Significant performance improvements can be obtained if the topology of an elastic structure is allowed to vary in shape optimization problems. We study the optimal shape design of a two‐dimensional elastic continuum for minimum compliance subject to a constraint on the total volume of material. The macroscopic version of this problem is not well‐posed if no restrictions are placed on the structure topoiogy; relaxation of the optimization problem via quasiconvexification or homogenization methods is required. The effect of relaxation is to introduce a perforated microstructure that must be optimized simultaneously with the macroscopic distribution of material. A combined analytical‐computational approach is proposed to solve the relaxed optimization problem. Both stress and displacement analysis methods are presented. Since rank‐2 layered composites are known to achieve optimal energy bounds, we restrict the design space to this class of microstructures whose effective properties can easily be determined in explicit form. We develop a series of reduced problems by sequentially interchanging extremization operators and analytically optimizing the microstructural design fields. This results in optimization problems involving the distribution of an adaptive material that continuously optimizes its microstructure in response to the current state of stress or strain. A further reduced problem, involving only the response field, can be obtained in the stress‐based approach, but the requisite interchange of extremization operators is not valid in the case of the displacement‐based model. Finite element optimization procedures based on the reduced displacement formulation are developed and numerical solutions are presented. Care must be taken in selecting the discrete function spaces for the design density and displacement response, since the reduced problem is a two‐field, mixed variational problem. An improper choice for the solution space leads to instabilities in the optimal design similar to those encountered in mixed formulations of the Stokes problem.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering|
|State||Published - Apr 30 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Numerical Analysis
- Applied Mathematics