Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 547–568 | Cite as

Introducing a level-set based shape and topology optimization method for the wear of composite materials with geometric constraints

  • F. Feppon
  • G. Michailidis
  • M. A. Sidebottom
  • G. Allaire
  • B. A. Krick
  • N. Vermaak


The wear of materials continues to be a limiting factor in the lifetime and performance of mechanical systems with sliding surfaces. As the demand for low wear materials grows so does the need for models and methods to systematically optimize tribological systems. Elastic foundation models offer a simplified framework to study the wear of multimaterial composites subject to abrasive sliding. Previously, the evolving wear profile has been shown to converge to a steady-state that is characterized by a time-independent elliptic equation. In this article, the steady-state formulation is generalized and integrated with shape optimization to improve the wear performance of bi-material composites. Both macroscopic structures and periodic material microstructures are considered. Several common tribological objectives for systems undergoing wear are identified and mathematically formalized with shape derivatives. These include (i) achieving a planar wear surface from multimaterial composites and (ii) minimizing the run-in volume of material lost before steady-state wear is achieved. A level-set based topology optimization algorithm that incorporates a novel constraint on the level-set function is presented. In particular, a new scheme is developed to update material interfaces; the scheme (i) conveniently enforces volume constraints at each iteration, (ii) controls the complexity of design features using perimeter penalization, and (iii) nucleates holes or inclusions with the topological gradient. The broad applicability of the proposed formulation for problems beyond wear is discussed, especially for problems where convenient control of the complexity of geometric features is desired.


Wear Tribology Steady-state Geometric constraints Shape optimization Level-set method Perimeter penalization Topological gradient 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1538125. This work was also funded, in part, by the Lehigh University Faculty Innovation Grant. The authors would like to acknowledge that G. Allaire is a member of the DEFI project at INRIA Saclay Île-de-France.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Feppon
    • 1
  • G. Michailidis
    • 2
  • M. A. Sidebottom
    • 3
  • G. Allaire
    • 4
  • B. A. Krick
    • 3
  • N. Vermaak
    • 3
  1. 1.École polytechniquePalaiseauFrance
  2. 2.SIMaP-Université de Grenoble, INPGGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Mechanical Engineering and MechanicsLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  4. 4.CMAPÉcole polytechnique, CNRS UMR 7641PalaiseauFrance

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