A multi-material topology optimization algorithm based on the topological derivative

Peter Gangl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a level-set based topology optimization algorithm for design optimization problems involving an arbitrary number of different materials, where the evolution of a design is solely guided by topological derivatives. Our method can be seen as an extension of the algorithm that was introduced in Amstutz and Andrä (2006) for two materials to the case of an arbitrary number M of materials. We represent a design that consists of multiple materials by means of a vector-valued level set function which maps into R M−1. We divide the space R M−1 into M sectors, each corresponding to one material, and establish conditions for local optimality of a design based on certain generalized topological derivatives. The optimization algorithm consists in a fixed point iteration striving to reach this optimality condition. Like the two-material version of the algorithm, also our method possesses a nucleation mechanism such that it is not necessary to start with a perforated initial design. We show numerical results obtained by applying the algorithm to an academic example as well as to the compliance minimization in linearized elasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113090
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Level set method
  • Multi-material topology optimization
  • Topological derivative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mechanics


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