Research Paper

Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 149-171

First online:

Aerothermoelastic topology optimization with flutter and buckling metrics

  • Bret StanfordAffiliated withU.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB Email author 
  • , Philip BeranAffiliated withU.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB

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This work develops a framework for SIMP-based topology optimization of a metallic panel structure subjected to design-dependent aerodynamic, inertial, elastic, and thermal loads. Multi-physics eigenvalue-based design metrics such as thermal buckling and dynamic flutter are derived, along with their adjoint-based design derivatives. Locating the flutter point (Hopf-bifurcation) in a precise and efficient manner is a particular challenge, as is outfitting the optimization problem with sufficient constraints such that the critical flutter mode does not switch during the design process. Results are presented for flutter-optimal topologies of an unheated panel, thermal buckling-optimal topologies, and flutter-optimality of a heated panel (where the latter case presents a topological compromise between the former two). The effect of various constraint boundaries, temperature gradients, and (for the flutter of the heated panel) thermal load magnitude are assessed. Off-design flutter and thermal buckling boundaries are given as well.


Panel flutter Topology optimization Aerothermoelasticity