Integrated design of graded microstructures of heterogeneous materials
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This paper proposes a novel, integrated, computational design methodology of graded microstructures of heterogeneous materials for the emergence of macroscopic function. In the first step of the design procedure, some discrete microstructures among a large number of graded microstructures are determined by the genetic algorithm as the optimization method. In this determination procedure, the homogenized modeling is adopted considering the micro-macro coupling by the homogenization method. This method enables us to study complex microstructures. Homogenized properties such as elastic properties, coefficient of thermal expansion and thermal conductivity can be calculated rigorously based on continuum mechanics. Calculated homogenized properties are stored in the micro-macro correlative database. The genetic algorithm can select the best geometrical arrangement of multiple microstructures from the pre-calculated database to construct the graded microstructure architecture. By using the database, the microscopic and macroscopic analyses are separated from each other, which reduces considerably the computational cost for the micro–macro coupled design. In the second step, continuously graded microstructures are designed using a feature-based 3D-CAD system by interpolating the discretized graded microstructures. In addition, a solid model is produced by the stereolithography technique to help in understanding the computationally designed complex microstructures. Brief descriptions of the formulation of the homogenization method for heat conduction and thermal stress problems are shown. A design problem for a plate with graded microstructures in its thickness direction is shown. The objective function for this example is the control of the wrap of the plate under the condition of temperature distribution.
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