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A LevelSet / XFEM Approach for Topology Optimization of Thermally Loaded Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-17-P-2235
Agency Tracking Number: F17A-015-0091
Amount: $149,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF17A-T015
Solicitation Number: 2017.0
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-07-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-05-28
Small Business Information
3691 Park Overlook Drive
Beavercreek, OH 45431
United States
DUNS: 080208289
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 David Makhija
 President and Principal Developer
 (262) 352-5303
Business Contact
 David Makhija
Phone: (262) 352-5303
Research Institution
 University of Colorado at Boulder
 David Makhija
 (262) 352-5303
 Nonprofit College or University

The automotive and aerospace industries use topology optimization to minimize structural weight while satisfying functional constraints. However, the industry-standard fictitious material or density approach has been less effective when applied to physics beyond simple structural mechanics. Known issues include: failed numerical convergence or so-called gray material in computed optimal designs, non-physical responses due to modeling error and spurious contributions to governing equations, and non-trivial extension to design dependent boundary conditions (e.g. radiation, convection, or applied pressure). A comprehensive solution combining the level-set method (LSM) and the extended finite element method (XFEM) enables topology optimization while eliminating fictitious materials by construction. The offerors have successfully applied the LSM-XFEM to structural mechanics, convective heat transfer, nanoscale heat transfer, and several other applications. This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposal will extend the LSM-XFEM capability of the offerors to include the design of thermally loaded structures including radiation. Previous work addressing ill-conditioning and its effect on displacements and temperatures will be extended to ensure accurate stresses and heat fluxes. The phonon transport equation for nanoscale heat transfer will be extended to the mathematically similar radiative transport equation. Proof of concept thermo-elastic design including radiation using volume and shell elements we be demonstrated.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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