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An approach for the design of multi-material mechanical components

A computational procedure for the calculation of the material parameters involved in the structural design of multimaterial components is presented. The developed scheme can be used in the design process for the full or partial replacement of a metallic part with a metal/fiber–reinforced composite bi-material, aiming at weight savings. Finite element simulations are incorporated into an algorithm that rapidly reduces the design space until a good set of design variables has been reached. The process is controlled by two objective functions (mass and strain energy minimization) and is subjected to several constraints according to the component’s design requirements. Three examples have been adopted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. The results show that the upper limit for weight reduction is constrained by the yield strength of the metal component and therefore its corresponding thickness. Based on the design configuration, weight savings up to 25% could be reached.

Open Access publication by LMS in the framework of ComMUnion project