Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

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Comprehensive analysis of the influence of structural and dynamic parameters on the accuracy of nano-precision positioning stages
Chengyuan LIANG, Fang YUAN, Xuedong CHEN, Wei JIANG, Lizhan ZENG, Xin LUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 255-272.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3887KB)

Nano-precision positioning stages are characterized by rigid-flexible coupling systems. The complex dynamic characteristics of mechanical structure of a stage, which are determined by structural and dynamic parameters, exert a serious influence on the accuracy of its motion and measurement. Systematic evaluation of such influence is essential for the design and improvement of stages. A systematic approach to modeling the dynamic accuracy of a nano-precision positioning stage is developed in this work by integrating a multi-rigid-body dynamic model of the mechanical system and measurement system models. The influence of structural and dynamic parameters, including aerostatic bearing configurations, motion plane errors, foundation vibrations, and positions of the acting points of driving forces, on dynamic accuracy is investigated by adopting the H-type configured stage as an example. The approach is programmed and integrated into a software framework that supports the dynamic design of nano-precision positioning stages. The software framework is then applied to the design of a nano-precision positioning stage used in a packaging lithography machine.

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Progress in terahertz nondestructive testing: A review
Shuncong ZHONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 273-281.
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Terahertz (THz) waves, whose frequencies range between microwave and infrared, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A gap exists in THz literature because investigating THz waves is difficult due to the weak characteristics of the waves and the lack of suitable THz sources and detectors. Recently, THz nondestructive testing (NDT) technology has become an interesting topic. This review outlines several typical THz devices and systems and engineering applications of THz NDT techniques in composite materials, thermal barrier coatings, car paint films, marine protective coatings, and pharmaceutical tablet coatings. THz imaging has higher resolution but lower penetration than ultrasound imaging. This review presents the significance and advantages provided by the emerging THz NDT technique.

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Creative design inspired by biological knowledge: Technologies and methods
Runhua TAN, Wei LIU, Guozhong CAO, Yuan SHI
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 1-14.
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Biological knowledge is becoming an important source of inspiration for developing creative solutions to engineering design problems and even has a huge potential in formulating ideas that can help firms compete successfully in a dynamic market. To identify the technologies and methods that can facilitate the development of biologically inspired creative designs, this research briefly reviews the existing biological-knowledge-based theories and methods and examines the application of biological-knowledge-inspired designs in various fields. Afterward, this research thoroughly examines the four dimensions of key technologies that underlie the biologically inspired design (BID) process. This research then discusses the future development trends of the BID process before presenting the conclusions.

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Creep-fatigue crack growth behavior in GH4169 superalloy
Dianyin HU, Xiyuan WANG, Jianxing MAO, Rongqiao WANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 369-376.
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This study aims to examine the crack growth behavior of turbine disc GH4169 superalloy under creep-fatigue loading. Crack growth experiments were performed on compact tension specimens using trapezoidal waveform with dwell time at the maximum load at 650 °C. The crack growth rate of GH4169 superalloy significantly increased with dwell time. The grain boundaries oxidize during the dwell process, thereby inducing an intergranular creep-fatigue fracture mode. In addition, testing data under the same dwell time showed scattering at the crack growth rate. Consequently, a modified model based on the Saxena equation was proposed by introducing a distribution factor for the crack growth rate. Microstructural observation confirmed that the small grain size and high volume fraction of the d phase led to a fast creep-fatigue crack growth rate at 650 °C, thus indicating that two factors, namely, fine grain and presence of the d phase at the grain boundary, increased the amount of weakened interface at high temperature, in which intergranular cracks may form and propagate.

