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Optimal design of structures with unspecified loading distribution

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The problem of the optimal distribution of loading on a structure that corresponds to the minimum of the elastic compliance or the maximum of the safety factor for plastic collapse is considered. Optimality criteria are derived, and their applicability is illustrated in the case of beams. Besides the optimally varying cross section, also the support positions and the load distribution are determined from the optimal solution.

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Communicated by W. Prager

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Mróz, Z., Garstecki, A. Optimal design of structures with unspecified loading distribution. J Optim Theory Appl 20, 359–380 (1976).

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Key Words

  • Structural optimization
  • engineering design
  • optimality conditions
  • calculus of variations
  • structural mechanics