, Volume 69, Issue 9-10, pp 635-654

Material interpolation schemes in topology optimization

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In topology optimization of structures, materials and mechanisms, parametrization of geometry is often performed by a grey-scale density-like interpolation function. In this paper we analyze and compare the various approaches to this concept in the light of variational bounds on effective properties of composite materials. This allows us to derive simple necessary conditions for the possible realization of grey-scale via composites, leading to a physical interpretation of all feasible designs as well as the optimal design. Thus it is shown that the so-called artificial interpolation model in many circumstances actually falls within the framework of microstructurally based models. Single material and multi-material structural design in elasticity as well as in multi-physics problems is discussed.

Received 6 April 1999; accepted for publication 19 May 1999