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Connected morphable components-based multiscale topology optimization
Jiadong DENG, Claus B. W. PEDERSEN, Wei CHEN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 129-140.
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The advances of manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing, have provided unprecedented opportunities for producing multiscale structures with intricate latticed/cellular material microstructures to meet the increasing demands for parts with customized functionalities. However, there are still difficulties for the state-of-the-art multiscale topology optimization (TO) methods to achieve manufacturable multiscale designs with cellular materials, partially due to the disconnectivity issue when tiling material microstructures. This paper attempts to address the disconnectivity issue by extending component-based TO methodology to multiscale structural design. An effective linkage scheme to guarantee smooth transitions between neighboring material microstructures (unit cells) is devised and investigated. Associated with the advantages of components-based TO, the number of design variables is greatly reduced in multiscale TO design. Homogenization is employed to calculate the effective material properties of the porous materials and to correlate the macro/structural scale with the micro/material scale. Sensitivities of the objective function with respect to the geometrical parameters of each component in each material microstructure have been derived using the adjoint method. Numerical examples demonstrate that multiscale structures with well-connected material microstructures or graded/layered material microstructures are realized.

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Modeling and optimization of an enhanced battery thermal management system in electric vehicles
Mao LI, Yuanzhi LIU, Xiaobang WANG, Jie ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 65-75.
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This paper models and optimizes an air-based battery thermal management system (BTMS) in a battery module with 36 battery lithium-ion cells. A design of experiments is performed to study the effects of three key parameters (i.e., mass flow rate of cooling air, heat flux from the battery cell to the cooling air, and passage spacing size) on the battery thermal performance. Three metrics are used to evaluate the BTMS thermal performance, including (i) the maximum temperature in the battery module, (ii) the temperature uniformity in the battery module, and (iii) the pressure drop. It is found that (i) increasing the total mass flow rate may result in a more non-uniform distribution of the passage mass flow rate among passages, and (ii) a large passage spacing size may worsen the temperature uniformity on the battery walls. Optimization is also performed to optimize the passage spacing size. Results show that the maximum temperature difference of the cooling air in passages is reduced from 23.9 to 2.1 K by 91.2%, and the maximum temperature difference among the battery cells is reduced from 25.7 to 6.4 K by 75.1%.

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A brief review on key technologies in the battery management system of electric vehicles
Kailong LIU, Kang LI, Qiao PENG, Cheng ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 47-64.
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Batteries have been widely applied in many high-power applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles, where a suitable battery management system (BMS) is vital in ensuring safe and reliable operation of batteries. This paper aims to give a brief review on several key technologies of BMS, including battery modelling, state estimation and battery charging. First, popular battery types used in EVs are surveyed, followed by the introduction of key technologies used in BMS. Various battery models, including the electric model, thermal model and coupled electro-thermal model are reviewed. Then, battery state estimations for the state of charge, state of health and internal temperature are comprehensively surveyed. Finally, several key and traditional battery charging approaches with associated optimization methods are discussed.

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Principle of maximum entropy for reliability analysis in the design of machine components
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 21-32.
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We studied the reliability of machine components with parameters that follow an arbitrary statistical distribution using the principle of maximum entropy (PME). We used PME to select the statistical distribution that best fits the available information. We also established a probability density function (PDF) and a failure probability model for the parameters of mechanical components using the concept of entropy and the PME. We obtained the first four moments of the state function for reliability analysis and design. Furthermore, we attained an estimate of the PDF with the fewest human bias factors using the PME. This function was used to calculate the reliability of the machine components, including a connecting rod, a vehicle half-shaft, a front axle, a rear axle housing, and a leaf spring, which have parameters that typically follow a non-normal distribution. Simulations were conducted for comparison. This study provides a design methodology for the reliability of mechanical components for practical engineering projects.

