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Title: Design optimisation of all-steel rectangular honeycomb core sandwich panels
Author: Pinho Santos, Luis Fernando
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 8059
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2019
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This work focuses on all-steel sandwich construction and its application for deck systems in offshore topside structures. Conventional deck systems are heavy, extremely difficult to assemble and lack the functional flexibility against load relocation, impacting the project time schedule and completion. The main objective is to develop design and optimisation methods for sandwich panels as a better solution than the traditional one in terms of weight, construction time, life span, safety, assembly process and overall cost. This thesis describes in detail the design methodology for the innovative system, estimating the weight savings and establishing the functional benefits for the offshore industry. All-steel Rectangular Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels (RHCSP) are considered to have a great potential to achieve weight savings while providing adequate structural performance and simple manufacturing and assembly processes. An experimental programme investigating the structural performance of this sandwich topology is presented, aiming at the validation of detailed numerical models. The experimental programme is comprised of small- and large-scale specimens under shear, compressive and flexural loading. A practical assessment and optimisation method for the design of sandwich panel deck systems is developed, supported by detailed finite element analysis which is validated against experimental results. The first step involves establishing the accuracy and computational efficiency of several methods of analysis for sandwich panels, which include detailed and simplified numerical models as well as thin- and thick-plate bending theory. The application of classic plate bending theories allows for an efficient design method to be developed, although with a restricted field of application. When combined with adequate limit state criteria, an accurate prediction of the onset of nonlinear behaviour caused either by material yielding or plate buckling can be achieved. Finally, gradient-based optimisation algorithms are used to achieve optimal designs for sandwich panel deck panels under out-of-plane loading, while genetic algorithms are used to optimise the deck system layout, simultaneously considering the weight of the sandwich panels and the supporting beams, ensuring lightweight and functional solutions.
Supervisor: Izzuddin, Bassam ; Macorini, Lorenzo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral