Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a heuristic method for topology optimization of a continuum with bi-modulus material which is frequently occurred in practical engineering. Design/methodology/approach – The essentials of this model are as follows: First, the original bi-modulus is replaced with two isotropic materials to simplify structural analysis. Second, the stress filed is adopted to calculate the effective strain energy densities (SED) of elements. Third, a floating reference interval of SED is defined and updated by active constraint. Fourth, the elastic modulus of an element is updated according to its principal stresses. Final, the design variables are updated by comparing the local effective SEDs and the current reference interval of SED. Findings – Numerical examples show that the ratio between the tension modulus and the compression modulus of the bi-modulus material in a structure has a significant effect on the final topology design, which is different from that in the same structure with isotropic material. In the optimal structure, it can be found that the material points with the higher modulus are reserved as much as possible. When the ratio is far more than unity, the material can be considered as tension-only material. If the ratio is far less than unity, the material can be considered as compression-only material. As a result, the topology optimization of continuum structures with tension-only or compression-only materials can also be solved by the proposed method. Originality/value – The value of this paper is twofold: the bi-modulus material layout optimization in a continuum can be solved by the method proposed in this paper, and the layout difference between the structure with bi-modulus material and the same structure but with isotropic material shows that traditional topology optimization result could not be suitable for a real bi-modulus layout design project.
Engineering Computations – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 30, 2014
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