Internal contact modeling for finite strain topology optimization

Gore Lukas Bluhm*, Ole Sigmund, Konstantinos Poulios

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    The present work proposes an extension of the third medium contact method for solving structural topology optimization problems that involve and exploit self-contact. A new regularization of the void region, which acts as the contact medium, makes the method suitable for cases with very large deformations. The proposed contact method is implemented in a second order topology optimization framework, which employs a coupled simultaneous solution of the mechanical, design update, and adjoint problems. All three problems are derived and presented in weak form, and discretized with finite elements of suitable order. The capabilities and accuracy of the developed method are demonstrated in a topology optimization problem for achieving a desired non-linear force–displacement path.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalComputational Mechanics
    Pages (from-to)1099–1114
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Large deformations
    • Nonlinear topology optimization
    • Second order optimization
    • Third medium contact
    • Void regularization


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