Topology optimization of Channel flow problems

Allan Gersborg-Hansen, Ole Sigmund, R. B. Haber

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper describes a topology design method for simple two-dimensional flow problems. We consider steady, incompressible laminar viscous flows at low to moderate Reynolds numbers. This makes the flow problem non-linear and hence a non-trivial extension of the work of [Borrvall&Petersson 2002]. Further, the inclusion of inertia effects significantly alters the physics, enabling solutions of new classes of optimization problems, such as velocity--driven switches, that are not addressed by the earlier method. Specifically, we determine optimal layouts of channel flows that extremize a cost function which measures either some local aspect of the velocity field or a global quantity, such as the rate of energy dissipation. We use the finite element method to model the flow, and we solve the optimization problem with a gradient-based math-programming algorithm that is driven by analytical sensitivities. Our target application is optimal layout design of channels in fluid network systems. Using concepts borrowed from topology optimization of compliant mechanisms in solid mechanics, we introduce a method for the synthesis of fluidic components, such as switches, diodes, etc.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)181-192
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Topology optimization of Channel flow problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this