Thermal Topology Optimization for Complex Heat Sinks

I've been unable to find details on topology optimization for thermal applications. I think it's existed since the 19.1 beta, but I can't find any resources in the help section or even the option in the program itself. Does anyone know if this exist?

I'm hoping to generate a very complex (i.e. to be made via additive) heat sink that can handle flux from three specific locations on its base with minimal mass, similar to the products made at Diabatix


P.S. I'm running 2019 R2


  • peteroznewmanpeteroznewman Member
    edited January 31

    What happens when you link the solution cell of a Steady-State Thermal analysis into the Setup cell of a Topology Optimization?

  • edited February 2

    Thanks so much for the help! I linked them together and it's working quite well. You can see below that it produced exactly the kind of organic shape that I was looking for. That said, I think I may have set it up incorrectly. You can see that it's working by connecting the three chips to the surfaces on the sides of the constraint box, but it shouldn't need to do that; I think I set it up so that the convective heat loss is applied only to the surfaces on the outside of the initial block.

    Is there a way to get Ansys to dynamically change the surfaces being affected by convection?

    Thanks, this has been a big help.

  • peteroznewmanpeteroznewman Member
    edited February 3

    In Mechanical, right click on Mesh and Clear Generated Data and close Mechanical.  In Workbench, use File > Save, then File > Archive to create a .wbpz file. Please attach that to your reply so I can try it out for myself.

  • simmonsimmon Member
    edited February 14

    Please note you are defining the convective heat transfer coefficient as a constant. You are not solving for fluid flow and convective heat transfer.

  • CambridgeCambridge Member
    edited February 17

    Hi simmon,

    Are you doing the thermal topology optimization? Do you know how to do the thermal and fluid TO in ansys workbench and how to solve the problem you mentioned? Thank you so much.


  • CambridgeCambridge Member
    edited February 17


    How can you achieve that? I do the thermal and fluid TO as well, could you please help me? Is there any tutorials or can you share your .wbpz file? Thank you so much.


  • yaronvexyaronvex Member
    edited May 4

    Hi, I'm having the same problem as stated in the comment above.

    I am trying to run a topological optimization for a single steady state thermal problem to get an optimal shape for a heat sink (should resemble branches of a tree).

    In the steady state thermal analysis I defined convection from the whole body, but it seems that during the optimization it only considers the outer walls for the convection (and therefore the "optimal" design is basically an empty shell).

    Is there a way for the optimization to consider any node which is in on the boundary of the design for convection? If not, is there a different formulation I should be using to get the optimal design? Maybe use conduction or temperature somehow?


  • RobRob UKForum Coordinator
    edited May 6

    What are you trying to optimise, the heat transfer or the structure?

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