness

and 1 cm2 as the cross section area for the reinforcement.

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.6.1. Material characteristics

The material of the sail is woven polyester with 873 MPa Young’s modulus and 0.3

Poisson’s ratio. The carbon fibre resins are modelled with Young’s modulus of 150

GPa and Poisson ratio of 0.3.

4.6.2. Element

Due to the fact that increasing the number of elements may increase the solution

time, the Shell181 element length of 12 cm (the element size is two times of the

clamped circular model) is considered to minimise the modelling time. Figure 4-9

can verifies that increasing the element length would not lead into major difference

in the 𝑧 deflection. However it can decrease the solution time by approximate half

of the initial. So this model consists of 400 nodes and 380 Shell181 elements and

total number of 1482 overlaid Link181 elements (Figure 4-19).

‎ -19: Link elements distribution


Figure 4

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

4.6.3. Boundary conditions, and loading

The model is pre-tensioned in 𝑥 and 𝑦 directions in the 1st step of the loading step

with 5 enforced displacement in the corners. In order to stretch the membrane

in 𝑧 direction, a point load of 1.3𝐸-3 N is assumed to be acting in the normal

direction to the plate at the centroid of the circle after the pre tensioning process

while it is removed from the boundary conditions later during the analysis. And

finally 10𝑃𝑎 is ramping on the membrane through the rest of the analysis.

Figure ‎4-20: Node distribution

Due to the complexity of the structure under the defined loading condition

convergence problem still appeared. Avoiding this issue, line search is activated in

the model due to the fact that 1- Structure is force-loaded and 2- oscillatory

convergence patterns are observed in the cumulative iteration graph. Stabilizer

which is the advanced feature of ANSYS, is implemented since convergence issue

due to an unstable problem is usually results from a large displacement for small

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

load increments. Nonlinear stabilization technique can help achieve convergence.

Nonlinear stabilization can be thought of as adding artificial dampers to all of the

nodes in the system. Any degree of freedom that tends to be unstable has a large

displacement causing a large damping force. This force reduces displacements at

the degree of freedom so that stabilization can be achieved and these techniques

may support gaining convergent solution despite of large deflection in the model.

4.6.4. Determining the load paths

Possible load paths in the corner fixed rectangle are achieved by implementing the

algorithm explained earlier, in the post processing. As it is evident in Figure 4-21,

two straps bridge the corners oppositely and double symmetrical in the pattern

shows the final load path after 320 iterations.

‎ -21: Possible load path in the corner fixed rectangle


Figure 4
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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

The lighter colours indicate the elements with more possibility of remaining in the

domain through the iterations. The pattern can be compared with groined vault

(O’Dwyer, 1999).

The groined vault is an intersection shell composed of four triangular pieces of

cylindrical shells and arranged in a cross form in such that it forms arches on each

sides (Figure 4-22). This is one of the most ancient of masonry arch structures and

still is used for underground water reservoirs of concrete without any reinforcing.

‎ -22: Alternative load paths for a groined vault (O’Dwyer, 1999)


Figure 4

A sample of the codes is given in Appendix.A.

4.7. Conclusion:

This chapter was a concise part of the application chapter in the final thesis and

aimed the variation of deflection and load path in shades, using woven polyester

as the main cloth and carbon fibre as the reinforcement resin. FE Analysis program

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Chapter4Numerical Study of load paths in Shell and Plate Structures

was used to complete the modelling through geometric nonlinear static analysis. In

order to verify the accuracy of the analysis, the final Z deflection was compared to

Timoshenko’s Theory of Shells and Plates. The possible load paths were obtained

through an iterative algorithm in ANSYS APDL in post processing by using overlaid

Link181 and Shell181 elements. The load paths obtained in the rectangle model

revealed that there are two possible strips in the shade, which can hold the

majority of the load caused by normal pressure. In the clamped rectangle model

two strips bridged the opposite sides while in the corner fixed model they

connected the corners and jointed in the centre of the shell. The procedure

described generates a system of tensile and compressive forces which can be

contained within a tension structure. Identifying the possible load paths leads to

understand how a structure is likely to support its load and let the designer to

decide with more confidence.

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CHAPTER 5.
APPLICATION TO CRUISING
YACHT SAIL DESIGN

5.1. Introduction:

The development of modern sailing boats has been based almost entirely on the

cooperative efforts of enthusiastic skippers, designers and sail-makers, with very

slight contribution from scientists and technologists and using just basic scientific

principles (Beck et al., 2009). In recent years, urgent and strong requests for

improved performance, mostly for racing yachts, have guided the interest and the

attention of the scientific community in the optimisation of sail performance and

design approach. High performance sails have a number of characteristics such as

light weight and high strength which are rarely studied in the literature. This

chapter focuses on the importance of the quantitative evaluation of the sail loads

and studies how these loads contribute to the improvement of the performance of a
Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

sailboat through the development of an algorithm for aiding sail design. The

objective of this chapter is to implement an integrated design system, which

supplies load path design features in a sail configuration. The major achievement

is the development of an integrated numerical method, which determines possible

load paths under distributed load and the consequent deformed sail-shape. Hence,

the outcome of the research improves sail performance and design of new sails.

The scope of the current study is to apply a load path determination approach to

sail design, to define the possible carbon fibre reinforcement directions for

laminated sails for any given shape using a numerical algorithm, this will lead to an

improvement in the sail design from a structural point of view.

5.2. Sail as a membrane structure

A shell structure is usually defined as a surface structure that supports only tensile

and compressive stress in which bending moment is negligible. Such structural

action is termed as “membrane action”. A shell carries normal load by product of

curvature and membrane stress. In an ideal case where the thickness tends to

zero, the material can only resist tension a shell is termed a membrane. Textile

and laminate structures such as boat sails are good examples of membranes. Boat

sails have an infinite number of kinematic degree of freedom. A sail of elastic

material may deform linearly or non-linearly depending on the patterns of loading

and constraints. However, in most cases deformation occurs such that the solution

results into non-linear response (Heppel, 2002).

