Optimal Structural Design Under Stability Constraints

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The first optimal design problem for an elastic column subject to buckling was formulated by Lagrange over 200 years ago. However, rapid development of structural optimization under stability constraints occurred only in the last twenty years. In numerous optimal structural design problems the stability phenomenon becomes one of the most important factors, particularly for slender and thin-walled elements of aerospace structures, ships, precision machines, tall buildings etc. In engineering practice stability constraints appear more often than it might be expected; even when designing a simple beam of constant width and variable depth, the width - if regarded as a design variable - is finally determined by a stability constraint (lateral stability). Mathematically, optimal structural design under stability constraints usually leads to optimization with respect to eigenvalues, but some cases fall even beyond this type of problems. A total of over 70 books has been devoted to structural optimization as yet, but none of them has treated stability constraints in a sufficiently broad and comprehensive manner. The purpose of the present book is to fill this gap. The contents include a discussion of the basic structural stability and structural optimization problems and the pertinent solution methods, followed by a systematic review of solutions obtained for columns, arches, bar systems, plates, shells and thin-walled bars. A unified approach based on Pontryagin's maximum principle is employed inasmuch as possible, at least to problems of columns, arches and plates. Parametric optimization is discussed as well.