Elastic buckling is an instability phenomenon that can occur if a slender and thin plate is subjected to axial compression. An important characteristic of the buckling is that the instability may occur at a stress level that is substantially lower than the material yield strength. Besides, the presence of holes in structural plate elements is common. However these perforations cause a redistribution in plate membrane stresses, significantly altering their stability. In this paper the Bejan’s Constructal Design was employed to optimize the geometry of simply supported, rectangular, thin perforated plates subjected to the elastic buckling. Three different centered hole shapes were considered: elliptical, rectangular and diamond. The objective function was to maximize the critical buckling load. The degree of freedom H/L (ratio between width and length of the plate) was kept constant, while H0/L0 (ratio between the characteristic dimensions of the holes) was optimized for several hole volume fractions (PHI). A numerical model employing the Lanczos method and based on the finite element method was used. The results showed that, for lower values of PHI the optimum geometry is the diamond hole. For intermediate and higher values of PHI, the elliptical and rectangular hole, respectively, led to the best performance.
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