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Fatigue crack initiation of magnesium alloys under elastic stress amplitudes: A review
B. J. WANG, D. K. XU, S. D. WANG, E. H. HAN
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 113-127.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1520KB)

The most advantageous property of magnesium (Mg) alloys is their density, which is lower compared with traditional metallic materials. Mg alloys, considered the lightest metallic structural material among others, have great potential for applications as secondary load components in the transportation and aerospace industries. The fatigue evaluation of Mg alloys under elastic stress amplitudes is very important in ensuring their service safety and reliability. Given their hexagonal close packed structure, the fatigue crack initiation of Mg and its alloys is closely related to the deformation mechanisms of twinning and basal slips. However, for Mg alloys with shrinkage porosities and inclusions, fatigue cracks will preferentially initiate at these defects, remarkably reducing the fatigue lifetime. In this paper, some fundamental aspects about the fatigue crack initiation mechanisms of Mg alloys are reviewed, including the 3 followings: 1) Fatigue crack initiation of as-cast Mg alloys, 2) influence of microstructure on fatigue crack initiation of wrought Mg alloys, and 3) the effect of heat treatment on fatigue initiation mechanisms. Moreover, some unresolved issues and future target on the fatigue crack initiation mechanism of Mg alloys are also described.

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Recent development on innovation design of reconfigurable mechanisms in China
Wuxiang ZHANG, Shengnan LU, Xilun DING
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 15-20.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (90KB)

Reconfigurable mechanisms can deliberately reconfigure themselves by rearranging the connectivity of components to meet the different requirements of tasks. Metamorphic and origami-derived mechanisms are two kinds of typical reconfigurable mechanisms, which have attracted increasing attention in the field of mechanisms since they were proposed. Improving the independent design level, innovation, and international competitive powers of reconfigurable mechanical products is important. Summarizing related significant innovation research and application achievements periodically will shed light on research directions and promote academic exchanges. This paper presents an overview of recent developments in innovation design of reconfigurable mechanisms in China, including metamorphic and origami mechanisms and their typical applications. The future development trends are analyzed and forecasted.

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Finite element modeling of counter-roller spinning for large-sized aluminum alloy cylindrical parts
Dawei ZHANG, Fan LI, Shuaipeng LI, Shengdun ZHAO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 351-357.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (4526KB)

Counter-roller spinning (CRS), where the mandrel is replaced by rollers, is an effective means of manufacturing large-sized, thin-walled, cylindrical parts with more than 2500 mm diameter. CRS is very complex because of multi-axis rotation, multi-local loading along the circumference, and radial-axial compound deformation. Analytical or experimental methods cannot fully understand CRS. Meanwhile, numerical simulation is an adequate approach to investigate CRS with comprehensive understanding and a low cost. Thus, a finite element (FE) model of CRS was developed with the FORGE code via meshing technology, material modeling, determining the friction condition, and so on. The local fine mesh moving with the roller is one of highlights of the model. The developed 3D-FE model was validated through a CRS experiment by using a tubular blank with a 720 mm outer diameter. The developed 3D-FE model of CRS can provide a basis for parameter optimization, process control, die design, and so on. The data on force and energy predicted by the 3D-FE model can offer reasonable suggestions for determining the main mechanical parameters of CRS machines and selecting the motors. With the predicted data, an all-electric servo-drive system/machine with distributed power was designed in this work for CRS with four pairs of rollers to manufacture a large-sized, thin-walled, cylindrical part with 6000 mm diameter.

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Real-time task processing method based on edge computing for spinning CPS
Shiyong YIN, Jinsong BAO, Jie LI, Jie ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 320-331.
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Spinning production is a typical continuous manufacturing process characterized by high speed and uncertain dynamics. Each manufacturing unit in spinning production produces various real-time tasks, which may affect production efficiency and yarn quality if not processed in time. This paper presents an edge computing-based method that is different from traditional centralized cloud computation because its decentralization characteristics meet the high-speed and high-response requirements of yarn production. Edge computing nodes, real-time tasks, and edge computing resources are defined. A system model is established, and a real-time task processing method is proposed for the edge computing scenario. Experimental results indicate that the proposed real-time task processing method based on edge computing can effectively solve the delay problem of real-time task processing in spinning cyber-physical systems, save bandwidth, and enhance the security of task transmission.

