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- In engineering design practice behavior is usually predicted based on some known nominal design. However, when the design is fabricated it will differ from the nominal design because of manufacturing tolerances. In order to generate nominal designs that will still satisfy behavior constraints in the presence of manufacturing tolerances, engineers resort to the use of safety factors, over and above those introduced to account for other uncertainties (e.g., in load conditions, material properties, analysis modeling). The accurate selection of the values of these manufacturing tolerances safety factors is dependent on the capability of the engineer to determine the sensitivity of the critical constraints to changes in the design variables. This process usually leads to overly conservative designs. The task of choosing safety factors is much more difficult in structural synthesis because: (1) it is not known which constraints will be active at the final design, (2) as the design changes during the synthesis process the sensitivities of the constraints with respect to the design variables also change, and (3) the imposition of the safety factors themselves may change the set of critical constraints. These difficulties can be overcome with the approximation concepts approach to structural synthesis by buffering the approximate constraints with quantities that are related to the design variable tolerances and the accurate sensitivities of the constraints with respect to the design variable. Designs generated by this approach tend to be feasible but not overly conservative.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19910000999.
Accession ID: 91N10312.
NASA, Langley Research Center, Research in Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials, 1990; p 151-158.
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