Topology Optimization on Orthotropic Materials with Material Orientation

This presentation was made at the NAFEMS European Conference on Simulation-Based Optimisation held on the 15th of October in London.

Optimisation has become a key ingredient in many engineering disciplines and has experienced rapid growth in recent years due to innovations in optimisation algorithms and techniques, coupled with developments in computer hardware and software capabilities. The growing popularity of optimisation in engineering applications is driven by ever-increasing competition pressure, where optimised products and processes can offer improved performance and cost-effectiveness which would not be possible using traditional design approaches. However, there are still many hurdles to be overcome before optimisation is used routinely for engineering applications.

The NAFEMS European Conference on Simulation-Based Optimisation brings together practitioners and academics from all relevant disciplines to share their knowledge and experience, and discuss problems and challenges, in order to facilitate further improvements in optimisation techniques.

Resource Abstract

Product development nowadays, has become a highly competitive process. Optimization at early stages is considered essential, as it can provide engineers with solid directions to the final design and helps them avoid returning to the initial concept of the design process which is always a time-consuming operation.

In plastic parts’ initial design stages, topology optimization is usually applied on isotropic materials. In most of the cases, the fiber reinforcement that is made by the injection molding process on these parts, and the true structural behavior of the plastic model are not taken into consideration during these initial design process. However, this can now be addressed with the introduction of new software tools that enable topology optimization on shell elements with orthotropic or anisotropic materials and on solid elements with anisotropic materials.

The initial model is designed with orthotropic or anisotropic materials which then need initial fiber orientation to complete the set-up of the model. During the solution, the mass fraction changes from element to element, while the orientation of the fibers adjusts to find the optimum direction. In this direction, the compliance is less, and the performance of the whole structure is optimum in regard to the requested responses.

This paper aims to present a new optimization breakthrough for topology optimization for orthotropic and anisotropic materials that enables the optimization of material orientation, to achieve better structural characteristics from the early design stages.

An example of shell elements will be demonstrated, in which the material orientation is optimized simultaneously with the aid of the EPILYSIS solver of BETA CAE Systems. The optimization results are presented in a dedicated toolbar which automatically displays the material orientation results when they exist in a solution.

Document Details

AuthorPantazidis. P
Date 15th October 2019
OrganisationBETA CAE Systems SA


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