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Nonlinear dynamics of a wind turbine tower
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 342-350.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (694KB)

The recent proliferation of wind turbines has revealed problems in their vulnerability under different site conditions, as evidenced by recent collapses of wind towers after severe actions. Analyses of structures subjected to variable actions can be conducted through several methods with different accuracy levels. Nonlinear dynamics is the most reliable among such methods. This study develops a numerical procedure to obtain approximate solutions for rigid-plastic responses of structures subjected to base harmonic pulses. The procedure’s model is applied to a wind turbine tower subjected to inertial forces generated by harmonic ground acceleration, and failure is assumed to depend on the formation of shear hinges. The proposed approach provides an efficient representation of the post-elastic behavior of the structure, has a low computational cost and high effectiveness, and uses a limited number of mechanical parameters.

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An application of game theory in distributed collaborative decision making
Angran XIAO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 85-101.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (725KB)

In a distributed product realization environment, new paradigms and accompanying software systems are necessary to support the collaborative work of geographically dispersed engineering teams from different disciplines who have different knowledge, experience, tools and resources. To verify the concept of collaboration by separation, we propose a generic information communication medium to enable knowledge representation and exchange between engineering teams, a digital interface. Across digital interfaces, each engineering team maintains its own perspective towards the product realization problem, and each controls a subset of design variables and seeks to maximize its own payoff function subject to individual constraints. Hence, we postulate the use of principles from game theory to model the relationships between engineering teams and facilitate collaborative decision making without causing unnecessary information exchange or iteration across digital interfaces. A product design and manufacturing scenario is introduced to demonstrate the efficacy of using game theory to maintain a clean interface between design and manufacturing teams.

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Review of materials used in laser-aided additive manufacturing processes to produce metallic products
Xiaodong NIU, Surinder SINGH, Akhil GARG, Harpreet SINGH, Biranchi PANDA, Xiongbin PENG, Qiujuan ZHANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 282-298.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (521KB)

Rapid prototyping (RP) or layered manufacturing (LM) technologies have been extensively used to manufacture prototypes composed mainly of plastics, polymers, paper, and wax due to the short product development time and low costs of these technologies. However, such technologies, with the exception of selective laser melting and sintering, are not used to fabricate metallic products because of the resulting poor life, short cycle, poor surface finish, and low structural integrity of the fabricated parts. The properties endowed by these parts do not match those of functional parts. Therefore, extensive research has been conducted to develop new additive manufacturing (AM) technologies by extending existing RP technologies. Several AM technologies have been developed for the fabrication of metallic objects. These technologies utilize materials, such as Ni-, Al-, and Ti-based alloys and stainless steel powders, to fabricate high-quality functional components. The present work reviews the type of materials used in laser-based AM processes for the manufacture of metallic products. The advantages and disadvantages of processes and different materials are summarized, and future research directions are discussed in the final section. This review can help experts select the ideal type of process or technology for the manufacturing of elements composed of a given alloy or material (Ni, Ti, Al, Pb, and stainless steel).

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An improved artificial bee colony algorithm with MaxTF heuristic rule for two-sided assembly line balancing problem
Xiaokun DUAN, Bo WU, Youmin HU, Jie LIU, Jing XIONG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 241-253.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1177KB)

Two-sided assembly line is usually used for the assembly of large products such as cars, buses, and trucks. With the development of technical progress, the assembly line needs to be reconfigured and the cycle time of the line should be optimized to satisfy the new assembly process. Two-sided assembly line balancing with the objective of minimizing the cycle time is called TALBP-2. This paper proposes an improved artificial bee colony (IABC) algorithm with the MaxTF heuristic rule. In the heuristic initialization process, the MaxTF rule defines a new task’s priority weight. On the basis of priority weight, the assignment of tasks is reasonable and the quality of an initial solution is high. In the IABC algorithm, two neighborhood strategies are embedded to balance the exploitation and exploration abilities of the algorithm. The employed bees and onlooker bees produce neighboring solutions in different promising regions to accelerate the convergence rate. Furthermore, a well-designed random strategy of scout bees is developed to escape local optima. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed MaxTF rule performs better than other heuristic rules, as it can find the best solution for all the 10 test cases. A comparison of the IABC algorithm and other algorithms proves the effectiveness of the proposed IABC algorithm. The results also denote that the IABC algorithm is efficient and stable in minimizing the cycle time for the TALBP-2, and it can find 20 new best solutions among 25 large-sized problem cases.

