Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 335–350 | Cite as

Topographical design of stiffener layout for plates against blast loading using a modified ant colony optimization algorithm

  • Tangying Liu
  • Guangyong SunEmail author
  • Jianguang Fang
  • Jingtao Zhang
  • Qing Li
Research Paper


The stiffened plates are of demonstrable advantages and potential in offering high resistance to such extreme loading scenarios as blast. Since the distribution of the stiffeners has considerable effect on their performance, its design signifies an important topic of research. However, existing research has mainly focused on empirical design, and the configurations were largely experience based, which limits structural explosion-proof capacity. In order to improve the performance of stiffened plates against blast loading, we introduced here two new structural configurations of stiffened plates. In this study, the modified ant colony optimization (MACO) algorithm which introduces the mass constraint factor to the pheromone update function and integrates the idea of crossover and mutation was used to design the subjected to given working conditions. Specifically, material distribution of stiffeners is taken to be the design variables, and minimization of the maximum deflection of the center point of the plate to be the design objective under predetermined mass constraints. Compared with the baseline structure, the optimal designs largely improved the explosion-proof performance through distributing stiffener topology on the plates. The results showed that the optimum designs all present the reinforcement stiffeners to link with the fixed boundaries against the deformation. Moreover, the optimum designs placed more reinforcement materials in the central regions instead of four angles, and with the increase of the mass fraction, the reinforcement placement gradually extends from the center to the edges. The proposed method and new topological configurations are expected to provide some insights into design for novel protective structures.


Stiffened plates Modified ant colony optimization Explosion-proof performance Topography optimization Ant colony optimization 



This work is supported by the Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51621004), National Natural Science Foundation of China (51575172, 51475155), and the Open Fund of the State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures of Xi’an Jiaotong University (SV2017-KF-24). Dr. Guangyong Sun is a recipient of Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) in the University of Sydney. Dr. Jianguang Fang is a recipient of University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tangying Liu
    • 1
  • Guangyong Sun
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jianguang Fang
    • 3
  • Jingtao Zhang
    • 1
  • Qing Li
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacture for Vehicle BodyHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic EngineeringThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Built Infrastructure Research, School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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