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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 232847, 11 pages
Research Article

Optimum Design of Fibre Orientation in Composite Laminate Plates for Out-Plane Stresses

School of Design, Engineering and Computing, Bournemouth University, Dorset Bournemouth BH12 5BB, UK

Received 27 April 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editor: Philip Harrison

Copyright © 2012 Rasoul Khandan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous studies have shown that composite fibre orientations can be optimised for specific load cases such as longitudinal or in-plane loading. However, the methodologies utilised in these studies cannot be used for general analysis of such problems. In this research, an extra term is added to the optimisation penalty function in order to consider the transverse shear effect. This modified penalty function leads to a new methodology whereby the thickness of laminated composite plate is minimized by optimising the fibre orientations for different load cases. Therefore, the effect of transverse shear forces is considered in this study. Simulated annealing (SA) is used to search for the optimal design. This optimisation algorithm has been shown to be reliable as it is not based on the starting point, and it can escape from the local optimum points. In this research, the Tsai-Wu failure and maximum stress criteria for composite laminate are chosen. By applying two failure criteria at the same time the results are more reliable. Experimentally generated results show a very good agreement with the numerical results, validating the simulated model used. Finally, to validate the methodology the numerical results are compared to the results of previous research with specific loading.