The paper presents a uniform method of treating a variety of problems of optimal design of sandwich structures. The design procedure consists of two steps: The integration of an optimality condition, which is a differential equation for the optimal displacement field that does not involve any design parameters, and the subsequent determination of the optimal distribution of elastic stiffness or plastic resistance from the usual differential equations of the structure. Optimal elastic design for maximum stiffness, maximum fundamental frequency, or maximum buckling load, and optimal plastic design for maximum safety are treated as examples.

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