Coupled electrostatic-elastic analysis for topology optimization using material interpolation

  • Aravind Alwan
  •  and G. K. Ananthasuresh

Citation

  • Aravind Alwan
  •  and G. K. Ananthasuresh

, "Coupled electrostatic-elastic analysis for topology optimization using material interpolation", Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp. 264-270, 2006

Abstract

In this paper, we present a novel analytical formulation for the coupled partial differential equations governing electrostatically actuated constrained elastic structures of inhomogeneous material composition. We also present a computationally efficient numerical framework for solving the coupled equations over a reference domain with a fixed finiteelement mesh. This serves two purposes: (i) a series of problems with varying geometries and piece-wise homogeneous and/or inhomogeneous material distribution can be solved with a single pre-processing step, (ii) topology optimization methods can be easily implemented by interpolating the material at each point in the reference domain from a void to a dielectric or a conductor. This is attained by considering the steady-state electrical current conduction equation with a 'leaky capacitor' model instead of the usual electrostatic equation. This formulation is amenable for both static and transient problems in the elastic domain coupled with the quasi-electrostatic electric field. The procedure is numerically implemented on the COMSOL Multiphysics® platform using the weak variational form of the governing equations. Examples have been presented to show the accuracy and versatility of the scheme. The accuracy of the scheme is validated for the special case of piece-wise homogeneous material in the limit of the leaky-capacitor model approaching the ideal case.

Link to the paper: alwan2006coupled.pdf