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An exploratory study for predicting component reliability with new load conditions
Zhengwei HU, Xiaoping DU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 76-84.
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Reliability is important to design innovation. A new product should be not only innovative, but also reliable. For many existing components used in the new product, their reliability will change because the applied loads are different from the ones for which the components are originally designed and manufactured. Then the new reliability must be re-evaluated. The system designers of the new product, however, may not have enough information to perform this task. With a beam problem as a case study, this study explores a feasible way to re-evaluate the component reliability with new loads given the following information: The original reliability of the component with respect to the component loads and the distributions of the new component loads. Physics-based methods are employed to build the equivalent component limit-state function that can predict the component failure under the new loads. Since the information is limited, the re-evaluated component reliability is given by its maxi- mum and minimum values. The case study shows that good accuracy can be obtained even though the new reliability is provided with the aforementioned interval.

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Concurrent optimization of structural topology and infill properties with a CBF-based level set method
Long JIANG, Yang GUO, Shikui CHEN, Peng WEI, Na LEI, Xianfeng David GU
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 171-189.
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In this paper, a parametric level-set-based topology optimization framework is proposed to concurrently optimize the structural topology at the macroscale and the effective infill properties at the micro/meso scale. The concurrent optimization is achieved by a computational framework combining a new parametric level set approach with mathematical programming. Within the proposed framework, both the structural boundary evolution and the effective infill property optimization can be driven by mathematical programming, which is more advantageous compared with the conventional partial differential equation-driven level set approach. Moreover, the proposed approach will be more efficient in handling nonlinear problems with multiple constraints. Instead of using radial basis functions (RBF), in this paper, we propose to construct a new type of cardinal basis functions (CBF) for the level set function parameterization. The proposed CBF parameterization ensures an explicit impose of the lower and upper bounds of the design variables. This overcomes the intrinsic disadvantage of the conventional RBF-based parametric level set method, where the lower and upper bounds of the design variables oftentimes have to be set by trial and error. A variational distance regularization method is utilized in this research to regularize the level set function to be a desired distance-regularized shape. With the distance information embedded in the level set model, the wrapping boundary layer and the interior infill region can be naturally defined. The isotropic infill achieved via the mesoscale topology optimization is conformally fit into the wrapping boundary layer using the shape-preserving conformal mapping method, which leads to a hierarchical physical structure with optimized overall topology and effective infill properties. The proposed method is expected to provide a timely solution to the increasing demand for multiscale and multifunctional structure design.

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A family of non-conforming crack front elements of quadrilateral and triangular types for 3D crack problems using the boundary element method
Guizhong XIE, Fenglin ZHOU, Hao LI, Xiaoyu WEN, Fannian MENG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 332-341.
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This study focuses on establishing non- conforming crack front elements of quadrilateral and triangular types for 3D crack problems when the dual boundary element method is applied. The asymptotic behavior of the physical variables in the area near the crack front is fully considered in the construction of the shape function. In the developed quadrilateral and triangular crack front elements, the asymptotic term, which captures the asymptotic behavior of the physical variable, is multiplied directly by the conventional Lagrange shape function to form a new crack front shape function. Several benchmark numerical examples that consider penny-shaped cracks and straight-edge crack problems are presented to illustrate the validity and efficiency of the developed crack front elements.