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

5.3. Finite element model of the sail

Shape deformation of the sail system should be considered in order to predict the

correct load path determination in sail. However, the shape deformation in general,

depends on seaming and rig tension. Currently, effect of elastic deformation is not

well understood since modelling effect of elastic deformation is complicated (Yoo

and Kim, 2006). This work, however, has made an attempt to predict the deformed

shape of the sail in the static structural analysis with some simplified assumption

on the loading which will be covered thoroughly.

5.3.1. Definition of the geometry

Initially, it is necessary to introduce some terms that will be used later in this

chapter to describe components of the sails. Figure 5-1 illustrates the components

of a mainsail. Prior to simulating the boat sail, following assumption and condition

is made:

 The surface of sail is not a rigid membrane and can be deformed.

 The incident angle of apparent wind is set to 90º with respect to the mast.

 The speed of wind is assumed 25 knots.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

‎ -1: Components of a boat sail, adopted from (Jazzmanian, 2006)


Figure 5

In this chapter a similar procedure of analysis to Chapter 4 with application to

cruising boat sail is presented. Static analysis will be performed in ANSYS APDL

as the finite element package. Due to the fact that sails behave similar to very thin

shells, Shell181 element is an appropriate choice to be used in the simulation

process. Shell181 elements are popular in membrane analysis because they

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

provide the most degree of freedom of common element types. The sail cloth is

discretised into finite elements with a set of quadrilateral membrane elements with

four nodes. These elements withstand all external forces through tension but they

cannot withstand bending moments. However, these elements are not easy to use

particularly in static analysis since they can distort easily. In this case the bending

moment caused by transverse load must be equilibrated in the nonlinear analysis

due to the large deflection in the plate. In order to satisfy the enforced conditions in

the membrane, distributing the pressure through number of load steps, pre-

tensioning, stiffening of the membrane and advance feature of ANSYS using

Stabilizer and Line search are implemented. An FEA static structural analysis is

conducted on a three dimensional rectangle model with 5.61 m mast length and

2.2 m foot length.

5.3.2. Material characteristics

Table 5-1 depicts some common materials for most boat sails. The materials used

are reasonably linear in their tensile stress-strain behaviour (Heppel, 2002;

Blicblau et al., 2008). Woven polyesters can be used for sail cloth and carbon fibre

may be considered for batten as well as reinforcement purposes.

‎ -1: Some common materials used for sails


Table 5

Component Material 𝐸(MPa) Dimensions ( ) Thickness( )

Sail cloth Woven polyester 873 0.3 5.61*2.2 4

Batten carbon fibre 150000 0.3 0.01*0.01 N/A

reinforcement carbon fibre 150000 0.3 0.007*0.007 N/A

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

5.3.3. Element

FE mesh generation is carried out by using FEM modeller. This strategy is used to

set a specified number of divisions on the boundary curves in order to have

quadrilateral elements with a side particularly coincident with mast and foot. The

quadrilateral elements are the proper choice to model yacht sails built by

composite materials with stiffeners since the elements in the side has been

assumed to be origin of the a local reference. They can define the composite

mechanical properties simplification both in design and realization procedures

(Cappello and Mancuso, 2001). Quadrilateral isotropic Shell181, similar to the

elements used earlier in Chapter 4 is implemented for sail modelling due to the

reasons were explained earlier. It is worth mentioning that the elements do not

resist any bending moment since “membrane only” is activated. The element

formulation is based on Midlin’s theory where ANSYS codes reduce “locking” effect

(Zienkiewicz and Taylor, 2005). It should be noted that sails are modelled without

considering their effective shape, but simply like shells to which loads are applied,

stressing the structure by means of foot, mast and shrouds. Particular care is spent

in finding a suitable mesh which could to achieve reliable results with spending

reasonable duration of computational time. The final mesh shown in Figure 5-2 is

with 75 elements after performing suitable convergence analysis. This is in

agreement with (Cappello and Mancuso, 2001).

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

‎ -2: Meshing configuration


Figure 5

In order to determine the appropriate level of element refinement, the maximum 𝑧

displacement is plotted against number of division.

50
45
40
Z displacement(mm)

35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Number of division

Figure ‎5-3: 𝑧 displacement against number of division

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

As it is observed in Figure 5-3 the deflection converges to a value of 47 mm as the

size of the element is reduced. Mesh loads should be refined carefully but this

increases the time of analysis (Figure 5-4). Therefore, time of analysis and

accuracy of the model needs to be compromised. This compromise is very

essential since in cases such as when the load paths algorithm is implemented;

the process is run over 1000 iterations over 25 hours.

560
510
460
410
360
Time(S)

310
260
210
160
110
60
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Number of division

‎ -4: Analysis time against number of divisions


Figure 5

It should be highlighted that computational time is for the analysis performed on a

desktop computer with 3.00 GHz CPU and 4.00 GB RAM and hard drive of 150 GB .

5.3.4. Boundary conditions, and loading

Generally sails are modelled in such that the translational and rotational degrees of

freedoms along the foot of the main sail where the sail is connected to the boom

will be suppressed. This suppression fixes all the displacement in these regions.
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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

Along the mast, the translational degrees of freedom must be inhibited. For the

head sail, the point of attachment of the foot to the rig must be constrained. The

leech of the main and head sail must be allowed to move freely to induce a

geometric twist due to the aerodynamic loading and the mast is assumed to be

rigid during the structural calculations. Due to the complexity of the simulation

through static structural analysis, some simplification is carried out in the boundary

conditions modelling which will be covered thoroughly. Boundary condition of the

sail mainly consists of four steps in as illustrated in Figure 5-5:

Boundary conditions

Nodal supports Stiffening Pressure ramping

In-plane stiffening Out-plane stiffening

‎ -5: General boundary condition procedure


Figure 5

Prior to applying any pressure to the sail, the cloth must be stiff enough to resist

membrane bending under the wind load. Thus, two scenarios are considered

(Figure 5-6): 1- stretching the membrane which represents the pre-tensioning of

the sail in installation stage and 2- stiffening of the membrane in normal direction

which is implemented to overcome convergence problems in the ANSYS solution.


