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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 815257, 12 pages
Research Article

Comparative Analysis of Al-Li Alloy and Aluminum Honeycomb Panel for Aerospace Application by Structural Optimization

1College of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
2Ordnance Technology Institute, Ordnance Engineering College, Shijiazhuang 050003, China
3College of Mechanical and Vehicle Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China

Received 5 July 2015; Revised 8 September 2015; Accepted 9 September 2015

Academic Editor: Mohammed Nouari

Copyright © 2015 Naihui Yu 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.


Al-Li alloy and aluminum honeycomb panel (AHP) are both excellent materials for aeronautical structures. In this paper, a plate-type aeronautical structure (PAS), which is a base mounting structure for 172 kg functional devices, is selected for comparative analysis with different materials. To compare system-level performance under multidisciplinary constraints, mathematical models for optimization are established and then structural optimization is carried out using Altair OptiStruct. For AHP, its honeycomb core is regarded as orthotropic material and its mechanical properties are calculated by Allen’s model in order to establish finite element model (FEM). The heights of facing sheet and honeycomb core are selected as design variables for size optimization. For Al-Li alloy plate, topology optimization is carried out to obtain its most efficient load path; and then a reconstruction process is executed for practical manufacturing consideration; to obtain its final configuration, accurate size optimization is also used for reconstructed model of Al-Li alloy plate. Finally, the optimized mass and performance of two PASs are compared. Results show that AHP is slightly superior to Al-Li alloy.