Revisiting density-based topology optimization for fluid-structure-interaction problems

Christian Lundgaard*, Joe Alexandersen, Mingdong Zhou, Casper Schousboe Andreasen, Ole Sigmund

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    This study revisits the application of density-based topology optimization to fluid-structure-interaction problems. The Navier-Cauchy and Navier-Stokes equations are discretized using the finite element method and solved in a unified formulation. The physical modeling is limited to two dimensions, steady state, the influence of the structural deformations on the fluid flow is assumed negligible, and the structural and fluid properties are assumed constant. The optimization is based on adjoint sensitivity analysis and a robust formulation ensuring length-scale control and 0/1 designs. It is shown, that non-physical free-floating islands of solid elements can be removed by combining different objective functions in a weighted multi-objective formulation. The framework is tested for low and moderate Reynolds numbers on problems similar to previous works in the literature and two new flow mechanism problems. The optimized designs are consistent with respect to benchmark examples and the coupling between the fluid flow, the elastic structure and the optimization problem is clearly captured and illustrated in the optimized designs. The study reveals new features of topology optimization of FSI problems and may provide guidance for future research within the field.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)969–995
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Adjoint sensitivity analysis
    • Flow mechanisms
    • Fluid-structure-interaction
    • Objective functions
    • The robust formulation
    • Topology optimization


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