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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

Stretching is applied in the plane of the membrane in x and y directions at the

foot, mast and leech. The edge of the sail at the foot is pre-strained by 1 in the

downward 𝑦 direction, the edge of the sail at the mast is displaced 2.82 in

positive 𝑥 direction and the leech is displaced with -1.3 in 𝑥 direction and -

2.91 in 𝑦 direction (Cappello and Mancuso, 2001). Out-plane stiffening is

obtained by applying a uniform pressure of 65E-14 𝑃𝑎 to the centroid elements of

the sail elements to overcome the divergence issue in the solution (Figure 5-6).

In- plane stiffening

Out- plane stiffening

Figure ‎5-6: stiffening of the sail

It is followed by a ramp uniform pressure to the entire sail cloth uniformly. The

pressure represents wind load and is considered to be constant and remained

constant during the procedures. Essentially, the wind load is applied gradually
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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

through the analysis to the model since ramp increment of pressure helps the

analysis to converge in each load step. The pressure of 65 Pa is applied in 11 load

steps and 38 sub steps. The pressure is obtained from Equation 5-1 indicates

maximum dynamic pressure.

𝑞 Equation ‎5-1

where 𝑞 is the maximum dynamic pressure, is the air density in the temperature

of +25 and is the summation of boat and wind velocities (25 knots). The

ramping history for the pressure depicts in Figure 5-7:

60

50
Pressure(Pa)

40

30

20

10

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Loading step number

‎ -7: Pressure ramping graph


Figure 5

As discussed earlier, simplification is essential not only to overcome the complexity

of the analysis but also for better understanding of the behaviour of boat sail in

different boundary conditions along with their effects on load path determination.

As the initial trial, the presence of battens and shrouds and other structural
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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

elements of the sail rig are neglected from the analysis and the exterior edges are

fully fixed and then the membrane is stretched. This implies that there would be no

degree of freedoms in the nodes coincides with these sides. However, there is free

movement for all other interiors nodes in all allowable DOF. Due to the necessity

for large deformation in the sail simulation, analysis must be performed with

geometric nonlinearity throughout some trial modelling to estimate the deflection

caused by pressure loading. The non-linear system of equations relating the

displacements to the force field is advanced to a steady state by a multiple loading

step process that incrementally adds the wind load while obtaining a converged

displacement field for each step. Wrinkling of the structure, which is an important

consideration especially around the leading edge (luff) and at the sail tip, is not

anticipated by this model. Therefore, a large deformation algorithm which allows

for wrinkling models will be included at a later stage.

5.3.5. Results and Post processing

Figure 5-8 illustrates the final result for the 𝑧 displacement normal to the plane of

the sail. It is obvious that the maximum displacement occurs in the centre of gravity

of the sail. The displacement in z direction decreases towards the edges of the sail

where the nodes are fully constrained. In some regions the displacement is

negative indicating that wrinkling behaviour is predicted at those points.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

‎ -8: 𝑧 deflection
Figure 5

5.4. Load path determination

To obtain the possible reinforcement paths, overlaying meshing method is used.

Due to the fact that load path algorithm is mainly based on the boundary

conditions; variety of load path would be expected through different analysis. In the

following sections determination of load path is carried out based on different

boundary conditions which will be explained separately.

5.4.1. Overlaid elements

To determine the possible load paths, Link180 elements are overlaid on the

Shell181 elements. Mesh generation needs to follow the previously defined pattern
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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

(explained in Chapter 4). Link members are linked to the shell elements in the

outer edges and in the diagonal orientation. Figure 5-9 and Figure 5-10 show how

link elements are placed on the shell elements.

Figure ‎5-9: Overlaid link 180 elements

Figure 5-10 which is a zoom-in section from the entire sail model, visualizes how

Link180 element is connected and lie down on Shell181 diagonally.

Shell181 element

Link180 element

Figure ‎5-10: overlaying of link and shell elements

After setting up the link elements in the model, the evolutionary algorithm is

allowed to iterate for 50 times. The resulting pattern of links can be found in

Figure 5-11.
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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

(a) (b)

‎ -11: Link elements remaining after the 50 iterations


Figure 5

Studying the generated paths reveals that they mainly connect the mast to the

leech and the foot similar to the expected pattern for shade cloths restrained at the

boundaries. The paths expected in sails are indicated by the black lines showing

the carbon fibre tapes (Figure 5-12). The final sail design should derive its stability

from the carbon fibre paths. The number of these paths must be adequate and

accurate enough to make the design far from instability failure. As Figure 5-12

depicts the population of the carbon fibres are much higher than found in

Figure 5-11. The paths obtained by the numerical algorithm do not reflect paths

mainly due to three reasons:

 Boundary condition in the real sail structures differ from the boundary

conditions used in this model

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

 Load path determination in this configuration is limited to the paths defined

by link element in only diagonal and boundaries of the shell elements. There

would be some paths in the sail which do not conform to this limitation thus

meshing needs to be extended to the overpopulation method defined for

trusses in Chapter 3

 The effect of battens and shroud was neglected

‎ -12: layouts for mainsails (Fallow, 1996)


Figure 5

In a real sail as depicted in Figure 5-12, the leech is free to move and there is no

constraints limiting the movement of the membrane in this side. Since there is no

limitation caused by clamping edges, boundary conditions inclusion of effects from

battens and shrouds should be more studied in detail.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

5.4.2. Effect of boundary conditions on load paths determination

Many parameters can affect the final link distribution. For better understanding of

these parameters they should be included in the modelling separately. One of the

significant parameters is existence of battens which can support the main sail cloth

in the normal direction. Usually four to five battens are included in the sail,

horizontally normal to the mast, depending on the size of the main sail. In the

current study, four equal spaced battens will be considered.

