Rayleigh-Ritz optimal design of orthotropic plates for buckling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper is concerned with the structural optimization problem of maximizing the compressive buckling load of orthotropic rectangular plates for a given volume of material. The optimality condition is first derived via variational calculus. It states that the thickness distribution is proportional to the strain energy density contrary to popular claims of constant strain energy density at the optimum. An engineers physical meaning of the optimality condition would be to make the average strain energy density with respect to the depth a constant. A double cosine thickness varying plate and a double sine thickness varying plate are then fine tuned in a one parameter optimization using the Rayleigh-Ritz method of analysis. Results for simply supported square plates indicate an increase of 89% in capacity for an orthotropic plate having 100% of its fibers in 0° direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-552
Number of pages12
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Optimal shapes
  • Prebuckling optimization
  • Thin orthotropic plates
  • Variable thickness plates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Rayleigh-Ritz optimal design of orthotropic plates for buckling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this