A deep learning–based method for the design of microstructural materials

  • Ren Kai Tan
  • Nevin L. Zhang
  • Wenjing YeEmail author
Research Paper


Due to their designable properties, microstructural materials have emerged as an important class of materials that have the potential for used in a variety of applications. The design of such materials is challenged by the multifunctionality requirements and various constraints stemmed from manufacturing limitations and other practical considerations. Traditional design methods such as those based on topological optimization techniques rely heavily on high-dimensional physical simulations and can be inefficient. In addition, it is difficult to impose geometrical constraints in those methods. In this work, we propose a deep learning model based on deep convolutional generative adversarial network (DCGAN) and convolutional neural network (CNN) for the design of microstructural materials. The DCGAN is used to generate design candidates that satisfy geometrical constraints and the CNN is used as a surrogate model to link the microstructure to its properties. Once trained, the two networks are combined to form the design network which is utilized to for the inverse design. The advantages of the method include its high efficiency and the simplicity in handling geometrical constraints. In addition, no high-dimensional sensitivity simulations are required. The performance of the method is demonstrated on the design of microstructural materials with desired compliance tensor, subject to specified geometrical constraints.


Microstructural materials Material design Deep learning Generative adversarial network Convolutional neural network 


Funding information

This work is supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants under Competitive Earmarked Research Grant No. 16212318.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong

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