Online from: 1984
Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering
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|Title:||An element addition strategy for thermally actuated compliant mechanism topology optimization|
|Author(s):||Rubén Ansola, (Industrial Engineer in Mechanical Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain), Estrella Vegueria, (Industrial engineer in mechanical design and a Ph.D. student at the University of the Basque Country), Javier Canales, (Industrial engineer in mechanical design. He is an associate professor at the University of the Basque Country)|
|Citation:||Rubén Ansola, Estrella Vegueria, Javier Canales, (2010) "An element addition strategy for thermally actuated compliant mechanism topology optimization", Engineering Computations, Vol. 27 Iss: 6, pp.694 - 711|
|Keywords:||Actuators, MEMS, Topology, Optimization techniques, Thermal transmission|
|Article type:||Research Paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/02644401011062090 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science in Spain through the project DPI2006-07987.|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe an element addition strategy for topology optimization of thermally actuated compliant mechanisms under uniform temperature fields.
Design/methodology/approach – The proposed procedure is based on the evolutionary structural optimization (ESO) method. In previous works, this group of authors has successfully applied the ESO method for compliant mechanism optimization under directly applied input loads. The present paper progresses on this work line developing an extension of this procedure, based on an additive version of the method, to approach the more complicated case of thermal actuators.
Findings – The adopted method has been tested in several numerical applications and benchmark examples to illustrate and validate the approach, and designs obtained with this method are compared favorably with the analytical solutions and results derived by other authors using different optimization methods, showing the viability of this technique for uniformly heated actuators optimization.
Research limitations/implications – As a simple initial approach, this research considers only uniform heating of the system, while many thermal actuators are heated nonuniformly. Future works will be based on electrothermal actuation, and nonuniform Joule heating will be considered as well, which might lead to more elegant and efficient solutions.
Practical implications – Compliant micromechanisms that are responsible for movement play a crucial role in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design, which cannot be manufactured using typical assembly processes and may not make use of traditional hinges or bearings. The topology optimization method described in this paper enables the systematic design of these devices, which can result in reduced conception time and manufacturing cost.
Originality/value – The ESO method has been successfully applied to several optimum material distribution problems, but not for thermal compliant mechanisms. Even if most applications of this method have been oriented for maximum stiffness structure design, this paper shows that this computation method may be also useful in the design of thermal compliant mechanisms and provides engineers with a very simple and practical alternative design tool.
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