Besides, adding battens to the model affects both the mesh in the main cloth, and

the generation of link elements. Since the main cloth is divided into five different

sections more regular patterns of mesh with quadrangular shell elements can be

generated. Figure 5-13 demonstrates sample element distribution to incorporate

battens in the model:

Figure ‎5-13: Shell element distribution

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

Battens physically presents larger cross-sectional area than the carbon fibre

reinforcing tape in boat sails. In this model the cross section area of 100 mm2 is

chosen for the batten while the links representing the carbon fibre tape are given a

cross-sectional area of 49 mm2 . Battens are modelled with beam elements which

withstand bending moment. They can remain until the end of the analysis and

should not be removed from the solution domain. Figure 5-14 shows the relative

size of battens and links in the model.

Carbon fibre tape

Batten

Figure ‎5-14: visualization of batten

Due to the great number of analysis with different structural factors, a summary of

boundary conditions for better understanding is provided in Table 5-2 which will be

covered thoroughly in the following sections.

‎ -2: Summary of boundary conditions


Table 5

Attempt constraint Mesh Tension load (𝑁) Shroud (𝑁)


generation
method
Leech Foot Mast Corners Head Clew Tack Leech Mast
1 Free Free X, Y ,Z Full Normal
2 Free Free Free Full Overpopulation 98
3 Free Free Free Full Overpopulation 98 98
4 Free Free Free Full Overpopulation 98 98 1.5 1.5
5 Free Free Free Full Overpopulation 98 98 1.5 59
6 Free X, Y , Z X and Y Full Overpopulation 98 98 1.5 59

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

 Attempt 1

The new boundary conditions free the nodes in leech and foot to move in any

allowed direction, while, they are fixed to move only rotationally on the edge at the

mast. The sail is fixed at the head and clew as well as at the tack in all DOF. It is

advised to compare 𝑧 displacement in the model with new boundary conditions

since meshing pattern changes. As it is expected, maximum normal deflection

(along the pressure application) from the centre of gravity in earlier model move to

the middle of the leech since no constraints limited the nodes in the related zones

and the nodes are free to move in all DOF. While it still has the minimum

magnitude in the corners and at the mast since nodes are fixed in all translational

degrees of freedom. The shell element distribution and z displacement can be

viewed in Figure 5-15:

‎ -15: 𝑧 displacement contours


Figure 5

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

Implementing the load path determination algorithm produce the paths plotted in

Figure 5-16. Figure 5-16 (a) depicts how boundary conditions are applied to nodes

in the model and Figure 5-16 (b) shows how load path directions are affected by

the imposed boundary condition and how are the load path patterns.

Figure 5-16 explains how the load travels between the head and clew/ foot. It is

expected that in real sail most of the forward thrust of the sail is applied to the clew

and push on the mast through the boom. The patterns in the links reflect this path

for the load from the sail (Figure 5-16). Nevertheless, the directions of the paths

are restricted to be parallel to the edges and diagonals of shell elements in the

mesh. Hence more paths would be observed if this restriction is eliminated .So an

over populating pattern of link elements is considered in the following analysis.

(a) (b)

Figure ‎5-16: (a) Mesh generation and boundary conditions (b) Load paths defined by the link removal
algorithm.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

 Attempt 2

The link elements included in this initial model are shown in Figure 5-17. In the set

up stage, the sail in the head is tensioned with additional cable force representing

pre-tensioning that can be applied when the sail is raised. Similar forces can be

applied to the clew and the tack. These forces are added gradually in different

attempts to investigate the change in load path patterns in detail. A 10 N force is

added to the head corner from the tension shrouds cables for this purpose.

‎ -17: Model with over populated links.


Figure 5

The result of the model in Figure 5-18 indicates that adding tensioning cable effect

in the sail head introduces a force that flows downward from the head to the foot

and generating more paths compare to the previous analysis. In this design the

wind load travels from head to clew as it transfer shear stress in the sail. The loads
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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

need to cause failure of the model depends on the boundary conditions and shape

of the sail and the point where load applied. This dependency of sail strength upon

boundary conditions and carbon fibre paths is an advantage since if a scale model

of a sail is stable, the full scale structure would also be stable and as a result the

computational time can be reduced affectedly.

(a) (b)

Figure ‎5-18: load path with force in the head

 Attempt 3

In third attempt, only the effect of different combination of the tensioning cables in

the head and in the clew is investigated. The result arising from these changes is

illustrated in Figure 5-19:

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

(a) (b)

Figure ‎5-19: load path with force in the head and clew

In spite of adding the tension cable in the clew, the improvement is insignificant

although there are some concentration of remaining links in the head and transfer

of load to the clew. From these results, it is realized that the ideal pattern for

carbon fibre is needed to consist some straight patterns from head to foot to

transfer the load on the sail. Yet, effect of the shrouds in the battens has not been

studied. These tension cables loads are introduced to the sail at the ends of the

battens to control the shape of the sail which possibly affect the load path

determinations (Figure 5-20). Similarly, it is expected to have more patterns

appeared in the model by applying the mentioned boundary condition.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

‎ -20: Shrouds in the sail (McDoon, 2004)


