Topology optimization of compliant mechanisms using element-free Galerkin method

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Journal Article
Advances in Engineering Software, 2015, 85 pp. 61 - 72
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This paper will propose a topology optimization approach for the design of large displacement compliant mechanisms with geometrical non-linearity by using the element-free Galerkin (EFG) method. In this method, the Shepard function is applied to construct a physically meaningful density approximant, to account for its non-negative and range-bounded property. Firstly, in terms of the original nodal density field, the Shepard function method functionally similar to a density filter is used to generate a non-local nodal density field with enriched smoothness over the design domain. The density of any node can be evaluated according to the nodal density variables located inside the influence domain of the interested node. Secondly, in the numerical implementation the Shepard function method is again employed to construct a point-wise density interpolant. Gauss quadrature is used to calculate the integration of background cells numerically, and the artificial densities over all Gauss points can be determined by the surrounding nodal densities within the influence domain of the concerned computational point. Finally, the moving least squares (MLS) method is applied to construct the shape functions using the weight functions with compact support for assembling the meshless approximations of state equations. Since MLS shape functions are lack of the Kronecker delta function property, the penalty method is applied to enforce the essential boundary conditions. A typical large-deformation compliant mechanism is used as the numerical example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
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