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Title: Topology optimization of shape memory polymer structures with programmable morphology
We present a novel optimization framework for optimal design of structures exhibiting memory characteristics by incorporating shape memory polymers (SMPs). SMPs are a class of memory materials capable of undergoing and recovering applied deformations. A finite-element analysis incorporating the additive decomposition of small strain is implemented to analyze and predict temperature-dependent memory characteristics of SMPs. The finite element method consists of a viscoelastic material modelling combined with a temperature-dependent strain storage mechanism, giving SMPs their characteristic property. The thermo-mechanical characteristics of SMPs are exploited to actuate structural deflection to enable morphing toward a target shape. A time-dependent adjoint sensitivity formulation implemented through a recursive algorithm is used to calculate the gradients required for the topology optimization algorithm. Multimaterial topology optimization combined with the thermo-mechanical programming cycle is used to optimally distribute the active and passive SMP materials within the design domain. This allows us to tailor the response of the structures to design them with specific target displacements, by exploiting the difference in the glass-transition temperatures of the two SMP materials. Forward analysis and sensitivity calculations are combined in a PETSc-based optimization framework to enable efficient multi-functional, multimaterial structural design with controlled deformations.
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National Science Foundation
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