From an engineering simulation perspective the challenge was to produce a structural design configuration that met stringent requirements in terms of structural strength and stiffness so as to guarantee the highest level of design quality in terms of manufacturability of the parts and performance standards for high-end yachts. The design challenge was addressed by employing an efficient, fully integrated and optimized logic that consisted in the coupling of different software analysis tools. Specifically ESAComp, a software tool for the structural design and verification of composite parts was coupled with a multiobjective design optimization software environment in a similar way to the coupling described in the Drift Chamber Structural Optimization case study. By doing so, each single design component/reinforcement was verified and dimensioned with the most appropriate method and tool (ESAComp embeds different dedicated analysis tools for modeling different composite elementary structural parts such as composite panels, bonded joints, shafts….) while at the same time the overall design could be determined by independently dimensioning each particular sub-component to optimize (maximize) the overall stiffness and strength of the hull.
EnginSoft developed a unique integrated environment for the design and verification procedure that can be applied to optimize the design of any composite planing hull structure thanks to the high level of problem parameterization. The parametric model includes the geometrical dimensions of the different composite parts, as well as several variables such as composite reinforcement type and/or materials selection.
Given the prescribed loading conditions for the yacht which had to be defined as constants, the virtual simulations let to a design choice that achieved a remarkable weight reduction without sacrificing the strength and stiffness which are essential, from the structural perspective, for the yacht to tolerate higher power and higher cruising speeds.
ESAComp allowed us to determine the optimal lamination sequence for the material from a manufacturability point of view. The type of reinforcement (ie tape laminas, woven fabric laminas, ...), the type of constituent (both matrix and fiber) as well as the manufacturing process and structural dimension have been determined independently for each structural sub-component of the hull since the ultimate goal was to optimize the overall structure. We were able to explore a large variety of material systems in our effort to find the one best suited for the project at hand. Typical structural elements available in ESAComp that have been used for this project are: plates, reinforced panels, beams, bonded and mechanical joints, shells and stiffeners.