The use of advanced materials will increasingly gain importance in future developments of constructions in mechanical, electrical and civil engineering. For this reason, the material behaviour in particular has to be considered when finding optimal layouts for components. Here, the different failure mechanisms of the applied materials must be taken into consideration. This paper presents a comparison between conventional, ductile materials and brittle ceramics as an example of an advanced material. In order to find a failure criterion which is characteristic of the material, stochastic models of the defects determining the failure of ceramic materials have been included. A strong variation in the calculated optimal design shows that an accurate consideration of the material behaviour and its mathematical description is important for the results to be found. The use of conventional stress criteria does not suffice for ceramic materials.

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