MINIMIZING FLOORING STRIP WEIGHT: A SHAPE OPTIMIZATION APPROACH

Jean Deteix, George Djoumna, Pierre Blanchet, André Fortin, Alain Cloutier

Abstract


In North America, flooring strips are manufactured with grooves at the back. There are various reasons for these grooves but, historically, they were considered a strategy to reduce weight and transportation costs as well as improving dimensional stability. As no data are available to assess best practices in terms of performance, we have investigated methods to reduce flooring strip weight. One way to achieve this is to adjust the number and shape of grooves. Using warp as a comparison tool, we were able to analyze the merits of a finite number of designs. With this approach, however, we could not guarantee that the result was the most favourable. The search for a solution led to design optimization, i.e.: minimizing weight by acting upon a part of the strip’s shape, taking into account its warp resistance or stiffness. This paper describes an optimization strategy adapted to the calculation of the optimal design subjected to arbitrary mechanical and geometrical conditions (including the thickness of the wear layer). This approach is not limited to flooring strips, and it can be used in any situation where a linear hygromechanical model is relevant. This strategy involves two steps: global optimization with respect to admissible variations of the shape (or design) followed by a post-processing phase that takes into account various other mechanical and possibly geometrical conditions imposed on the strip.
This paper describes an optimization strategy adapted to the calculation of the optimal design subjected to arbitrary mechanical and geometrical conditions (including the thickness of the wear layer). This approach is not limited to flooring strips, and it can be used in any situation where a linear hygromechanical model is relevant. This strategy involves two steps: global optimization with respect to admissible variations of the shape (or design) followed by a post-processing phase that takes into account various other mechanical and possibly geometrical conditions imposed on the strip.

Keywords


Wood flooring; Design optimization; Finite element method; Weight, stiffness; Moisture content; Linear elasticity

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