An Optimization Procedure for Overhead Gantry Crane Exposed to Buckling and Yield Criteria

Ali Ahmid, Van N. Le, Thien M. Dao


The current study presents a general optimization procedure that could be used in designing of various structural applications. To validate the performance of the proposed procedure, a real life application of a custom welded I-Beam gantry crane is selected. The crane is composed of three rectangular plates with the same length and different thicknesses and widths welded together by full penetration welds over the span length to form an I-Beam profile. The thicknesses and widths of plates are to be optimized to have the minimum cross section area while respecting yield, buckling, deflection and fatigue criteria. A mathematical procedure based on Timoshenko beam theory and Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) in combination with the Genetic Algorithm (GA) is presented, and a Mathcad code is implemented to find the optimal I-Beam cross section dimensions. Nine examples are introduced for 8, 12 and 20 m crane span subjected to 10, 20 and 40-toncapacities. It is noticed that the optimized I-section configurations always show narrow and thick lower flange, wider and thinner upper flange and tall and very thin web. Theupper flange local buckling and the lateral buckling limits are achieved for all nine cases, 75% of cases for the web buckling limit, about 33% of cases for the fatigue and yield limits whereas the maximum deflection constraint is never critical. The obtained results were verified using ANSYS Workbench software with a 3D Solid Finite Element model and shown good agreement, which confirms that the proposed procedure is efficient.


optimization; I-beam; yield; buckling; design criteria; finite element

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