Strength design optimization of sandwich composite structures under heavy dynamic loads

Document Type : Original Article


1 Civil Engineering Department, Military Technical College, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.



Recent researches have witnessed an increased interest in the Rapid Runway Repair (RRR) methods to rehabilitate damages that may be caused by different incidents, such as: natural disasters of earthquakes, floods or man-made vandalism in civil wars. RRR is a strategic process for airport operations for civil and peace-making missions. The current RRR techniques like precast concrete slabs, metal mats, and fiberglass mats have different pros and cons. The current study numerically investigates CFRP sandwich composite structure for RRR usage, where its strength is maximized by design optimization to reach the possible carrying aircraft wheel capacity and safety factors. The proposed composite structure is advantageous of no corrosion, low erection time, high capacity-to-weight ratio, same finish of runway surface and repaired area, and can be applied over spots of unlevelled or inadequate bearing capacity of 60 cm diameter. The strength of the basic design of composite sandwich structure is first assessed to its maximum allowed carrying aircraft wheel capacity by FE modelling. Secondly, The Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimization technique is applied for maximizing the strength of the composite structure webs satisfying the minimum safety factor of five failure criteria of Tsai-Wu, Tsai-hill, Hoffman, Hashin and maximum stress. Finally, the achieved results promoted the usage of the composite structure to operate at the taxiways, runways, and theoretically, landing and take-off areas.

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