2313. Panel Optimization Programs


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G S Johnston: 2313. Panel Optimization Programs. 1996.



Paper 2313 is the book, Panel Optimization Programs (POP). The title is the popular name for computer programs successfully used to size, to proportion and to analyze structural panels over recent decades. At least a thousand copies of reports have been made and the job shoppers that have used the programs number in the hundreds. Scientists have not understood. Allowables are routinely calculated where scientists fear to tread. I agree with the scientists on one point, theory is in agreement with test, but not with their assumptions. POP save weight by finding better proportions and getting higher allowables for good panels. The analysis has a path for the test panel boundary condition and others for the airplane panel boundary conditions. All the available tests are correlated and studied. Scatter affects the results. Efficient panels must have high allowables else weight will not be saved. If the analysis is ever un-conservative, optimization will seek the un-conservative regions. Many failure modes are checked in the analysis. If the panel fails any check, the analysis is discontinued and the load would be reduced. In the optimization mode, another variant is checked. Special search routines are needed for checking. Three search routines are examined. The dimensions are varied and the adequate panel with the least weight is optimum. The alternate merit function is stiffness. POP brings the panel optimization programs up to the 90’s and beyond. Many improvements can be made in the analysis using simplified finite elements, including the analysis of post-buckled cross sections.


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