Adaptive FE-procedures in shape optimization
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In structural optimization the quality of the optimization result strongly depends on the reliability of the underlying structural analysis. This comprises the quality and range of the mechanical model, e.g. linear elastic or geometrically and materially nonlinear, as well as the accuracy of the numerical model, e.g. the discretization error of the FE-model. The latter aspect is addressed in the present contribution. In order to guarantee the quality of the numerical results the discretization error of the finite element solution is controlled and the finite element discretization is adaptively refined during the optimization process. Conventionally, so-called global error estimates are applied in structural optimization which estimate the error of the total strain energy. In the present paper local error estimates are introduced in shape optimization which allow to control directly the discretization error of local optimization criteria. In general, the adaptive refinement of the finite element discretization by remeshing affects the convergence of the optimization process if a gradient-based optimization algorithm is applied. In order to reduce this effect the sensitivity of the discretization error must also be restricted. Suitable refinement indicators are developed for globally and locally adaptive procedures. Finally, the potential of two techniques, which may improve the numerical efficiency of adaptive FE-procedures within the optimization process, is studied. The proposed methods and procedures are verified by 2-D shape optimization examples.
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