Application of Topology Optimization for Efficient Composite and Additively Manufactured Structures

Additive manufacturing offers new opportunities for designing high performance composite structures. However, sophisticated numerical approaches are required to tackle the complex task of designing structures which take full advantage of additive manufacturing capabilities. The proposed research project aims to apply topology optimization, a numerical approach capable of determining the best shape of a structure, to develop a design process producing optimal composite sandwich structures which include a 3D printed core. Using high performance computing, relevant structures to the field of aircraft interiors will be optimized in 3D. A post-treatment procedure of the topology optimization results will be implemented to allow further processing of the structures with other software and to prepare for manufacturing. Selected structures will be fabricated and experimentally tested to showcase the advantages of the numerical design approach. The industrial partner will benefit of an advanced design process that will further their manufacturing capabilities and possibly open new business opportunities.

Derek Harvey
Faculty Supervisor: 
Pascal Hubert
Partner University: