Design of buckling-induced mechanical metamaterials for energy absorption using topology optimization

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A novel design concept for buckling-induced mechanical metamaterials for energy absorption is presented. The force-displacement curves of the mechanical metamaterials are analyzed according to the curves of their unit cells, and the energy-absorbing characteristics of mechanical metamaterials are evaluated. Two topology optimization models are proposed. One maximizes the buckling-induced dissipated energy to facilitate the design of metamaterials with high energy absorption and low elastic strain energy. The other maximizes the dissipated energy with a constraint that the mechanical metamaterials should be self-recoverable. An energy interpolation scheme is employed to avoid numerical instabilities in the geometric nonlinear finite element analysis. A two-phase algorithm is proposed to find the optimized result from a uniform initial guess, and sensitivity analysis is performed. The optimized design has a larger amount of buckling-induced dissipated energy than the previously proposed structural prototypes. Moreover, the self-recoverable mechanical metamaterial is successfully designed by topology optimization.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. U1501247 and U1609206). This support is greatly appreciated. Additionally, the authors thank Dr. K. Svanberg at KTH (Stockholm, Sweden) for providing the MMA code for academic research.

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Correspondence to Xianmin Zhang.

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Chen, Q., Zhang, X. & Zhu, B. Design of buckling-induced mechanical metamaterials for energy absorption using topology optimization. Struct Multidisc Optim 58, 1395–1410 (2018) doi:10.1007/s00158-018-1970-y

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  • Mechanical metamaterial
  • Energy absorption
  • Topology optimization
  • Buckling