Figure 5

 Attempt 4

As the extent of force in shrouds is unknown and there is no information available

to determine the tension force caused by ropes, the reaction forces in the clew and

tack is calculated from the model. Then wards 10% of these magnitudes would be

added to leech and mast to model the shrouds effects. The reaction forces in the

supports calculated in ANSYS are listed in Table 5-3:

Table ‎5-3: Reactions and shrouds forces

𝐹 (𝑁) 𝐹 (𝑁) 𝐹 (𝑁)

Clew 12.269 8.645 0.051


Tank 302.48 -510.79 -13.273
Shrouds in leech 1.2269 0.8645 0.0051
Shrouds in mast 30.248 -51.079 -1.3273

Application of the load on the battens can be found by cable forces in the locations

as plotted in Figure 5-21.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

‎ -21: Shrouds location


Figure 5

Since there is no certainty about the magnitude of the cable force in the sail, two

scenarios are considered:

 Identical value for both sides of mast and leech

 Different value for mast and leech according to the table above

From the first scenario, magnitude of cable is identical in both sides, Figure 5-22.

These cable forces need to be distributed into the membrane representing the sail.

Some links can be seen at the corners where the forces are applied.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

(1) (2)

Figure ‎5-22: cable reaction with identical magnitude

In the second scenario, shrouds with different reaction forces value is applied to

the sail (Figure 5-23). As it was expected more link elements remain in the model

when the leech and mast cable forces are increased. The links present a similar

pattern to the carbon fibre reinforcement in the construction of boat sails. It is

therefore expected that the boundary conditions are very close to the real

structural conditions encountered in practice. A well-formed laminated yacht sail

are those who will not fail under loading. Therefore the sail stability under the wind

load with combination of different boundary condition depends on the new lines of

thrust which can still be continued within the design.

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

(1) (2)

Figure ‎5-23: cable reaction with different magnitude

 Attempt 5

The final boundary conditions are in such that all the nodes in the foot are fixed to

move in, x , y and z directions while those in the mast are fixed in x and y only and

all nodes in the leech are free to move in all allowable DOF (Shankaran, 2005).

The effect of shrouds differs from leech to mast where they experience higher

reaction forces (Figure 5-24) and the membrane bears 98 N from the tensioning

cable in the head and tack. The final boundary condition and result and from the

load path method can be found in Figure 5-25:

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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

Figure ‎5-24: Boundary conditions Figure ‎5-25: Final possible load paths

In the final model a new pattern of links reveals more details of cruising yacht sails

carbon fibres. The lines of resins are obtained as a series of mainly straight lines.

This network of lines represents the network of force in the sail under loading

conditions and identify of how the structure is likely to support its load. The

accuracy with which model can model the forces in the structure in upon an ideal

meshing patterns and meshing density, the denser the mesh, the more accurate

the results. Nevertheless, due to the some limitations such as their manufacturing

cost and complexity (neither of them have been considered in this study) these

types of patterns might not be practical. However the validation of the method is

examined by finding pointing vectors which was discussed in Chapter 3 in the truss

structures. These pointing vectors then are numerically found in the sail for number

of nodes. (For more details it can be referred to Appendix.B)


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Chapter5Application To Cruising Yacht Sail Design

5.5. Conclusion:

In this chapter, load path theory was extended to the application of cruising boat

sail. Uniform distributed pressure representing wind load with speed of 20 knots

perpendicular to the mast was applied to the sail and the 𝑧 deflection was

calculated through the static structural analysis. Due to the large deflection, the

analysis was carried out through geometric nonlinear with implementation of

advance features in the FEA package ANSYS such as stabilizer and line search

for force convergence. The results were validated against the results in the

literature. Load paths algorithm suggested in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 were

implemented in boat sail application. The results of numerical and computational

implemented methods in the current research were comparable to the

experimental use of carbon fibre resin in the industry via six different attempts. It

was found out that boundary conditions affect the final load path directions

significantly and a thorough research on the structural factors was conducted.

Page | 139
CHAPTER 6.
CONCLUSION

6.1. Summary of findings

In structural design, determination of the load path is considered as an essential

element. It provides the designer with insight into how the structure is performing

its primary function of transferring load from the point of application to the supports.

This thesis attempted to investigate the application of load path algorithms to

define trajectories for placement of reinforcing fibres in membrane tension

structures.

The first objective was to integrate existing load path plotting algorithms into the

FEA package ANSYS though the development of new FORTRAN codes. Some

applications were studied to identify load path properties in a rectangle solution

domain. It concluded that typical patterns observed for the paths can be classified

into five distinct categories: 1-pure tension, 2-pure compression, 3-pure bending,
Chapter6Conclusion

4-cantilever bending and 5-simply supported bending. Load paths were then

studied in truss structures by employing overpopulation of the domain by link

members and implementing a structural evolutionary method for the elimination of

the elements. It was observed that this method tended to result in a statically

determinant design and terminated when the removal of the next member created

a mechanism.

With regards to the second objective, a method of visualizing of load paths in

membrane structures was obtained by overlaying of link and shell elements in

ANSYS. The analysis was extended to geometric nonlinear analysis due to the

large deflection experienced by shade sail and wind sail structures under uniform

static pressure. The main load bearing members in the structure were identified by

removing elements from the domain using an evolutionary method. The design

procedure was iterated for a number of loops by slowly deactivating inefficient

elements by a scalar criterion in an algorithm written in the ANSYS programming

language. The integrity of this design technique was verified by the development of

promising patterns for clamped and corner fixed rectangles. In the clamped model,

two straps connected the opposite sides and met each other in the centroid to

essentially create a cross pattern. In the corner fixed model, the opposite corners

were tied with the diagonal links in the final structure.

The final objective was to apply the algorithms to cruising yacht sails. The results

presented have similarities between the paths defined by this method and the

current carbon fibre trajectories implemented in the current sail designs.

