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Structural Composite Design: Concepts and Considerations

  1. Michael Bruyneel1,
  2. Cezar Diaconu2

Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc238

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Bruyneel, M. and Diaconu, C. 2012. Structural Composite Design: Concepts and Considerations. Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–10.

Author Information

  1. 1

    SAMTECH Headquarters, Analysis and Optimization Groups, Angleur, Belgium

  2. 2

    SAMTECH Japan, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2012


In this article, the structural composite design process is presented. It is shown that it is an extremely complicated task conducted nowadays with computers and numerical tools. It involves several disciplines, including computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), in an iterative process where optimization plays a very important role. The CAE of composite structures is described, and several ways to parameterize the laminates are explained. These parameterizations form the basis for the introduction of formulations for the structural composite optimal design, which is the main topic addressed here. Several optimization approaches have been proposed over the past years, but a global solution is not yet available. The ultimate solution procedure should address the problem at the CAD-CAE-CAM levels simultaneously, in order to provide light and safe designs that are ready to manufacture. Since the aeronautics industry has driven the innovation in structural composite design, most of the concepts described here are based on the developments carried out for large composite aircrafts.


  • CAD;
  • CAM;
  • CAE;
  • FEM;
  • optimization;
  • stacking sequence;
  • aircraft