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Robust topology optimization of multi-material lattice structures under material and load uncertainties
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 141-152.
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Enabled by advancements in multi-material additive manufacturing, lightweight lattice structures consisting of networks of periodic unit cells have gained popularity due to their extraordinary performance and wide array of functions. This work proposes a density-based robust topology optimization method for meso- or macro-scale multi-material lattice structures under any combination of material and load uncertainties. The method utilizes a new generalized material interpolation scheme for an arbitrary number of materials, and employs univariate dimension reduction and Gauss-type quadrature to quantify and propagate uncertainty. By formulating the objective function as a weighted sum of the mean and standard deviation of compliance, the tradeoff between optimality and robustness can be studied and controlled. Examples of a cantilever beam lattice structure under various material and load uncertainty cases exhibit the efficiency and flexibility of the approach. The accuracy of univariate dimension reduction is validated by comparing the results to the Monte Carlo approach.

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Review on mechanism and process of surface polishing using lasers
Arun KRISHNAN, Fengzhou FANG
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 299-319.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1938KB)

Laser polishing is a technology of smoothening the surface of various materials with highly intense laser beams. When these beams impact on the material surface to be polished, the surface starts to be melted due to the high temperature. The melted material is then relocated from the ‘peaks to valleys’ under the multidirectional action of surface tension. By varying the process parameters such as beam intensity, energy density, spot diameter, and feed rate, different rates of surface roughness can be achieved. High precision polishing of surfaces can be done using laser process. Currently, laser polishing has extended its applications from photonics to molds as well as bio-medical sectors. Conventional polishing techniques have many drawbacks such as less capability of polishing freeform surfaces, environmental pollution, long processing time, and health hazards for the operators. Laser polishing on the other hand eliminates all the mentioned drawbacks and comes as a promising technology that can be relied for smoothening of initial topography of the surfaces irrespective of the complexity of the surface. Majority of the researchers performed laser polishing on materials such as steel, titanium, and its alloys because of its low cost and reliability. This article gives a detailed overview of the laser polishing mechanism by explaining various process parameters briefly to get a better understanding about the entire polishing process. The advantages and applications are also explained clearly to have a good knowledge about the importance of laser polishing in the future.

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Robust topology optimization of hinge-free compliant mechanisms with material uncertainties based on a non-probabilistic field model
Junjie ZHAN, Yangjun LUO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 201-212.
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This paper presents a new robust topology optimization framework for hinge-free compliant mecha- nisms with spatially varying material uncertainties, which are described using a non-probabilistic bounded field model. Bounded field uncertainties are efficiently represented by a reduced set of uncertain-but-bounded coefficients on the basis of the series expansion method. Robust topology optimization of compliant mechanisms is then defined to minimize the variation in output displacement under constraints of the mean displacement and predefined material volume. The nest optimization problem is solved using a gradient-based optimization algorithm. Numerical examples are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for circumventing hinges in topology optimization of compliant mechanisms.

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Uncertainty propagation analysis by an extended sparse grid technique
X. Y. JIA, C. JIANG, C. M. FU, B. Y. NI, C. S. WANG, M. H. PING
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 33-46.
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In this paper, an uncertainty propagation analysis method is developed based on an extended sparse grid technique and maximum entropy principle, aiming at improving the solving accuracy of the high-order moments and hence the fitting accuracy of the probability density function (PDF) of the system response. The proposed method incorporates the extended Gauss integration into the uncertainty propagation analysis. Moreover, assisted by the Rosenblatt transformation, the various types of extended integration points are transformed into the extended Gauss-Hermite integration points, which makes the method suitable for any type of continuous distribution. Subsequently, within the sparse grid numerical integration framework, the statistical moments of the system response are obtained based on the transformed points. Furthermore, based on the maximum entropy principle, the obtained first four-order statistical moments are used to fit the PDF of the system response. Finally, three numerical examples are investigated to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, which includes two mathematical problems with explicit expressions and an engineering application with a black-box model.

