One of the major goals in the process of designing structural components is to achieve the highest possible buckling load of the structural component while keeping the cost and weight at a minimum. This paper illustrates the application of the harmony search algorithm to the buckling load maximisation of dispersed laminated composite plates with rectangular geometry. The ply thicknesses and fiber orientation angles of the plies were chosen as the design variables. Besides the commonly used carbon fiber reinforced composites, boron/epoxy and glass/epoxy composite plates were also optimised using the harmony search algorithm. Furthermore, the optimisation algorithm was applied to plates with three different aspect ratios (ratio of the longer side length to the shorter side length of the plate). The buckling loads of the plates with optimised dispersed stacking sequences were compared to the buckling loads of plates with the commonly applied 0°, ±45°, and 90° fiber angle sequence and identical ply thicknesses. For all three aspect ratios and materials in this study, the dispersed stacking sequences performed better than the plates with regular stacking sequences.
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