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Meeting the Composite Design Challenges of the America’s Cup through Structural Optimisation Methods

This presentation was made at the NAFEMS European Conference on Simulation-Based Optimisation held on the 15th of October in London.

Optimisation has become a key ingredient in many engineering disciplines and has experienced rapid growth in recent years due to innovations in optimisation algorithms and techniques, coupled with developments in computer hardware and software capabilities. The growing popularity of optimisation in engineering applications is driven by ever-increasing competition pressure, where optimised products and processes can offer improved performance and cost-effectiveness which would not be possible using traditional design approaches. However, there are still many hurdles to be overcome before optimisation is used routinely for engineering applications.

The NAFEMS European Conference on Simulation-Based Optimisation brings together practitioners and academics from all relevant disciplines to share their knowledge and experience, and discuss problems and challenges, in order to facilitate further improvements in optimisation techniques.

Resource Abstract

The America’s cup is the world’s oldest international sporting trophy and the pinnacle of sailing technology. For each event new rules are defined, presenting the challenge to develop maximum performance designs within those rules. Whilst developments are driven by the search for the most efficient flow in the water, rapidly understanding the structural feasibility of multiple concepts is a key to successfully designing a winning boat. The challenge described in this paper was therefore to efficiently develop composite laminates for several geometry concepts, understanding their mass implications and feasibility. With successful concepts, the secondary challenge was to maximise the benefits of using composite materials to develop weight optimal laminates.

Building on composite optimisation methods developed and applied over the last 16 years in the Motorsport and Automotive sectors, Team Ineos UK are applying these methods to the development of their current entry for 36th America’s Cup event, following the AC75 rules.

This paper will discuss the methodology of the composite optimisation methods that have been employed by Team Ineos UK. This discussion will include a description of the fundamental approaches along with their integration into the Siemens Simcenter 3D simulation environment. The application of the combined solution of the Siemens Nastran Optimization module and the composite toolset, OptiAssist for Simcenter 3D will be discussed via several case study examples. These examples will examine the development of composite ply shapes and complete laminates to meet the stiffness and strength requirements for several design concepts, identifying how the use of optimisation methods have facilitated the comparison of different design concepts.

Document Details

AuthorGambling. M
Date 15th October 2019
OrganisationGRM Consulting


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