Additionally, it was concluded that boundary condition can affect the final result
Page | 141
Chapter6Conclusion

considerably. Finally pointing vectors were calculated at the element centroid for a

number of elements in the main cloth and plotted on the boat sail. These pointing

vectors revealed connections between the fibre paths created by the proposed

algorithm and the load path vectors studied previously.

This research program for a Master by Research Thesis has focussed on the

development of algorithms using the commercial finite element system ANSYS.

These included FORTRAN programs that interfaced with ANSYS by the export of

results from ANSYS and the return of new link elements to plot vectors and

contours. The evolutionary algorithm used the programming interface in ANSYS

Classic. Both these implementations were achieved and successfully

demonstrated on simple structures.

The application to defining reinforcement patterns in shade sail and wind sail

structures was limited by the time allowed for this thesis. The results from these

analyses appear qualitatively correct and encourage further work to undertaken. It

is recommended that work commence with a detailed investigation of the loads

and boundary conditions experienced by these structures.

One interesting outcome of the research has been the development of procedures

to plot load paths in simple trusses. The truss in Figure 6.1 has the minimum

number of axial force members before the truss becomes a mechanism. However

not all members are participating in the transfer of the Y-force from Node 3 to the

support. For structures supporting multiple load cases the identification of the path

for one of the applied loads is not achieved by simply optimizing the structure. A

Page | 142
Chapter6Conclusion

subset of the members will in general be associated with the load transfer. Here

the remaining members are required to provide a path for the bending loads -

except member 24 which carries no load. This member is required to prevent the

hinge at Node 2 becoming a mechanism.

N4

1.414T
1.414C
(1) (1)

N1 N2 N3

1 1
‎ -1: 𝑦-Force load path in a simple truss.
Figure 6

6.2. Recommendations for Future Work

The recommendations arising from this work relate mainly to more in-depth

investigations of the applications that have been used to check the performance of

the algorithms. The recommendations are defined in the following list.

 The loads on the structures have been represented by constant pressure.

The design load cases for the shade sails will require a detailed study of

wind loads and will depend on the geometry of the sail. Probably the major

area that needs to be addressed in future work is the aerodynamics of both

the shade sails and the wind sails and the use of more representative

design loads.

Page | 143
Chapter6Conclusion

 The work completed showed that the load paths are also sensitive to the

boundary conditions applied to the structure. If future work is to focus on the

same sail structures an investigation of the correct boundary conditions to

apply to the sails is required.

 No attention has been paid to the wider design objectives including

manufacturing and cost constraints. A design requirement for the wind sails

would be the final aerodynamic shape of the sail. While the reinforcement

ensures the load enhancement near the supports does not cause failure,

away from the supports the fibres could help to control the shape of the sail.

These aspects should be considered in work that follows on from this

project.

Page | 144
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Page | 150
APPEDNDIX.A

APDL codes for modelling, analysis


and load path determination in a corner
fixed rectangle membrane

fini
/clear

/title, Rectangle corner fixed membrane


/eshape, 1

! Change units to millimeter, miliNewton, second, kilogram, mega


Pascal...

Geometry set up

h1= 1 ! Cross section area of Link180


y1 = 150E3 ! Young modulus of link 180
h2 = 0.3 ! Thickness of membrane
y2 = 873 ! Young modulus of Shell 181
v2 = 0.30 ! Poisson ratio of membrane
Appendix.A

y3 = 75E3 ! Reduced Young modulus


v3 = 0.3 ! New Poisson ratio of membrane
L = 25 ! Length of the element
n=1000 ! Width length
m=1000 ! Height length
n_max = n/L
m_max = m/L
Pressure = 65E-03 ! Total pressure

! Nodes creation
/Prep7
*do,i,1,n_max
*do,j,1,m_max
n,,L*i,L*j,L*i*(L*i-1000)*L*j*(L*j-1000)/1E10
*enddo
*enddo

! Assigning elements Properties:


et,1,180
et,2,181
r,1,h1
r,2,h2
keyopt,2,1,1 ! 1 = membrane stiffness only
keyopt,2,3,0 ! 2 = Full integration
mp,ex,1,y1
mp,prxy,1,v1
mp,ex,2,y2
mp,prxy,2,v2
mp,ex,3,y3
mp,prxy,3,v3

mp,ex,4,y4
mp,prxy,3,v3

! Defining Link Elements:


*do,i,1,n_max-1
*do,j,1,m_max-1
e,(i-1)*m_max+j,(i-1)*m_max+j+1
e,(i-1)*m_max+j,i*m_max+j
e,(i-1)*m_max+j,i*m_max+j+1
e,(i-1)*m_max+j+1,i*m_max+j

*enddo
e,i*m_max,(i+1)*m_max
*enddo
*do,j,1,m_max-1
e,(n_max-1)*m_max+j,(n_max-1)*m_max+j+1
*enddo

Page | 152
Appendix.A

! Defining Shell elements:


TYPE, 2
MAT, 2
REAL, 2
ESYS, 0
SECNUM,
*do,i,1,n_max-1
*do,j,1,m_max-1
e,(i-1)*m_max+j,(i-1)*m_max+j+1,(i)*m_max+j+1,(i)*m_max+j
*enddo
*enddo

Boundary conditions

nsel,s,loc,x,L
nsel,a,loc,x,n_max*L
nsel,a,loc,y,L
nsel,a,loc,y,m_max*L
cm,nextr,node

nsel,s,loc,x,L
cm,nextr_x_L,node

nsel,s,loc,x,n_max*L
cm,nextr_x_r,node

nsel,s,loc,y,L
cm,nextr_y_B,node

nsel,s,loc,y,m_max*L
cm,nextr_y_T,node

! Local coordinate SYS in the


center
LOCAL,15,1,n/2+L/2,m/2+L/2,0, , , ,1,1,
csys,15
nsel,s,loc,x,0,1.5*L
cm,ncent,node

