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Research Papers

Design of Compliant Thermal Actuators Using Structural Optimization Based on the Level Set Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Takayuki Yamada1

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Optimum System Design Engineering Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Division, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japanyamada@nuem.nagoya-u.ac.jp

Shintaro Yamasaki, Shinji Nishiwaki, Kazuhiro Izui, Masataka Yoshimura

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Optimum System Design Engineering Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Division, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japanyamada@nuem.nagoya-u.ac.jp

1

Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 11(1), 011005 (Mar 30, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3563049 History: Received December 02, 2008; Revised January 04, 2011; Published March 30, 2011; Online March 30, 2011

Compliant mechanisms are designed to be flexible to achieve a specified motion as a mechanism. Such mechanisms can function as compliant thermal actuators in micro-electromechanical systems by intentionally designing configurations that exploit thermal expansion effects in elastic material when appropriate portions of the mechanism structure are heated or are subjected to an electric potential. This paper presents a new structural optimization method for the design of compliant thermal actuators based on the level set method and the finite element method (FEM). First, an optimization problem is formulated that addresses the design of compliant thermal actuators considering the magnitude of the displacement at the output location. Next, the topological derivatives that are used when introducing holes during the optimization process are derived. Based on the optimization formulation, a new structural optimization algorithm is constructed that employs the FEM when solving the equilibrium equations and updating the level set function. The re-initialization of the level set function is performed using a newly developed geometry-based re-initialization scheme. Finally, several design examples are provided to confirm the usefulness of the proposed structural optimization method.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 4

Flowchart of the optimization procedure

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Figure 6

Optimal configurations and deformed shapes of thermal actuators operated by heat flux

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Figure 7

Admissible domain for thermal actuator by electric potential

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Figure 8

Optimal configurations and deformed shapes of thermal actuators operated by electric potential

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Figure 9

Initial, iterated and optimal configurations of case (2)

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Figure 1

Level set function and admissible domain

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Figure 2

Model of thermal actuator

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Figure 3

Two equilibriums sonsidered for deriving the objective function

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Figure 5

Admissible domain for thermal actuator operated by heat flux

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