Weight optimum arch structures
Williamson, Thomas James
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The goal of this investigation is to design minimum weight arch structures which span the distance between two points in two-dimensional space. An arch of unknown shape and variable cross-sectional width is modeled as a series of straight bar-beam elements. Finite Element Methods are used to compute the stresses in each element. Automated Design Synthesis (ADS) software is then used to vary the slope of each element and the cross-sectional width to prevent the yield stress of the material from being exceeded as ADS minimizes the arch volume to arrive at the minimum weight structure. Results are presented for a number of different loadings and boundary conditions.
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