LOCAL,11,1,L,L,0, , , ,1,1,
LOCAL,12,1,m,m,0, , , ,1,1,
LOCAL,13,1,m,L,0, , , ,1,1,
LOCAL,14,1,L,n,0, , , ,1,1,

Csys,11
Page | 153
Appendix.A

nsel,s,loc,x,0,4*L
csys,12
nsel,a,loc,x,0,4*L
csys,13
nsel,a,loc,x,0,4*L
csys,14
nsel,a,loc,x,0,4*L
cm,ncorn,node

Csys,11
nsel,s,loc,x,0,L
csys,12
nsel,a,loc,x,0,L
csys,13
nsel,a,loc,x,0,L
csys,14
nsel,a,loc,x,0,L
cm,ncorn1,node

cmsel,,ncent
!Defining center element
ESLN,S,1
esel,r,type,,2
cm,ecent,elem

allsel
nplot
eplot
/user
fini
Save,modell,db ! Saving the geometry

Solution

/solu
antype,static
nlgeom,on ! (Non Linear geometric
solution)...
sstif,on ! Stress stiffening...
outres,all,all
! Constraining all DOFs and then redefine and stiffening the shell
time,1.0
nsubst,10,100,2
d,nextr,all
d,nextr_x_L,ux,-m_max*L/2000.0
d,nextr_x_r,ux,m_max*L/2000.0
d,nextr_y_B,uy,-n_max*L/2000.0
Page | 154
Appendix.A

d,nextr_y_T,uy,n_max*L/2000.0
allsel
solve

! Pressure on the center element

time,2.0
nsubst,10000,100000,10
sfe,ecent,,pres,,pressure
allsel
solve

! Fixing the translational DOF

time,3.0
nsubst,100,1000,1
d,nextr_x_L,ux,0
d,nextr_x_r,ux,0
d,nextr_y_B,uy,0
d,nextr_y_T,uy,0
allsel
solve

!remove constraints from the


exterior borders and fixing the
corners
time,4.0
nsubst,1000,10000,1
ddele,nextr_x_L,all
ddele,nextr_x_r,all
ddele,nextr_y_T,all
ddele,nextr_y_B,all
d,nextr,uz,0
d,ncorn,all
allsel
solve

! Pressure on the center element

time,5.0
nsubst,10000,100000,10
sfe,ecent,,pres,,pressure*1E-6
allsel
solve

! Ramping the Pressure on all shell


elements

Page | 155
Appendix.A

time,6.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-10
allsel
solve

time,7.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-6
allsel
solve

time,8.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-4
allsel
solve

time,9.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-2
allsel
solve

time,10.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-1
allsel
solve

time,11.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure
allsel
solve

Post Processing

! Plotting the displacement in z-


dir
/post1
set,last
/edge,,1
/dscale,,1
Page | 156
Appendix.A

plnsol,u,z
! Preparing etable for determining
of the internal force

etable,eras
esel,s,type,,1
etable,mforx,smisc,1
SMIN,Min,MFORX,MFORX,1,1,
SABS,1
ESORT,ETAB,Min,1,1, ,
*GET,MForVal,SORT,,Min
esel,s,etab,min,0,MForVal+0.01*Mforval,,1
cm,emin,elem
allsel
CMWRITE,emin,cm
Finish

!!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<The complementary round>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>!!

*Do,ii,1,10
resume,modell,db
/input,emin,cm
/prep7
allsel
cmsel,s,emin
emodif,all,mat,3
allsel
Finish

/solu
antype,static
nlgeom,on ! (Non Linear geometric
solution)...
sstif,on ! Stress stiffening...
outres,all,all
! Constraining all DOFs and then
redefine and stiffening the shell
time,1.0
nsubst,10,100,2
d,nextr,all
d,nextr_x_L,ux,-m_max*L/2000.0
d,nextr_x_r,ux,m_max*L/2000.0
d,nextr_y_B,uy,-n_max*L/2000.0
d,nextr_y_T,uy,n_max*L/2000.0
allsel
solve

! Pressure on the center element

time,2.0
nsubst,10000,100000,10
sfe,ecent,,pres,,pressure
allsel
Page | 157
Appendix.A

solve

! Fixing the translational DOF

time,3.0
nsubst,100,1000,1
d,nextr_x_L,ux,0
d,nextr_x_r,ux,0
d,nextr_y_B,uy,0
d,nextr_y_T,uy,0
allsel
solve

!remove constraints from the


exterior borders and fixing the
corners
time,4.0
nsubst,1000,10000,1
ddele,nextr_x_L,all
ddele,nextr_x_r,all
ddele,nextr_y_T,all
ddele,nextr_y_B,all
d,nextr,uz,0
d,ncorn,all
allsel
solve

! Pressure on the center element

time,5.0
nsubst,10000,100000,10
sfe,ecent,,pres,,pressure*1E-6
allsel
solve

! Ramping the Pressure on all shell


elements

time,6.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-10
allsel
solve

time,7.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-6
allsel
solve
Page | 158
Appendix.A

time,8.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-4
allsel
solve

time,9.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-2
allsel
solve

time,10.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure*1E-1
allsel
solve

time,11.0
nsubst,1000000,100000000,10
esel,s,type,,2
sfe,all,,pres,,pressure
allsel
solve

set,last
etable,eras
etable,mforx,smisc,1
SMIN,Min,MFORX,MFORX,1,1,
set,last
etable,eras
esel,s,type,,1
cmsel,r,emin
esel,inve
esel,r,type,,1
etable,mforx,smisc,1
SMIN,Min,MFORX,MFORX,1,1,
SABS,1

ESORT,ETAB,Min,1,1, ,
*GET,MForVal,SORT,,Min
esel,s,etab,mforx,-
ABS(3*MForVal+0.01*Mforval),ABS(3*MForVal+0.01*Mforval),,1
cmsel,a,emin
cm,emin,elem
allsel
CMWRITE,emin,cm
Finish
*Enddo
Page | 159
APPEDNDIX.B

Procedure for plotting pointing vectors


at nodes using sections to define an
average stress on the section at the
node.

