This paper reviews the state-of-the-art methods to perform structural optimization of flexible mechanisms. These methods are based on a system-based approach, i.e. the formulation of the design problem incorporates the time response of the mechanism that is obtained from a dynamic simulation of the flexible multibody system. The system-based approach aims at considering as precisely as possible the effects of nonlinear dynamic loading under various operating conditions. Also, the optimization process enhances most existing studies which are limited to (quasi-) static or frequency domain loading conditions. This paper briefly introduces flexible multibody system dynamics and structural optimization techniques. Afterwards, the two main methods, named the weakly and the fully coupled methods, that couple both disciplines are presented in details and the influence of the multibody system formalism is analyzed. The advantages and drawbacks of both methods are discussed and future possible research areas are mentioned.
Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 7, 2017
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