Topology optimization of structures in transient impacts with Coulomb friction

Hansotto Kristiansen*, Konstantinos Poulios, Niels Aage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper demonstrates gradient driven density based topology optimization of transient impact problems with friction. The sensitivities are obtained using the semidiscrete adjoint approach in which the temporal components are obtained by the "differentiate then discretize" whereas the spatial part is determined discretely. In this work, the sensitivity analysis method is extended to a mixed formulation involving both displacements, velocities, accelerations and contact forces. The proposed formulation allows to account for frictional impacts during the structural optimization process. A first simple example demonstrates the effects of including frictional impacts into the transient design problem. As a second example, a drop test is considered and a casing for protecting a falling object during a frictional impact, is designed. Solid-void designs are obtained by application of the robust design formulation combined with a parameter continuation scheme.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Topology optimization
  • Frictional contact
  • Transient impact
  • Crashworthiness


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