Metal–ceramic composites produced by melt infiltration of ceramic preforms are studied in an optimal design context. The ceramic preforms are manufactured through a process of freeze-casting of Al2O3 particle suspension. The microstructure of these composites can be presented as distributions of lamellar domains. With local ceramic volume fraction and lamella orientation chosen as the design variables, a minimum compliance optimization problem is solved based on topology optimization and finite element methods for metal–ceramic samples with different geometries and boundary conditions. Micromechanical models are applied for the calculation of the effective elastic properties of the composites. Optimized local lamella orientations and ceramic contents are calculated, and the difference between the initial (specimen with constant ceramic content and orientation) and the optimized designs is analyzed. Significant reductions in absolute values of the maximum, minimum and mean values of strain fields in the optimized structures are observed.
- Lamellar metal–ceramic composites
- Lamella orientation
- Microstructure design
- Elastic properties
- Micromechanical modeling