School of Mechanical Engineering and Safety Engineering

GHT (Graph and Heuristic based Topology optimization of crashworthiness structures)

The research and implementation of rule-based layout optimization of highly complex crash structures is carried out with several publicly and industrially supported projects. In the DFG project "Development of a Optimization-Appropriate Material Model for the Automated Topology and Forming of Crash Structures of Thermoplastic Fiber-Plastic Composites", graph- and heuristic-based Topology Optimization for use in structures of Fiber Composites is being researched together with the Institute for Composite Materials of the University of Kaiserslautern. Many research projects carried out under a co-operation agreement with Volkswagen AG support the further development of the GHT. The basic idea of ​​the method is the use of heuristics, which find optimal layouts in concert with mathematical optimization methods. One example is the heuristic "Supporting rapidly deformed walls", which improves the topology of the structure in terms of global bulging. In recent years, numerous heuristics have been developed at the chair and integrated into the optimization process.

Figure 1 shows the standard procedure of the interleaved optimization loops of the GHT.

Figure 1: Nested optimization loops of the graph and heuristic-based topology and shape optimization.


This type of procedure in structural optimization is illustrated using an application example (Figure 2) of the combined shape and topology optimization of an aluminum rocker panel. The aim is therefore to reduce the maximum force on a penetrating pile (Fig. 2-a) taking into account selected restrictions (penetration depth, mass and production requirements). Figure 2-d shows the great improvement towards a uniform force curve, which is aimed at in vehicle applications, e.g. for lesser occupant injuries.

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