In the last section of the thesis, plotting vectors and paths defined previously in

Chapter 3 is developed for truss structures. Procedure for plotting pointing vectors

at nodes using sections in regular grids to define an average stress on the section

at the node is explained. From the forces in the members average stresses

representing the load transfer is also calculated. The pointing vectors by internal

force in the member then iterated for numbers of nodes in the sail and it is found

out that it can be validated against the experimental carbon fibre path in industry.
Appendix.B

B.i Pointing vectors in regular grids:

The aim of this method is to focus on a node and use the forces in the members

and the dimensions of the grid to define average stresses representing the load

transfer. A four bay truss in a regular grid pattern with 2 Lx width and 2 Ly height

where node N i is in the centre is considered (Figure B. 1):

Lx

Ly
2 1 Ni
3 7
6
4 5

Figure B. 1: Regular grid truss

B.i.i. 𝑥-Path pointing vectors

x-path vectors can be identified from Equation B- 1 as explained in Chapter 3 from

load path theory:

𝑉 𝑗 Equation B- 1

where yx is the shear on a plane whose normal is in the 𝑦 direction, positive in the

positive 𝑥 direction and links carry only axial load. Then a cutting plane normal in 𝑥

direction can be formed as illustrated in Figure B. 2:

Page | 161
Appendix.B

F2
2
2 Ly Ly
α1
3 F3 Px
6

2
α2
4
6

𝐹 F4
2

Figure B. 2: Plane cut normal to X-direction

Then summation of forces acting on the node N i can be formulated as in Equation

B- 2:

∑𝐹 𝑃 𝐹 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 Equation B- 2

Hence, is the summation of force in 𝑥 direction over the length of the member

as formulated in Equation B- 3:

𝑃 𝐹 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 𝐹𝐶 𝑠
Equation B- 3
𝐿 𝐿

Once is found, can be calculated by forming a cutting plane with normal in

the 𝑦 direction by assuming cutting plane halves members 3 and 7 as depicted in

Figure B. 3 :

Page | 162
Appendix.B

3 6 7
𝐹4 𝐹
2
5 𝐹
𝐹
2
2

6
2
𝐹 6
6

Lx

Px

F3/2 F7/2
β2 β1
F4 F6

Figure B. 3: Plane cut normal to y-direction

can be calculated by division of force summation in 𝑦 direction by the length of

the member in Equation B- 4:

𝐹 𝐹
𝑃 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 Equation B- 4
𝐿 𝐿

B.i.ii. 𝑦-Path Pointing Vector

Similarly, 𝑦-path pointing vectors can be determined from load path theory as

Equation B- 5:

𝑉 𝑗 Equation B- 5

can be calculated (Equation B- 6) from formation of a plane, cut normal to 𝑦-

axis in Figure B. 4:

Page | 163
Appendix.B

4 6
𝐹 5 𝐹
2
2
𝐹
6
2
6

Lx

Py

γ1 γ2
F4 F6

F5

Figure B. 4: Plane cut normal to 𝑦 direction

𝑃 𝐹 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 𝐹𝐶 𝑠
Equation B- 6
𝐿 𝐿

Stresses along 𝑦-axis normal to 𝑥 direction can similarly be calculated (Figure B. 5)

F1/2

1 F2 θ1
2
𝐹
Ly 3 𝐹 2 Py
2

4𝐹
6

θ2
2

6𝐹5 F4
2
𝐹 6 F6/2
𝐹
6 2

6
2

Figure B. 5: Plane cut normal to 𝑥 direction

𝐹 𝐹
𝑃 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 𝐹𝐶 𝑠 Equation B- 7
𝐿 𝐿

Page | 164
Appendix.B

Procedure for obtaining 𝑥-path and y-path vectors in a regular grid is explained.

These procedures have been implemented in the finite element package to define

Y-Path and X-Path pointing vectors for yacht sails without battens (Figure B. 6 and

Figure B. 7)

(a) (b)

Figure B. 6: y-path pointing vectors in yacht boat sail (a), Zoom in section (b)

Page | 165
Appendix.B

Figure B. 7: x-path pointing vectors near clew in yacht boat sail

The pointing vectors in 𝑦-path direction tend to form paths between the clew and

the head and the pointing vectors in the 𝑥-path direction form an arch between the

clew and the mast. These images show that in the vicinity of the clew the pointing

vectors for both the 𝑥-path and the y-path are directed radially away from the

support point. This indicates that radial direction of fibre reinforcement near the

clew and near other load introduction points on the sail can reinforce the cloth for

loads in both paths.

B.ii Pointing vectors in skewed grids

If the grid is skewed as in Figure B. 8, the procedure of finding pointing vectors can

be extended by choosing the cutting planes parallel to the skewed members.

Page | 166
Appendix.B

Stresses in the global axes can then be defined using transformation of the stress.

(Figure B. 9)

Ni

Figure B. 8: Skewed grid σyy

σyx
σx’y’
ϕ
σx’x’

Figure B. 9: Transformation of the coordinate system

𝐶 𝑠 𝐶 𝑠

𝐶 𝑠 𝐶 𝑠 Equation B- 8

𝐶 𝑠 𝐶 𝑠 𝐶 𝑠

where , and denote stresses in the new coordinate system.

Then from the first equation above, , the second equation, and the final

equation value of can be checked. Once all of the parameter calculated the

pointing vectors from Equation B- 1 and Equation B- 5 can be obtained.

Page | 167