Design of piezoelectric actuators using a multiphase level set method of piecewise constants

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Journal Article
Journal of Computational Physics, 2009, 228 (7), pp. 2643 - 2659
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This paper presents a multiphase level set method of piecewise constants for shape and topology optimization of multi-material piezoelectric actuators with in-plane motion. First, an indicator function which takes level sets of piecewise constants is used to implicitly represent structural boundaries of the multiple phases in the design domain. Compared with standard level set methods using n scalar functions to represent 2nphases, each constant value in the present method denotes one material phase and 2nphases can be represented by 2npre-defined constants. Thus, only one indicator function including different constant values is required to identify all structural boundaries between different material phases by making use of its discontinuities. In the context of designing smart actuators with in-plane motions, the optimization problem is defined mathematically as the minimization of a smooth energy functional under some specified constraints. Thus, the design optimization of the smart actuator is transferred into a numerical process by which the constant values of the indicator function are updated via a semi-implicit scheme with additive operator splitting (AOS) algorithm. In such a way, the different material phases are distributed simultaneously in the design domain until both the passive compliant host structure and embedded piezoelectric actuators are optimized. The compliant structure serves as a mechanical amplifier to enlarge the small strain stroke generated by piezoelectric actuators. The major advantage of the present method is to remove numerical difficulties associated with the solution of the Hamilton-Jacobi equations in most conventional level set methods, such as the CFL condition, the regularization procedure to retain a signed distance level set function and the non-differentiability related to the Heaviside and the Delta functions. Two widely studied examples are chosen to demonstrate the effectiveness of the present method. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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