The computational modeling and design of an actively-cooled microvascular fin specimen is presented. The design study is based on three objective functions: (i) minimizing the maximum temperature in the thermally loaded fin, (ii) optimizing the flow efficiency of the embedded microchannel, and (iii) minimizing the void volume fraction of the microvascular material. A recently introduced Interface-enriched Generalized Finite Element Method (IGFEM) is employed to evaluate the temperature field in a 2D model of the specimen, allowing for the accurate and efficient capturing of the gradient discontinuity along the fluid/solid interface without the need of meshes that conform to the geometry of the problem. Finding the optimal shape of the embedded microchannel is thus accomplished with a single non-conforming mesh for all configurations. Prior to the optimization study, the IGFEM solver is validated through comparison with infrared measurements of the thermal response of an epoxy fin with a sinusoidal microchannel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5309-5321
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number19-20
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Active cooling
  • Biomimetic
  • Convection-diffusion equation
  • Infrared imaging
  • Microvascular materials
  • Shape optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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