Authors: L. Yin and G.K. Ananthasuresh
Affilation: University of Pennsylvania, United States
Pages: 124 - 127
Keywords: topology optimization, thermal actuation, multi-material design
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.