Topological optimization of nanofiber placement in a continuum
Akin, John Edward.
Master of Science
The structural integrity and/or electrical or thermal conductivity of a component can be improved with the optimal topological placement of very high strength or very high conductivity nanofibers. This thesis presents a heuristic procedure for the estimation of the optimal location for the nanofibers based on topological optimization concepts. Previously established topological procedures for continuum-only structures and for truss-only systems are reviewed. Then, this new hybrid approach, which utilizes the continuum model as a retained ground structure, and truss structure for nanofibers, is introduced and evaluated. To initiate this new procedure, a very large number of fiber elements are generated using the material continuum's geometry and then embedded into the component. A finite element method (FEM) program will analyze the structure. Post processing determines which fibers are the least necessary, and deletes them in an iterative process until the desired volume fraction of nanomaterials is reached, leaving only the vital fibers. This procedure is illustrated with several different example geometries and compared to bounding cases from other topological optimization approaches.
Applied sciences; Mechanical engineering