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A regularization scheme for explicit level-set XFEM topology optimization
Markus J. GEISS, Jorge L. BARRERA, Narasimha BODDETI, Kurt MAUTE
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 153-170.
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Regularization of the level-set (LS) field is a critical part of LS-based topology optimization (TO) approaches. Traditionally this is achieved by advancing the LS field through the solution of a Hamilton-Jacobi equation combined with a reinitialization scheme. This approach, however, may limit the maximum step size and introduces discontinuities in the design process. Alternatively, energy functionals and intermediate LS value penalizations have been proposed. This paper introduces a novel LS regularization approach based on a signed distance field (SDF) which is applicable to explicit LS-based TO. The SDF is obtained using the heat method (HM) and is reconstructed for every design in the optimization process. The governing equations of the HM, as well as the ones describing the physical response of the system of interest, are discretized by the extended finite element method (XFEM). Numerical examples for problems modeled by linear elasticity, nonlinear hyperelasticity and the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in two and three dimensions are presented to show the applicability of the proposed scheme to a broad range of design optimization problems.

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Controlling nested wrinkle morphology through the boundary effect on narrow-band thin films
Hanyang XU, Tielin SHI, Guanglan LIAO, Qi XIA
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 235-240.
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We describe the formation of nested wrinkles created by the thermal mismatch between a narrow-band thin film and a compliant substrate. When a film is described as “narrow-band”, it literally means that the film band width is much shorter than its length; more precisely, it means that the width is comparable with the wavelength of the wrinkles. A silicon mask was used during film sputtering to create narrow-band films on poly (dimethylsiloxane) substrate, thus creating regular boundaries to steer local stresses and control wrinkle morphology. Disordered nano-scale wrinkles were found nested within highly ordered micro-scale sinusoidal wrinkles. The formation of nested wrinkles was explained through the amplitude and wavelength saturation of nano-scale wrinkles. The disordered morphology of nano-scale wrinkles and the highly ordered morphology of micro-scale wrinkles were explained by using the boundary effect.

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Smart product design for automotive systems
A. Galip ULSOY
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (1): 102-112.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (418KB)

Automobiles evolved from primarily mechanical to electro-mechanical, or mechatronic, vehicles. For example, carburetors have been replaced by fuel injection and air-fuel ratio control, leading to order of magnitude improvements in fuel economy and emissions. Mechatronic systems are pervasive in modern automobiles and represent a synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics and computer science. They are smart systems, whose design is more challenging than the separate design of their mechanical, electronic and computer/control components. In this review paper, two recent methods for the design of mechatronic components are summarized and their applications to problems in automotive control are highlighted. First, the combined design, or co-design, of a smart artifact and its controller is considered. It is shown that the combined design of an artifact and its controller can lead to improved performance compared to sequential design. The coupling between the artifact and controller design problems is quantified, and methods for co-design are presented. The control proxy function method, which provides ease of design as in the sequential approach and approximates the performance of the co-design approach, is highlighted with application to the design of a passive/active automotive suspension. Second, the design for component swapping modularity (CSM) of a distributed controller for a smart product is discussed. CSM is realized by employing distributed controllers residing in networked smart components, with bidirectional communication over the network. Approaches to CSM design are presented, as well as applications of the method to a variable-cam-timing engine, and to enable battery swapping in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

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Inverse identification of the mechanical parameters of a pipeline hoop and analysis of the effect of preload
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (3): 358-368.
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To create a dynamic model of a pipeline system effectively and analyze its vibration characteristics, the mechanical characteristic parameters of the pipeline hoop, such as support stiffness and damping under dynamic load, must be obtained. In this study, an inverse method was developed by utilizing measured vibration data to identify the support stiffness and damping of a hoop. The procedure of identifying such parameters was described based on the measured natural frequencies and amplitudes of the frequency response functions (FRFs) of a pipeline system supported by two hoops. A dynamic model of the pipe-hoop system was built with the finite element method, and the formulas for solving the FRF of the pipeline system were provided. On the premise of selecting initial values reasonably, an inverse identification algorithm based on sensitivity analysis was proposed. A case study was performed, and the mechanical parameters of the hoop were identified using the proposed method. After introducing the identified values into the analysis model, the reliability of the identification results was validated by comparing the predicted and measured FRFs of the pipeline. Then, the developed method was used to identify the support stiffness and damping of the pipeline hoop under different preloads of the bolts. The influence of preload was also discussed. Results indicated that the support stiffness and damping of the hoop exhibited frequency-dependent characteristics. When the preloads of the bolts increased, the support stiffness increased, whereas the support damping decreased.

