A New Material Interpolation Scheme for the Topology Optimization of Thermally Actuated Compliant Micromechanisms

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Thermally actuated compliant micromechanisms are selectively heated elastic continua that take advantage of nonuniform thermal expansion and mechanical leveraging to amplify displacements and forces. These can be designed systematically, as shown in the earlier work by others and us, by using material distribution type topology optimization techniques. By noting that using more than one material helps in enhancing the performance of these mechanisms, we show in this paper how only one fictitious density variable is enough to handle not just two but multiple materials, and in fact, multiple properties of multiple materials. This has a clear practical advantage in reducing the size of the optimization problem and a functional advantage in being able to handle multiple properties. This is achieved with a new material interpolation scheme that we call a peak function. We also show how convection, from top, bottom, and side surfaces, can also be included in topology optimization. Illustrative examples are included.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems
Published: March 19, 2001
Pages: 124 - 127
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Modeling & Simulation of Microsystems
ISBN: 0-9708275-0-4