Optimal design of trusses with geometric imperfections: Accounting for global instability

Mehdi Jalalpour, Takeru Igusa, James K. Guest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


A topology optimization method is proposed for the design of trusses with random geometric imperfections due to fabrication errors. This method is a generalization of a previously developed perturbation approach to topology optimization under geometric uncertainties. The main novelty in the present paper is that the objective function includes the nonlinear effects of potential buckling due to misaligned structural members. Solutions are therefore dependent on the magnitude of applied loads and the direction of resulting internal member forces (whether they are compression or tension). Direct differentiation is used in the sensitivity analysis, and analytical expressions for the associated derivatives are derived in a form that is computationally efficient. A series of examples illustrate how the effects of geometric imperfections and buckling may have substantial influence on truss design. Monte Carlo simulation together with second-order elastic analysis is used to verify that solutions offer improved performance in the presence of geometric uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3011-3019
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 15 2011


  • Buckling
  • Geometric imperfections
  • Geometric uncertainties
  • Global stability
  • Perturbation
  • Robust design
  • Topology optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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