PurposeTopology optimization is a method used for developing optimized geometric designs by distributing material pixels in a given design space that maximizes a chosen quantity of interest (QoI) subject to constraints. The purpose of this study is to develop a problem-agnostic automatic differentiation (AD) framework to compute sensitivities of the QoI required for density distribution-based topology optimization in an unstructured co-located cell-centered finite volume framework. Using this AD framework, the authors develop and demonstrate the topology optimization procedure for multi-dimensional steady-state heat conduction problems.Design/methodology/approachTopology optimization is performed using the well-established solid isotropic material with penalization approach. The method of moving asymptotes, a gradient-based optimization algorithm, is used to perform the optimization. The sensitivities of the QoI with respect to design variables, required for optimization algorithm, are computed using a discrete adjoint method with a novel AD library named residual automatic partial differentiator (Rapid).FindingsTopologies that maximize or minimize relevant quantities of interest in heat conduction applications are presented. The efficacy of the technique is demonstrated using a variety of realistic heat transfer applications in both two and three dimensions, in conjugate heat transfer problems with finite conductivity ratios and in non-rectangular/non-cuboidal domains.Originality/valueIn contrast to most published work which has either used finite element methods or Cartesian finite volume methods for transport applications, the topology optimization procedure is developed in a general unstructured finite volume framework. This permits topology optimization for flow and heat transfer applications in complex design domains such as those encountered in industry. In addition, the Rapid library is designed to provide a problem-agnostic pathway to automatically compute all required derivatives to machine accuracy. This obviates the necessity to write new code for finding sensitivities when new physics are added or new cost functions are considered and permits general-purpose implementations of topology optimization for complex industrial applications.
International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018
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