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Manufacturing cost constrained topology optimization for additive manufacturing
Jikai LIU, Qian CHEN, Xuan LIANG, Albert C. TO
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 213-221.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (791KB)

This paper presents a manufacturing cost constrained topology optimization algorithm considering the laser powder bed additive manufacturing process. Topology optimization for additive manufacturing was recently extensively studied, and many related topics have been addressed. However, metal additive manufacturing is an expensive process, and the high manufacturing cost severely hinders the widespread use of this technology. Therefore, the proposed algorithm in this research would provide an opportunity to balance the manufacturing cost while pursuing the superior structural performance through topology optimization. Technically, the additive manufacturing cost model for laser powder bed-based process is established in this paper and real data is collected to support this model. Then, this cost model is transformed into a level set function-based expression, which is integrated into the level set topology optimization problem as a constraint. Therefore, by properly developing the sensitivity result, the metallic additive manufacturing part can be optimized with strictly constrained manufacturing cost. Effectiveness of the proposed algorithm is proved by numerical design examples.

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Topology optimization of piezoelectric bi-material actuators with velocity feedback control
Mariana MORETTI, Emílio C. N. SILVA
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 190-200.
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In recent years, the new technologies and discoveries on manufacturing materials have encouraged researchers to investigate the appearance of material properties that are not naturally available. Materials featuring a specific stiffness, or structures that combine non-structural and structural functions are applied in the aerospace, electronics and medical industry fields. Particularly, structures designed for dynamic actuation with reduced vibration response are the focus of this work. The bi-material and multifunctional concepts are considered for the design of a controlled piezoelectric actuator with vibration suppression by means of the topology optimization method (TOM). The bi-material piezoelectric actuator (BPEA) has its metallic host layer designed by the TOM, which defines the structural function, and the electric function is given by two piezo-ceramic layers that act as a sensor and an actuator coupled with a constant gain active velocity feedback control (AVFC). The AVFC, provided by the piezoelectric layers, affects the structural damping of the system through the velocity state variables readings in time domain. The dynamic equation analyzed throughout the optimization procedure is fully elaborated and implemented. The dynamic response for the rectangular four-noded finite element analysis is obtained by the Newmark’s time-integration method, which is applied to the physical and the adjoint systems, given that the adjoint formulation is needed for the sensitivity analysis. A gradient-based optimization method is applied to minimize the displacement energy output measured at a predefined degree-of-freedom of the BPEA when a transient mechanical load is applied. Results are obtained for different control gain values to evaluate their influence on the final topology.

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Level set-based isogeometric topology optimization for maximizing fundamental eigenfrequency
Manman XU, Shuting WANG, Xianda XIE
Front. Mech. Eng.    2019, 14 (2): 222-234.
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Maximizing the fundamental eigenfrequency is an efficient means for vibrating structures to avoid resonance and noises. In this study, we develop an isogeometric analysis (IGA)-based level set model for the formulation and solution of topology optimization in cases with maximum eigenfrequency. The proposed method is based on a combination of level set method and IGA technique, which uses the non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS), description of geometry, to perform analysis. The same NURBS is used for geometry representation, but also for IGA-based dynamic analysis and parameterization of the level set surface, that is, the level set function. The method is applied to topology optimization problems of maximizing the fundamental eigenfrequency for a given amount of material. A modal track method, that monitors a single target eigenmode is employed to prevent the exchange of eigenmode order number in eigenfrequency optimization. The validity and efficiency of the proposed method are illustrated by benchmark examples.

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