This paper is aimed at demonstrating advantages achievable by means of a multi-objective optimization software during the process of product development, in particular for industrial applications where the compromise among several parameters, as is in case of composite materials, play a key role.
Authors carried out a complete structural parametrization and optimization on a typical C-section wing spar made of UD CFRP. Once the first attempt configuration of the geometry and laminates’ layups were set, a detailed FE model of the system was developed and analyzed, then optimized by exploiting accurate tools and mathematical procedures based on the implementation of genetic algorithms. The main goal of the work was to optimize the composite layup of the wing spar (in terms of number of layers and orientation of each layer) in order to find out the solutions which guarantee the same structural performances of the first “baseline” configuration, while reducing the total weight of the spar.
The results obtained have shown that once the load cases were defined, the usage of a multi-objective optimization software, able to exploit widely and in a short time the orthotropic behavior of the composite structure, has allowed to reach a weight reduction of about 15% with respect to the baseline configuration, simply through a variation of orientation and number of plies.